By Scott Tibbs, February 9, 2012
Richard Mourdock plans to win the 2012 Republican primary for U.S. Senate by telling voters he knows better than they do and their choices in elections should be limited by the U.S. Constitution. Mourdock supports a rare change to the Constitution, one that would take away choices from the American people rather than expanding liberty, as has been the path of history.
Now, let me be clear. I support Mourdock and I am looking forward to voting for him in May and November. It is long past time to replace Richard Lugar with a genuine conservative, and Mourdock's dominating statewide win in 2010 proves he is more than credible as a general election candidate. On the vast majority of issues, conservatives know they can count on Mourdock to advance our values.
But on the issue of term limits, Mourdock is advancing an anti-conservative position.
It is true that there are a lot of elected officials who have been in office for a long time, and Mourdock is trying to draw a distinction between himself and Lugar, who was elected in 1976, before many of the voters in this May's primary were even born. But Indiana voters have had a chance to limit Lugar's term themselves, and have chosen not to do so for over three decades. Republicans have also passed on multiple opportunities to offer a credible primary challenger to Lugar.
If the voters of Indiana or any other state want to keep sending the same person back to Washington for 36 years, why should we take that choice away from them? Why are we saying we need to amend the Constitution to override the will of the voters? Does Mourdock not trust the voters' judgment, and if not how does he expect to get their votes campaigning on a platform that he knows better than they do?
It is rare for the Constitution to be amended to take liberties away from the American people. That was done with Prohibition and it was a miserable failure. But Mourdock proposes to do just that by having it written into the Constitution that voters' choices should be more limited.
The 2010 Tea Party wave produced a number of candidates who are committed to making Washington less relevant in the lives of the American people, allowing us to keep more of our hard-earned income and allowing us more freedom to manage our lives and our businesses without interference from Washington. The 2010 election also sought to allow states to have greater sovereignty over of their own affairs. How does a constitutional amendment limiting the choice of voters advance this federalist, limited government ideology.
The answer is simple - it doesn't. Mourdock should not have signed this pledge, and he should seriously consider revoking it in advance of the May primary.