Chris Chocola, former Indiana congressman and president of the Club for Growth, writes in the National Review that it's time to bring Richard Lugar home:
Thankfully, there are very few Republicans left who still support earmarks. Regrettably, one of the remaining few is 35-year Indiana senator Richard Lugar. He continues to stand in favor of earmarks to this day. Recently, Lugar was one of only thirteen Republicans to join Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid in voting against a permanent ban on earmarks.
That was the final straw for the Club for Growth PAC, which has now endorsed Lugar’s conservative challenger, Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock.
Lugar’s vote against a permanent ban on earmarks will hopefully be the capstone on a decidedly big-government, anti-economic-growth voting record. Lugar is a good man, and in some ways he has served Indiana and our country well, but his 35-year career in Washington proves that he is no fiscal conservative. What our country needs, now more than ever, is genuine fiscal restraint and economic growth. Lugar has time and again voted to expand the size of government, raise taxes, and increase government regulation. Examples abound through the decades.
I think whatever Lugar's initial conservative instincts might have been, they were smothered by too many years of the kind of wheeling and dealing that has to be done in Washington. Whole lot of that going around, as Andrew McCarthy observes:
House Republican leadership is using the same sort of sleight-of-hand Obama Democrats employ to conceal their profligacy and bribe resisters: budget busting provisions are diverted into separate legislation . . .