LET'S say this apropos of Dick Lugar's defeat: so far as I can tell, the only thing that can be understood, politically, in this country is complete disaster. That is, the slow-motion train wreck cannot be grasped until the last piece of debris comes plummeting back to earth.
And, unfortunately for the people who want easy answers or else none at all, that's not going to come from an underwear bomb.
They say it's the bullet you don't hear that gets you. Well, it's the bullet the public has refused to listen to that's gonna get us. Incontinent tax-cutting, education "reform", unfettered corporate power, money as speech, the idea that 40% of the Budget--and Social Security and Medicare, which aren't even part of the Budget--miraculously contains 100% of the deficit. These aren't bad ideas. They're proven disasters. And they're not going away. We couldn't even reform the financial system when it came within a hair of bankrupting the globe--and would have, without the massive government intervention the Party of the Banks now runs against--let alone throw anyone in prison. (It's a shame Haley Barbour couldn't pardon Bernie Madoff, and complete the Circle of Life.) Is there anyone out there who seriously doubts that the Beltway insider calls for Bipartisanship (as in, "Dick Lugar was willing to reach across the aisle") will, ultimately, be listened and responded to by one party, and one party only? Anyone who doubts which one?
And Dick Lugar got topped by the whizzing, NRA-approved, cop-killer bullets that he and his party have been ignoring at least as long as Lugar's been in the Senate. Dick Mourdock is Dan Burton minus the produce. So far. You remember the time Moderate Dick Lugar excoriated the wingnuts in his party, right? Yeah, me neither.
What I do remember, now that Indianapolis Public Schools have descended into a "crisis" so profound that auctioning them off to for-profit charter school operations is the only possible solution, is that Moderate Dick Lugar is the reason one can live in Indianapolis, pay property taxes in Indianapolis, and send one's children to public school in Indianapolis, and have nothing to do with Indianapolis Public Schools. Lugar wasn't Nixon's Favorite Mayor for nothin' (although it was a source of endless amusement in those days that Nixon always called him LOO-gar, not looger); he's the guy who helped bring the Southern Strategy north of the Confederacy. (The takeovers are a disaster in the works; look for accountability to disappear in 3…2…. Meanwhile, I'd like to thank the New York Times for yesterday's update on Joel Kline, once Mike Bloomberg's know-nothing Education Czar. Kline thoughtfully came to town last year to pitch in for the private takeover. Kline, it turns out, is now heading Rupert Murdock's attempt to take over education publishing. Rest easy, Murrica.)
Inside inside the Beltway the punditasters have been quick to bemoan the loss of Lugar's statesmanship; they, just as he did in his concession speech (in which Dick Lugar suddenly became a moderate again, after running as a Conservative), point out his remarkable outreach to former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, the Liberal's Liberal, an historic act which led to the United States Congress denouncing the Soviet military. I guess it was Lugar's statesmanship and bipartisan outlook on national defense which caused him to vote for every Defense bill that's come down the pike for thirty years. I guess it was his sage and seasoned wisdom which caused him to warn that we were rushing too quickly into Iraq War II, before voting for the resolution, and the blank-check funding, then, two years later, when the whole thing was unquestionably a steaming pot of shit gumbo, reminding everyone that he'd warned us about it.
The Senate loses Dick Lugar. What has the Senate accomplished because of Dick Lugar, exactly?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So Senator Mourdock* won't vote to confirm "liberal" justices. So he's gonna end Obamacare, and abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. So the Club for Growth bought itself a US Senator, which it couldn't have if Lugar's President, and his party, hadn't ended the Fairness Doctrine and limitations of media ownership in the 80s. So go piss on George Eff Will's bowtie collection. We're not getting out of this until the next global financial market manipulation is allowed to proceed to Zero, the point of Ultimate Freedom, when the teeth of US Senators will be highly regarded as currency.
* Assuming you're the sort of person who looks at this and feels some small stirring of hope that Indiana will now elect a Democratic Senator, the answer is "we don't have any".