Sam Nunn: Time for ‘people in middle’ to make some noise

Last night, former U.S. senator Sam Nunn of Georgia issued a brief statement on the defeat of U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind.

This morning, my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy talked with Nunn, and sends this:

Nunn had always assumed his old friend and cross-aisle working partner would survive a close primary election. But about a week ago, the former Georgia senator began to hear, from those studying the polls, that Lugar was headed for defeat at the hands of state treasurer Richard Mourdock.

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and former Sen. Sam Nunn, co-authors of the 1992 Nunn-Lugar Comprehensive Threat Reduction effort, inspect a $1 million railroad bridge near Shchuchye, Russia in 2007, part of a rail line to haul 2 million artillery shells loaded with nerve gas from a storage depot to a destruction site. The rail line was built by Canada and the U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative. AP/Douglas Birch

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and former Sen. Sam Nunn, co-authors of the 1992 Nunn-Lugar Comprehensive Threat Reduction effort, inspect a $1 million railroad bridge near Shchuchye, Russia in 2007, part of a rail line to haul 2 million artillery shells loaded with nerve gas from a storage depot to a destruction site. The rail line was built by Canada and the U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative. AP/Douglas Birch

Last night, that view was confirmed with a 20-point shellacking.

“I think the Senate will be diminished by his absence and I think the country has lost one of the very positive forces in terms of U.S. leadership in the world and sensible policy here at home,” Nunn said. “So I think it’s disappointing.”

Nunn retired in 1996 after four terms and continues the work he started with Lugar at the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative. Unlike Nunn, Lugar won’t be leaving voluntarily. He’s been driven out by a right wing that did not like his cooperation with Democratic senators — including one named Barack Obama — on several issues, but especially national security.

Polarization is a fact of life in the modern Senate. Nunn said hyper-partisanship has been a feature of both parties over the decades, but pointed to the tea party and anti-tax groups such as the Club For Growth – which spent $2 million into ensure Lugar’s defeat – as the current, dominant force now requiring Republicans to tack right or lose their jobs.

“From time to time both parties take a view that they don’t want anybody willing to talk to folks on the other side of the aisle,” Nunn said. “I think that’s extremely negative for the country and I think the middle of America – the broad spectrum from right-of-center to left-of-center, minus the extremes of left and right — they’re going to have to be heard from. If it continues like this, we’re going to become less and less functional.”

The problem has manifested itself in troubling paralysis over the national debt, Nunn said. He praised U.S. Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. – the latter can perhaps see dark omens in Lugar’s race for his own chances in 2014 – for their “Gang of Six” advocacy of a middle way of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and revenue increases. But given the current make-up of Congress, Nunn said a solution will have to come from the outside.

“The people who I call the common-sense middle are largely absent in the active role of the political – whether it’s fundraising or get-out-the-vote — and that’s a big part of the problem,” he said. “People on the extremes have every right to exercise their voice and pocketbook, but the people in the middle should as well.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

54 comments Add your comment

Agnes

May 9th, 2012
11:46 am

Maybe Sam Nunn could endorse some of his fellow GA Democrats during the election cycle and NOT at the last minutes where it really doesn’t do any good. It would help

Michael

May 9th, 2012
11:48 am

It’s tough to make some noise when we, the apolitical moderates, are going up against SuperPAC, Incorporated.

yellowdog.

May 9th, 2012
11:54 am

agree with both cmments here; now sen luger is out of the senate and very few of his mindset left in congress. superpacs will be the death of congress as we know it; or rather more of the same as it has been for past few years. disgraceful i would say…..

David Granger

May 9th, 2012
11:56 am

Senator Nunn is correct, of course…but the problem is, both political parties have drifted so far in either direction. There really IS no political middle anymore, yet both the nutcake conservatives and the giggle-sissy liberals believe that THEY’RE middle of the road.

Iconoclast

May 9th, 2012
11:57 am

Agnes, di you not even bother to read Mr. Nunn’s comments. It’s NOT supposed to be about PARTY, but about the person and their ability to moderate their POSITIONS for the benefit of the public, insteaad of their party.

Newtewt.

May 9th, 2012
12:14 pm

With the exit of Sen. Lugar, Congress has officially become a Playpen with Toddlers tugging at each others toys, stomping their feet, screaming w/ head-to-floor banging Tantrums, and loading up the foulest diapers you’ve ever smelled, soiling the entire nation and Constitution.

Weetamoe

May 9th, 2012
12:16 pm

Obama’s opponent in the West Virginia primary got 39% of the votes even though he is in jail in TX. There is a joke in there somewhere.

DJ Sniper

May 9th, 2012
12:21 pm

Here’s a comment from Richard Mourdock: “I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”

Did the people not learn anything from 2010?

Danny O

May 9th, 2012
12:23 pm

Obama ran for office in West Virginia?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
12:28 pm

Al Gore “Invented the Internet.”

Mitt Romney “Saved GM.”

the original and still the best John Galt

May 9th, 2012
12:30 pm

Sound and fury signifying nothing. The difference in the Republicrats and the Demopublicans is the difference in Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Both are merely wings of the same Establishment Party, intent on stealing as much as possible while in power.

Centrist

May 9th, 2012
12:33 pm

Richard Lugar drifted left trying to be moderate in dealing with radically liberal Democrats who have a history of reneging on spending cuts they reluctantly agree upon. The Tea party Republicans simply got tired of the Richard Lugar/ Charlie Brown falling for Democrat Lucy pulling away the football every time. Saxby Chambliss could have the same problem with Tea party Republicans if there is an alternative nominee, but whoever the Republican Senate nominee is in 2014 will certainly win.

East Cobb RINO

May 9th, 2012
12:34 pm

Cannot wait for 2014 to cast a vote in the Senate primary for whatever wingnut fanatical the tea party throws out there against Chambliss. That way the Dems can get another seat in the Senate come fall. Just like what happened twice before in other states and how it will be in Indiana.

Kris T.

May 9th, 2012
12:46 pm

Yippee another republican out. Chambliss is next.

Keith

May 9th, 2012
12:50 pm

What many of you fail to grasp is thaa for the past 100 years this nation has played political football between the 40 yard lines. The Democrats move the ball a few yards one way and then the Republicans move it a few yards the other way. Nothing is ever solved and we’re still playing footsie with the same problems we had 100 years ago. It’s time for clear stark choices between leftwing Marxist socialism and rightwing individual liberty and free markets. What we have now is a hodgepodge that doesn’t work.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
12:51 pm

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, Sam Nunn, the world, etc don’t get it. We are at a moment in history when compromising has become antithetical to freedom, the Bill of Rights, and the American view of Law. And should these be compromised, life itself will have become meaningless.

To make a long story short, Politicians in Washington and around the world are telling us in no uncertain terms that they have positioned themselves via the perverted New World Order, in such a way that Americans must compromise their view of government to become compatible with socialism, atheism, or have no functional government at all.

It is equivalent to perverts planning, kidnapping a young American virgin and taking her to a secluded place. He demands that she engage in an assortment of sexual perversions or she will be left alone bound hand and feet to die. Richard Lugar, Sam Nunn, the world, etc reason that given the position the young virgin finds herself in, it is reasonable or acceptable to comprise with him than to hold fast and fight to maintain her morals.

Forget about it. The perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions will never force Americans to comprise the American View of government as envisioned by our founding fathers. And if they decide to violently or otherwise impose their perverted ways upon us, we are prepared to resist all advances, by any means necessary, so help us God.

Amen?

Shine

May 9th, 2012
1:01 pm

Maybe Nunn didnt hear Lugar hoping the kook that replaced him would win the general and that the party of kooks with his label would go on to win the presidency, seante and keep the house.

Piss on Lugar. Boot some kooks! Vote democrat!!

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
1:01 pm

Sam Nunn and the world believe Americans in the middle will say, “Come on young virgin, comprise with the pervert. You can at least su….. Don’t be a square.”

He and the world have got another thing coming.

Amen?

Shine

May 9th, 2012
1:04 pm

I will be voting for a dem if one runs no matter if Shameless or some other GOP kooks replaces him

Boot some kooks! Vote democrat!

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
1:08 pm

@Centrism – Richard Lugar drifted right trying to be moderate in dealing with radically psychotic Teatards who have a history of reneging on any kind of deal they reluctantly agree to. The Tea party Republicans simply got tired of the Richard Lugar/ Charlie Brown falling for not doing everything they ever said all the time every time. Saxby Chicken could have the same problem with Teatards if there is an alternative nominee, but whoever the Republican Senate nominee is in 2014 will certainly win.

Which is why democrats in Georgie should join the Republican party and put up an ACTUAL chicken which if they all vote for it might win. And it would do a better job.

THIS is the problem with ‘moderatation.’ The tea tards can run as far to the right as they like and suddenly formerly super conservative ideas are ‘moderate’ and anyone to the left of Atilla the Hun is ‘radical.’

Sam Nunn is a good man but is starting to go the way of Zell Miller. There is no “middle ground” with Teatards. At some point you need to stop being the special snow flakes in the middle and actually STAND for something besides being at the center of everything.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
1:10 pm

@Keith Olberman – I figure nothing can be more insulting to you than that, so that’s why I chose it. :)

And you’re right, it is a stark contrast between Corporate Slavery and the Freemarket. Those who love freedom are opposed to to John Galt tea party Corporate Slavery, where Cash is Speech and rights are frozen in the early 1800’s.

On some things, there is no middle ground.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
1:11 pm

Americans in the middle say resist the advances of these perverts… Even if Obama threatens to have drones target the girl because of non-compliance, I say resist them.

Amen?

Centrist

May 9th, 2012
1:11 pm

For those who think the Tea party is so 2010: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/05/09/tea-party-patriots-a-12-2-million-haul/

Locally, I got this in an email from the Tea Party Patriots: If you would like to join in the fight against the T-SPLOST – Transportation Tax, please contact Julianne Thompson @ 404-798-4663 or Debbie Dooley @ 678-761-6725

Read the Truth, Speak the Truth, Love the Truth

May 9th, 2012
1:13 pm

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
1:14 pm

@Centrism – The Tea Party aren’t patriots. People who want to tear our country apart don’t love it.

They only love themselves.

Read the Truth, Speak the Truth, Love the Truth

May 9th, 2012
1:19 pm

Regarding Obama and the virgin, my guess is he will try to sell her to one of his owners. My best guess there will be a bidding war between some mid-eastern sheik and some new money perv from mainland China.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
1:22 pm

@1:19pm – Amen!

Mike

May 9th, 2012
1:22 pm

Anybody see the report in Investors Daily about how “red” states are in better financial shape than “blue” states?
Yes, red states whose leaders watch and manage their money, are in better financial shape than blue states that don’t follow those practices. No kidding?

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
1:32 pm

An American in the middle came to the rescue of a young virgin girl several days ago… One of Obama’s perverts tried to put her in the trunk of his car…an American in the middle foiled his attempt at perversion.

Subsequently, the pervert punched a lady in the face and put her in the trunk of his car. She managed to escape falling from the moving vehicle.

We will escape the grip of these political perverts too. There will be no compromise.

Amen?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
1:35 pm

Because really, if you can’t believe a right wing publication like investor’s daily, who can you believe?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
1:37 pm

@Jesus – The art of parody is in distorting the image yet maintaining at least some recognizability in the distortion ….

Rather than telling a story that you think is clever that is really only humorous to you and forces the reader to go back and read literally every single rambling and unmedicated comment you’ve made.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
1:56 pm

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
1:57 pm

@Jesus of Our Divine LDS – And this has WHAT to do with Obama precisely?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
1:58 pm

Oops…I’m sorry, I meant LSD….Freudian slip. :)

Auntie Christ

May 9th, 2012
2:00 pm

Education and smarts aint exactly the hallmark of the tea party crowd, so let me educate all you ’self sufficient’ libertarians and tea partiers who constantly condemn and berate government and sociial programs, with your derogatory terms for those who receive benefits.

Had it not been for FDR and the New Deal, not a single one of you would have driven on a paved road or seen an electric light bulb before your 20th birthday, much less received an education or even likely to have been born. FDR’s TVA brought you electricity, and programs like the WPA et al kept your parents and grandparents from starving to death, allowing them to sire a bunch of ignoramuses to complain about government programs for the disadvantaged. The so-called red states, especially the southern ones couldn’t then and can’t now survive without the taxes of New Yorkers, Chicagoans, and other industrial cities and states supplementing the state governments . After the previous generation built schools for your education, hospitals for your health, an interstate highway system and other infrastructure that allows free and unobstructed commerce, you suddenly “don’t need no stinkin government,” and don’t won’t to pay your fair share to ensure the blessings go to the next generation. You wouldn’t even be able to post your idiotic rants about government had it not been for the government program that developed the ARPANET, which eventually became that series of tubes you call the internet. You are the real parasites on this country.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
2:07 pm

Which is why we should expel the South. Let’s let John Galt prove who is productive.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
2:15 pm

@1:57pm – This has everything to do with Obama, Richard Lugar, Sam Nunn, and the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions.

I and the Tea Party are attempting to show or demonstrate to you that there are times when compromise is unacceptable.

Amen?

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
2:19 pm

At first glance, I thought you as suffering from a mild case of dyslexia e.g. LSD. When I saw LSD, Latter Day Saints came to mind, LDS.

Amen?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
2:26 pm

@Jesus, Lord of LDS and LSD.

You don’t need to show me. Compromise is impossible with evil. We just have different ideas of what ‘evil’ is.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
2:44 pm

That’s equivalent to saying God Almighty and the American people have an idea of what constitutes evil and Satan, Richard Lugar, Sam Nunn, Obama and Aaron Burr V Mexico have ideas of what constitutes evil.

Amen?

craig

May 9th, 2012
2:45 pm

dems and repubs are just a duopoly of legalized influence peddling, competing for the spoils of public office. the best scientifically concocted campaign lies win, then they go on to do their special interests’ bidding once in office. democracies get the candidates we deserve.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
2:56 pm

I have decided to cast my lot with what God Almighty says evil is… Therefore if you can read between the lines, I am not the origin of my ideas.

If people do not believe in God Almighty, what or who is the origin of their ideas?

Amen?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
3:09 pm

@False Prophet and Servant of Satan – Yes, I suppose it does, but isn’t the definition of Anti Christ taking Christly principals and twisting them upside down, like saying being rich is good and treating the poor bad is good and saying that being arrogant is good?

So how’s that working out for you? How many people have you converted with your loving words? I’ve converted hundreds with my example. That’s not a joke, that’s an actual fact.

How about you Servant of Satanas? Hmm? I’d be willing to bet that you’re just a big deal in your old mind.

“Not all those who say, ‘lord lord’ shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”

Get the behind me Satan.

LMAO

May 9th, 2012
3:37 pm

Then you should believe Barack Obama is the POTUS because it’s God’s Will

Amen? LMAO

Auntie Christ

May 9th, 2012
3:45 pm

Then you should believe Barack Obama is the POTUS because it’s God’s Will

Correction, that should be “the will of Allah,” not God’s will, Obama being such a devout muslim, ya know.

LMAO

May 9th, 2012
3:49 pm

I believe in the Lord so I say it’s God’s will and you and your kind can’t change that. AMEN!!!!!

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
3:51 pm

You are indeed well versed in twisting the scriptures to your own destruction… Hear a parable concerning the rich and the poor. Gilt is found equally in the rich as well as the poor.

…Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

As for how many have I converted by my loving words and example, let it be known that I have not lost one of those that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave me.

Amen?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
4:06 pm

The scriptures can be ‘twisted’ by anyone. At the core of protestant belief is that we are saved by God’s Grace not by any word of man, which makes our individual spiritual journey paramount, which means it is our own experience and relationship with God that matters, the Bible is a guidepost but not a straight jacket to a True and Living God.

To a true Christian, translation errors and science cannot threaten because all that is true is His Truth.

To a Bible Christian, the Bible becomes an Idol to be worshipped just like Baal, interpretted in strange and demonic ways that lead them astray from Gods light.

And as for ‘you have not lost one’…All men are part of Christ’s Flock which means if through your actions even one is lost then you are responsible.

Your actions drive many away from Christ. Therefore you are responsible. Repent. Repent before you are sent to hell!

Just Kidding! :) I’m sure you won’t go to hell for being a Republican.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

May 9th, 2012
4:17 pm

I’m glad you are just kidding…but as far as Bible Christians are concerned, we worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ like reprobates worship Baal or science. Jesus is our guidepost and straight jacket…

And I’m not kidding!

Amen?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 9th, 2012
5:12 pm

If you mean that as parody, well played sir.

If you mean that with actuality….@#$@$#@…um…yes. Enjoy that planet.

Its hard to really tell. How Colbertesqe of you.