Coats Wins in Indiana; RedState Sees Red

by Sal on May 5, 2010

in Blogs,Election 2010,Politics

Dan Coats (R-IN) won the Indiana GOP Senate primary last night, defeating several primary challengers, including former Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) and RedState’s golden boy State Sen. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN).  Coats will now go on to face likely Democrat challenger Brad Ellsworth, who was a member of the Stupak-12 who caved at the end.  Barring some unforeseen circumstance, Coats is likely to win handily and would represent a Senate pickup in the seat being vacated by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN).

Coats is a good guy.  He’s a former Senator and a solid conservative with a lifetime ACU rating of 90%.  Yet for some reason, Erick Erickson at RedState, along with many of the other contributors there, found the need to practically paint Coats as a RINO.  Erickson started his crusade against Coats by saying that Coats, as an old-guard former Senator was not what the GOP needed.  His argument at the time was that the GOP needed fresh blood, and although Coats was a good guy, it Erickson’s mind, he was a recruiting failure.  Erickson soon rallied behind Conservative Marlin Stutzman, whom I happen to like.  However, Redstate also implied that Coats was not a true conservative, even going so far to imply that he was not fully pro-life, which is simply not the case.  The depths of their attacks against Coats went deep, and portrayed a man who most Conservatives would not want representing them.

To be fair, RedState is now throwing their support behind Coats as the Republican nominee.  Yet that doesn’t excuse them for dragging Coats through the mud in a way that was unfair to his record and his history as a Senator.  Do I have a problem with the fact that RedState supported Stutzman?  Not at all.  I also supported Stutzman and agreed with the “fresh blood” argument.  I personally do think it is better for the GOP to recruit new, younger, non-establishment candidates to run for office.  Had that been the crux of RedState’s argument, I would have no quarrel with them.  It was the needeless dragging through the mud and labelling of a fairly solid Conservative as a RINO that annoyed me, and it could have been avoided.  RedState could have made their argument for Stutzman and against Coats without tearing down Coats and distorting his record.  I say this with all due affection for RedState – it is one of my go-to blogs for Conservative news and opinion.  In this particular case, however, they acted in a way that was unfair and unbecoming of the Conservative movement.

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