Politics these days is the only line of work in which experience is considered a flaw.No one wants a surgeon who's never cut into a body before or an airline pilot whose learning on the job. So why do so many Texas voters think it makes sense to send rookie lawmakers into the toughest political arena in the nation?It's a troubling statement about how polarized America is when "moderate" is a term of invective and the ability to compromise with people across the aisle is considered a cardinal sin.Yet Tea Party "movement conservatives" condemn Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for choosing Democrats and moderate Republicans as committee chairmen during his time as president of the Texas Senate.What a twisted view of representative democracy, which is supposed to at least take into consideration the viewpoints of all the people being represented, not just those who belong to a subset of the majority party.Dewhurst, who's in a hotly contested July 31 Republican runoff against former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz, has credentials that should impress any conservative voter. He brings the business acumen that helped him become a self-made millionaire before he ever ran for office the first time 13 years ago. He served his country in the Air Force and then the CIA before starting the oil and gas company he built through the 1980s and '90s. He won the office of Texas land commissioner in 1998 and was elected to the lieutenant governor's office in 2002.The Houston businessman has been at the helm of the Senate since 2003, working for the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act, parental consent for abortion and the controversial sonogram bill. He shepherded through tort reform, voter ID and a bill to allow deportation of illegal alien criminals after they serve their terms.It's interesting that many of those issues ended up in legal challenges that Dewhurst's opponent likes to take credit for arguing in court. Had a Dewhurst-led Senate not passed them, Cruz wouldn't have those initiatives as his street cred with the "movement conservatives."Dewhurst is skilled at cultivating business connections. He's a free-market cheerleader and understands the importance of a tax environment that's friendly to entrepreneurship and business development. In the past, he has demonstrated that he understands the importance of also building bipartisan relationships and the need to find compromises to move a legislative agenda forward.He's not saying much about that in this campaign, though. His detractors consider those skills the hallmark of an establishment insider.Perish the thought.The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends David Dewhurst in the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate.In the Democratic runoff, former state Rep. Paul Sadler is the clear choice over challenger Grady Yarbrough, a retired teacher from San Antonio.The veteran legislator from Henderson brings 12 years of legislative experience -- there's that dreaded word again -- that included serving as chairman of the Public Education Committee when lawmakers got serious about reforming the state education code. He also served on the Legislative Budget Board, experience that would add to discussions when lawmakers debate thorny federal budget issues.The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Paul Sadler in the Democratic runoff for U.S. Senate.