|Indiana Democratic Party Chair (Still)|
According to what I can gather, Lugar's suggestion was not to simply take the $1 per gallon gas tax, but it was to return that money back to people via social security, payroll tax cuts, or other benefits. The initial thought was to raise gas prices to encourage automakers to make more fuel efficient vehicles, spur innovation, and encourage use of alternative fuels. In other words, his proposal, which I doubt he would advocate today, was to improve the environment and end our dependency on foreign oil. Kind of a different perspective on the issue, if you ask me.
Now, I know the IDP wants Lugar out, but I think they would be more wise to sit back and let the Republicans spend their cash and treasure trying to beat each other rather than interfering. If they really wanted to help Richard Mourdock, they could jump in on this Lugar residency issue, but I would be careful playing kingmaker too much. We know Richard Lugar, but we don't no Richard Mourdock.
I think that a big picture look is necessary. Joe Donnelly will be a great General Election candidate, but Indiana is a very tenuous place for statewide Democratic candidates right now. I'm not saying Donnelly can't win, but I think you should be careful, if you're the IDP, on where you place your chips right now. With the wrong Richard, no Democrat will win. If I were Dan Parker, I'd save my money and let this one play out.
In my view, this is a poor tactic by the Democrats.