News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

November 11, 2012

EDITORIAL: Reflections on an engaging election season for Indiana

TERRE HAUTE — Voters’ rejection of Mourdock heartening

The wisdom of the voting public prevailed in the defeat at the polls of Republican (Teapublican?) U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.

His 6-percent loss to Democrat Joe Donnelly shows that Mourdock’s extremism — even before his offensive comments about rape, pregnancy and abortion — did not fit with the majority view of Hoosiers and Vigo Countians. In our county, Donnelly polled more than 22,000 votes to Mourdock’s 14,000. We are reassured by that.

We, as many, still believe the Mourdock camp did a great disservice to the state and to a statesman in kicking aside Sen. Richard Lugar in the May Republican primary. Too liberal, too collaborative, too old. Those were the slams against Lugar, perhaps the best senator ever to serve Indiana and one of the best ever to serve the Republic.

Now, at least one tea partier, Greg Fettig of the Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate, says Mourdock lost because he distanced himself from his tea party supporters and was disserved by a poorly managed campaign. And Fettig took another shot at Lugar, calling him, according to the Associated Press, “a fixture of Washington, big government bureaucracy,” which is just so much rubbish.

In a contrast that was both good political strategy and probably sincere, Donnelly complimented Lugar often during the campaign, appealed to “Lugar Republicans” and, on Wednesday, talked about the big shoes he would have to fill in the Senate. “One of the most humbling things in this whole process,” Donnelly told the AP, “is to think about following [Lugar].”

Cynics would say that is nothing more than saying the right thing.

Maybe.

But it’s a lot better than Mourdock and the tea party, which were always saying the wrong things.

Gain for Indiana women

We are heartened that two strong, impressive female Hoosiers will join seven male counterparts in Congress to represent Indiana.

Republicans Susan Brooks (central Indiana’s 5th District) and Jackie Walorski (northern Indiana’s 2nd District) are headed to Washington next year, Brooks by a whopping 67,000 votes, Walorski by less than 2,000.

Two other female congressional candidates, Democrats Tara Nelson (4th District) and Shelli Yoder (9th District), both lost to Republicans named Todd — Nelson by 75,000 votes to Todd Rokita, who has had name recognition in Indiana for years, and Yoder by 40,000 votes to incumbent Todd Young. Nelson and Yoder offered good alternatives to Rokita and Young, and we hope they stay involved in politics.

Meanwhile, congratulations, Gentleladies-elect.

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