It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. If that's the case, our friends at Redstate have just lost their last marble.
You may recall Dick Lugar (R-IN), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. When Lugar ran for re-election in 2000, he got 67% of the vote. When he ran again in 2006 – a wave year for Democrats – Lugar got 87% of the vote. The Dems didn't even put up a candidate against him, because he was totally invincible at the polls.
Lugar has been a reliably conservative vote for the GOP on – well, almost everything. But "almost everything" just isn't enough for the GOP's Tea Party fringe. This year, the Tea Party primaried Dick Lugar. They wanted someone as crazy as they were. And they got him: Richard Mourdock.
And Richard Mourdock just got 44% of the vote, in a seat the GOP took with 87% last time.
Anyone looking at this objectively would say that it was a bad, bad idea for the GOP to primary Lugar. They took a slam-dunk win and turned it into a loss. And who was leading the charge to primary Lugar? Redstate, for one, said it was "time to bring Lugar home."
So, Erick Erickson: how's that whole primary-the-sane thingie working out for you? Not so good? Well then, clearly, you've got to do it again:
And let's start finding candidates now and prepare them to primary those Republicans who go wobbly. Heck, those groups who keep score cards should score the GOP leadership votes and score against anybody who supports McConnell or Boehner, just to drive the point home we aim to fight – even them.Now don't get me wrong. Sometimes it's great for Democrats when Republicans see the wrong problem and find the wrong solution to fix it. And this is one of those times.
But even though this might be good for Dems, the country as a whole does better when both major parties have enough self-confidence to be able to negotiate across the aisle, without having to worry about the fringe types (and yes, we've done it too sometimes) calling out the centrists as traitors to the cause. That just pours cement into any process of negotiation. And, as Rachel Maddow reminded us in her epic election night analysis, that's bad for the country.