Sen. Rand Paul deconstructs Richard Mourdock's victory in Indiana's Republican primary over Sen. Dick Lugar. This election, Paul concludes, manifests the Tea Party's continued vibrancy.
In an op-ed for the Washington Times, Paul is gracious about Lugar while nonetheless welcoming Mourdock as the sort of "statesman," not "horse trader" that Paul hopes to see in the Senate next year.
Paul notes that Mourdock's victory over Lugar is in some respects similar to Paul's victory over Trey Grayson in Kentucky's Republican primary last year.
Just days ago, when France and Greece lurched left, Democrats pointed to this as evidence that the Tea Party victories of 2010 were a fluke, not to be repeated this year. Mourdock's nomination says otherwise.
A few excerpt's from Paul's analysis of Mourdock's win, in which he lays out a de facto Tea Party Agenda. Reagan fans will enjoy the reference "painting with bold colors":
We win as Republicans when we paint in bold colors. We win when we stand up for issues such as smaller government, constitutional principles, true liberty and the protection of life. We win when we take strong stands for the Second Amendment and the right to work. We succeed when our vision is clear and our principles are sound.
What happened on Tuesday was not one angry group of voters rebelling. It was not one or two conservative groups pushing an agenda. It was all of them, acting as one, urging the Indiana GOP to nominate someone who would stand with them.
We must fight to continue the small battles we already have won. Hoosier voters rewarded the candidate who pledged to keep the earmark ban and rejected the senator who just weeks ago voted to restore earmarks. . . .
The Tea Party sprang up out of two main events in 2008-09: the TARP bailouts and Obamacare. These were huge new reaches for big government. They were massive intrusions into running the private sector. They were against everything we as a party were supposed to stand for.
Senators and candidates who either were on the wrong side of these issues or simply did not stand up and fight have been deservedly running for cover ever since.
The Tea Party is not a single-issue group. Rather, it is a group that is fed up with an attitude in Washington. Tea Partiers are fed up with politicians who spend money we don’t have, racking up trillion-dollar deficits year after year.
They are tired of politicians who do not see limits in the powers of Congress and the federal government to intrude into our lives.
They are sick of being told they have to accept a mealy-mouthed version of what they believe and what they know we must do to save our country.
We must balance our budget sooner rather than later, or we will face ruin. This will require entitlement reform. Tuesday, Hoosiers voted for a candidate who publicly pledged to support the Tea Party budget in the Senate, which balances in five years.
We must repeal Obamacare and ensure that nothing like it passes ever again. Hoosier voters nominated the candidate who stood the strongest for the Constitution and for freedom
Paul is correct that Lugar is a decent man who served honorably. However, he had become an Obama apologist, and was so entrenched that he no longer maintained a home -- not even an apartment -- in Indiana. Good for the Republican primary voters for voting for bold, unapologetic conservatism.