Pejman Yousefzadeh, offers words of praise for the defeated GOP Senator:
Let it be conceded–as though it has to be–that Dick Lugar never had any particular right to be re-nominated to another term in the United States Senate by Indiana’s Republican voters. Let it also be conceded–as though it has to be–that Richard Mourdock had every right to run against him, and won fair and square. He simply ran the better campaign, and 2012 simply wasn’t Dick Lugar’s year.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that I was ever in favor of targeting Lugar for defeat. In fact, quite the contrary; I had hoped that he would be able to prevail over Mourdock. Lugar is a highly experienced senator in the best sense of the term. He is a responsible and thoughtful legislator, he understands that in order to get things done in Congress–and yes, sometimes one ought to want to get things done in Congress–one has to be prepared to deal with the other side of the aisle, and he has tremendous expertise when it comes to foreign affairs, and national security.
He wasn’t the most conservative senator around, but he was no liberal, and could scarcely be called a moderate. Ronald Reagan used to say that the person who agreed with him 4 times out of 5 was an 80% friend, not a 20% enemy. Dick Lugar may not have reached 80%, but being a nearly 70% friend is not half bad, and is little cause for an insurrection.
Meanwhile Tom Van Dyke saw good riddance to man who consorted with Democrats:
Want to blame Republicans for spending like drunken Kennedys during the GWB era? Dick Lugar’s your man, what was wrong with the GOP, except he’s a “moderate,” so he gets a pass.
No longer, though. If the GOP is going to win elections, it’s going to win them fair and square with real Republicans, not fake ones.
Mebbe it was Sen. Lugar’s fronting for the execrable “Law of the Sea ” treaty that reduces the United Steezy into just another arm of the Euroweinie enviro-diplomatic complex. My jingoistic self is thoroughly appalled. I wouldn’t give you two cents for the rest of the world combined over the United States of America.
So call me pisher.
In any case, the 80-yr-old Sen. Lugar’s brand of Republicanism has had its day, where any “moderation” is a demerit on the GOP record and any guts are proof of the GOP’s “extremism.”
It’s not win-win mugwumpery, it’s a lose-lose Rockefeller Republicanism where the critics nail the GOP either way, coming or going.
If the GOP is to reform, and it must—it got no credit for GWB’s Democrat-lite “compassionate conservatism”—it’s to be as the adult alternative to Barack Obama’s “Audacity of Hope” and Dick Lugar’s Audacity of Professional Politicianism, where there’s little difference between Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Find the Elephant in the Room.
Myself, I would echo Pejman. While I think Lugar stayed way past his time, he represented a gentlemanly conservatism that was resolutely Republican, but willing to deal with the other side in order to get things done.
As for Van Dyke’s too-cute-by half post mocking Lugar; well, one wonders how much a real Republican you have to be to get his approval. Lugar was never really considered a Rockefeller Republican like many of the Northeastern Republicans, so his painting Lugar as one is a sign of how far the goal posts have moved in considering who is a Republican and who is not.
Richard Murdock may well make a good Senator, standing up for conservative values. But part of being a politician is to be able to govern as well. Will Murdock be able to work with Democrats when the need arises? We shall see.