"I knew that my work with then-Senator Barack Obama would be used against me, even if our relationship were overhyped. I also knew from the races in 2010 that I was a likely target of Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and other Super Pacs dedicated to defeating at least one Republican as a purification exercise to enhance their influence over other Republican legislators," wrote Richard Lugar in prepared remarks that he sent to the Evansville Courier & Journal early on the day of the May 8 primary.
Lugar, who has represented Indiana in the Senate for 30 years, also knew he had lost the race. He probably didn't know he would lose by a 60-40 spread.
Welcome to the brave new world of post-Citizens United elections, made possible by the Supreme Court decision that legalized unlimited spending by third-party corporate (and union) PACs.
In spending millions to punish a moderate Republican incumbent for collaborating with Senate Democrats, the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, the National Rifle Association, and others have served notice to congressional Republicans who would vote with their Democrat colleagues, or vote to confirm a Supreme Court Justice nominated by a Democratic president.
Lugar understood the transgressions for which he was punished yesterday: "my votes for the TARP program, for government support of the auto industry, for the START Treaty, and for the confirmations of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan."
It cost the big, anti-government Super Pacs roughly $2 million to caricaturize Lugar as "Obama's Bitch." He was voted out of the Senate for compromising—even if his signature compromise, the Nunn-Lugar nuclear-weapons-redcution program, resulted in the dismantling of thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons that were designed to use against the United States.
You'll get no such compromise from Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party Republican who used more than $2 million in corporate and ideological Super Pac money to defeat Lugar yesterday.
Mourdock has said he doesn't believe in compromise, telling The New York Times: "powerful people in both parties are so opposed to one another that one side simply has to win out over the other."
To prevail over the other party is to succeed.
Clinton Rossiter began his classic Parties And Politics in America with a set of assumptions that provided the fundamentals of government in the country that developed the modern the two-party system:
"No America without democracy, no democracy, without politics, no parties without compromise."
Yesterday's Republican primary in Indiana proved that those assumptions are no longer vaild.