“If you think you have seen gridlock, just wait and watch Goldwater’s final victory.” That’s how Mark Mardell, the North American editor of BBC News, snarkily concluded his column bemoaning Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s resounding defeat of 36-year incumbent U.S. Senator Dick Lugar in Tuesday’s Republican Primary.
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 helped define conservatism as favoring less government, and his 1964 presidential campaign led to a more pro-free market GOP. But Mardell’s implication is that those who want less government are inherently unreasonable, always and everywhere the cause of dreaded “gridlock” in Washington, while those who favor ever bigger government are just being reasonable.
Barry Goldwater, in his 1964 conservative presidential campaign, 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,” Republican Senate nominee 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.
And even the dread gridlock would be a welcome change over out-of-control spending and debt.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.