The Biggest Impact of Lugar Primary Defeat

richard lugarRichard Mourdock’s defeat of longtime Indiana Senator Richard Lugar has increased chances that Democrats can win the seat in November, reaffirmed the Republican Party’s identification as “extremist,” and boosted partisan politics over “bipartisanship” in Washington, DC. But what the outcome primarily shows is the further erosion of the corporate media’s core value that the best solutions lie in “the center” and that all is lost if “the center cannot hold.”

According to Richard Mourdock “This is a historic time, and the most powerful people in both parties are so opposed to one another that one side simply has to win out over the other.”

Sounds like what progressives were saying when Obama took office.

But the traditional media and the President both promoted “bipartisan” agreements, even if they were inadequate to meet the nation’s many crises. And such “centrist” solutions were endorsed despite an already extremist Republican Party having moved the goalposts sharply to the right.

randy shawNew York Senator Chuck Schumer responded to Mourdock’s comments by saying, “Well, there are a lot of things wrong in Washington, but too much compromise is certainly not one of them.”

Really? Obama’s eagerness to compromise prevented the Democratic Party from capitalizing on its sweeping victories in November 2008. And it’s absolutely clear that Obama’s agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and courting of “moderates” like Lugar not only weakened health care reform measure, but left it vulnerable to legal action.

Schumer was so busy looking for compromises that he botched immigration reform while ignoring mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. His idea of “bipartisanship” is protecting tax breaks for hedge fund managers and other financial service sectors comprising the 1%.

While Richard Lugar supported a handful of policies backed by the Obama Administration, he typically joined with right-wing Republicans. And he was never a swing vote that enabled the passage of a key issue favored by Democrats.

randy shawCentrist solutions are what kept slavery going for decades, and what allowed Senators who backed Jim Crow laws to be treated as respected figures in the national press.

If Mourdock’s victory helps destroy the fiction of the supremacy of bipartisanship and centrist solutions, progressives will be far better off.

Randy Shaw
Beyond Chron

Posted: Friday, 12 May 2012


  1. JoeWeinstein says

    What’s been discredited is not genuinely centrist solutions but “centrist” pseudo-solutions.  A truly centrist solution seeks a balance which will advance two different and sometimes conflicting kinds of good.  “Centrist” pseudo-solutions of the sort that Obama and Schumer have striven for are ‘balances’ between good and bad – like my son’s former ‘balanced diet’: half health food, half junk food.  Because one party has been captured by extremist retros (the only thing actually demonstrated by Lugar’s defeat), there is now a big difference between ‘bipartisan solutions’ – which in effect are installment-plan surrenders by the Democrats – and truly centrist solutions. 

  2. richard says

    Is deporting “undocumented” (illegal) immigrants against the law? If so, please cite the federal law for me so I can get a clearer understanding as to why it is considered unlawful. I understand if there is need for “immigration reform” then let congress proceed with this issue however, to break the law (illegal entry into the U.S.) and the enforcement of the law (deportation of illegal-immigrants) should not be confused with racism, intolerance or any other ‘negative connotation’ that the pro-illegal-immigration interest tries to paint it. I also believe it is unfair, insensitive and disrespectful to the “sons” and “daughters” of slaves to put deportation of undocumented-immigrants in the same category. Undocumented-immigrants voluntarily come to the United States whereby we all know that black Africans were forced to the United States in chains! Where is the similarity? So to use that analogy (slavery) to make the point about the “snail-pace” immigration-reform is tasteless and shameful and demonstrates a lack of sensitivity to the plight of an entire group of people. As a ‘son of slaves’ I like many in my community do not see the “connect” with undocumented-immigrants to slavery or jim crow. On the contrary, many in the black community have shared many negative experiences associated with illegal-immigration. For once I would like to see how ‘tolerant’ and ‘supportive’ proponets of undocumented-immigrants rights would fair if they had to live with illegal vendors flooding their neighborhood streets, multiple families living in a single-family home, multiple vehicles parked on the lawns and in front of their homes and a multitude of other issues associated with undocumented (illegal) immigration and quality-of-life in any given community. Lastly, how did immigration-reform become the “central” issue in the Democratic party? Where does jobs retention/creation, education, judicial-reform (disproportionate incarceration of minorities), affordable health-care, and legislation restraining corporate-greed play a role in the Democratic party? The intolerance of the right-wingers and left-wingers of both parties is apparent in Washington, D.C. however, if the leadership in either party don’t begin to address the “bread-and-butter” issues affecting the quality-of-life of the American people in general we will see a greater intolerance come this November.

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