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Opening Arguments

Shame, shame, filthy partisans!

Some candidates "are at their most likable in defeat," but Dick Lugar's "long, defensieve, election night statement" forcers the question, "Dick Lugar, poor loser?"

I am a better Republican than my party deserved, he tells us: “According to Congressional Quarterly vote studies, I supported President Reagan more often than any other Senator...”

But I don’t think that person who beat me will amount to much: “If Mr. Mourdock is elected, I want him to be a good Senator. But that will require him to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship to Washington. He and I share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate.’’

Lugar's whiny rant is understandable; nobody likes to lose, and it has be come as a bitter shock to someone who never really has. But it also illustrates why he lost. Any small-government conservative knows that compromise is dangerous, because it always leads to bigger government, if only incrementally. When's the last time a compromise resulted in smaller government? Lugar feels no such misgivings about compromise, therefore he is not a small-government conservative. indeed he rails against "an unrelenting partisan mindset." Mourdock calls that "partisan mindset" having principles -- all the difference in the world in interpretations. Lugar has been in Washingtonl  so long he honestly doesn't understand that being in Washington too long is precisely the problems.