Paul Jacob

Noting that when Ronald Reagan captured the White House in 1980, George Will quipped, “It took 16 years to count the votes, and Goldwater won,” Mardell added that with Mourdock’s victory, “Goldwater has now won his campaign to purge his party of moderates; it has just taken him 48 years longer than he had hoped.”

Indeed, Goldwater did help define conservatism as favoring less government, and his 1964 presidential campaign led to a more pro-free market GOP. His ideas captured the majority of rank-and-file Republicans.

Just as Mourdock’s ideas won last week. The voters, the people, decided. It’s called “change.”

Much was made of Lugar not having lived in the state since 1976, and certainly 36 years in office is enough for any man. Meanwhile, Mourdock endorsed congressional term limits, as well as pledging to keep at least a crash pad in the state. Both important issues affecting the degree of representation citizens receive.

But mostly Mourdock defeated Lugar because the incumbent Senator favors a deal-making Washington that continues to tax more and deficit spend, while the challenger favors reducing the planned growth of government in the coming years. When Mr. Mourdock goes to the U.S. Senate, the people who sent him there want him to stand up to block, to gridlock wasteful, deficit federal government spending.

Lugar favors the continued advance of the Washington, so beloved by Mann and Ornstein and the Washington Post, where the federal government is the well-compensated fix-it man for every problem. Lugar’s defeat is a repudiation of every good, true and beautiful thing they stand for.

Toward the end of yet another diatribe against the unreasonableness of conservative Republicans, Ezra Klein confessed the obvious, “Whether the Republican Party is ‘the problem’ is a subjective judgment. Perhaps you loathe taxes and, in the face of all available evidence, consider global warming a hoax. In that case, the Republican Party is doing exactly what it should be doing.”

I loathe taxes as much as the next guy, but the issue is really federal government borrowing and spending. That threatens our very survival as a society.

And, yes, it was Barry Goldwater in his 1964 acceptance speech upon winning the GOP presidential nomination, who proclaimed, “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

“Bipartisanship has brought us to the brink of bankruptcy,” Richard Mourdock said during his campaign. “We don’t need bipartisanship, we need application of principle.”

Being serious and committed to restoring fiscal sanity to Washington is no vice.

Even the dread gridlock would be a welcome change over out-of-control spending and debt. To paraphrase Patrick Henry, the Revolution’s great firebrand: “If this be gridlock, make the most of it.”

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.