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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The outsiders

Something to think about as we wait for the single Lugar-Mourdock debate tonight (7-8 p.m., check your listings but I do know it will be on WANE):

The Tea Party has lost a number of its top election targets this year, leaving Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) to emerge as public enemy No. 1 for national conservative groups — and poll numbers suggest they could get their man.

Groups including the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, Tea Party-affiliated FreedomWorks and the National Rifle Association have increasingly prioritized defeating Lugar, and social-conservative groups like Gary Bauer’s Campaign for Working Families and the Eagle Forum have endorsed Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), Lugar’s primary opponent.

[. . .]

Mourdock has welcomed the outside help. When The Hill contacted him Monday afternoon he was in Atlanta for a fundraiser with Tea Party favorite and RedState.com founder Erick Erickson, an event that former presidential candidate Herman Cain was originally scheduled to attend.

[. . .]

The Lugar campaign recognizes it is the groups’ top target and has pushed back hard against them. 

The campaign has explicitly sought to frame Mourdock as a puppet of the groups. “Richard Mourdock has already sold out to D.C. outsiders,” opens its latest ad.

It's a paradox, isn't it? (And, Ms. Morisette, a real example of irony.) Mourdock happily accepts help from out-of-state interest groups to paint Lugar as so out of touch with the state that he has to stay in hotel rooms when he visits. I appreciate those groups' efforts to tame the federal budget, and I also understand Lugar's contributions to the growth of Washington power. But I'd hate to see Indiana's interests get lost in this epic battle. (Again, given that tackling the federal overreach should be one of those interests.)