Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

June 19, 2014

Another View: Indiana bidding good riddance to Mourdock

There was good news to report from the Indiana Republican Party Convention conducted last weekend in Fort Wayne. The GOP nominated three women to top its general election ballot in November. There isn’t much gender equity in Hoosier politics, so seeing these three rise to the top of the Republican ballot this year is refreshing.

But perhaps the best news is that Richard Mourdock, two-term state treasurer and unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012, will no longer hold public office at the end of this year. He’s being retired from the treasurer’s office by term limits, and Hoosiers will have ample reason to bid him good riddance when his day of departure finally arrives.

Mourdock, of course, will long be known as the Indiana politician who took a guaranteed GOP U.S. Senate seat and threw it away. His extremist views allowed him to defeat longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in a tea-party-fueled Republican primary. But those same views, and his undisciplined answer to a simple social-issue question in a statewide debate two weeks before the election, led him to a humiliating loss at the hands of moderate Democrat Joe Donnelly.

Mourdock put his lack of grace and judgment on display again at the recent GOP convention when, during a farewell speech to delegates, he invoked the ghost of Adolph Hitler when critiquing current federal economic and budgetary policy. He first noted that the U.S. was observing the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-controlled Europe. Then, in a strange analogy, he compared the rise of the Nazis in the wake of Germany’s economic struggles of the 1930s to conditions in America today.

“The truth is,” Mourdock said, “70 years later we are drifting toward the tides of another beachhead with the bankruptcy of America.”

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