To channel Jerry Brown, “En ira veritas.”

For those who lack the governor’s Jesuit education, that means, more or less, “In anger, there is truth.” It’s a fair description of the fiery statement Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar issued Tuesday night after losing the GOP primary.

It’s also a message that should be required reading for both Republicans and Democrats in California’s gridlocked Legislature.

Lugar is a former mayor of Indianapolis who has spent 36 years in the Senate and was respected by both parties. But he lost this week to a Tea Party Republican who slammed him for working with the Democratic president on foreign policy issues and government support for the auto industry, as well as for voting for Obama’s two choices for the Supreme Court.

“I have a mindset that says bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view,” state Treasurer Richard Mourdock said after his easy victory over Lugar, which gives an indication of how well he’ll get along with his Democratic colleagues if he’s elected to the Senate.

That’s no way to run a government, Lugar said.

Mourdock’s “embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with … my experience of what brings results … in the Senate,” Lugar said in his statement. “In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party … This is not conducive to problem solving and governance.”

Let’s see. Refusal to work with the opposition party, regardless of the issue. Reflexive votes against issues like, say, taxes or budget cuts. Elections where the candidates vow to never work with their opponents, even if none of the state’s important work gets done. That should all sound familiar to Californians.

Lugar complained about outside groups demanding partisan purity without caring how it might affect the work of governing.

Those partisan groups “have worked to make it as difficult as possible for a legislator of either party to hold independent views or engage in constructive compromise,” the senator said. “If that attitude prevails in American politics, our government will remain mired in the dysfunction we have witnessed during the last several years.”

He also had a message aimed directly at his fellow Republicans:

“Parties don’t succeed for long if they stop appealing to voters who may disagree with them on some issues.”

There are plenty of reasons other than a partisan push that Lugar lost in Indiana. He’s 80 years old and has grown increasingly out of touch with Republicans in the state, where he doesn’t even own a home anymore. His votes angered his conservative base and he either wasn’t able or interested in defending his positions to the home state GOP.

Most importantly, Lugar apparently never really believed that the people who had overwhelmingly supported him for decades would ever bounce him from office. That goes against an important axiom for all officeholders: No one owes you your seat.

(San Leandro’s Pete Stark, 40 years in Congress and counting – or ticking – should pay attention to that one.)

But despite any sour grapes or bad politics, Lugar’s message is absolutely essential if government is to work. The system doesn’t work without compromise and the best ones come when partisans push their views as strongly as they can, but then still can agree to the best deal possible – note the word “possible” – for the country or the state.

In politics, half a loaf is always better than none and “win some, lose some” should be enshrined as a legislator’s motto. And, as Lugar reminded Indiana Republicans, “the other party is also patriotic and may have some good ideas.”

Compromise isn’t surrender. Lugar said that while he realized some of his votes would cause him trouble back home, “I believe that they were the right votes for the country and I stand by them without regrets.”

A legislator shouldn’t be a rubber stamp for any party’s changing viewpoint, he added.

“Ideology cannot be a substitute for a determination to think for yourself, for a willingness to study an issue objectively, and for the fortitude to sometimes disagree with your party or even your constituents,” Lugar said. “Like Edmund Burke, I believe leaders owe the people they represent their best judgment.”

Sacramento, take note.

John Wildermuth is a longtime writer on California politics.