COMMENTARY | The tragedy of Richard Lugar is that of a man who tried to stay on the public stage past his time. Had he retired instead of running one more time, he would have spared himself some embarrassment.
NBC News reports how Lugar was routed, 60 percent to 40 percent, by Richard Mourdock, Indiana's state treasurer and a tea party favorite who had been endorsed by a range of conservative organizations ranging from the Club for Growth to Sarah Palin. That the primary was not even close suggests how much the political epicenter has shifted in just a few short years.
Lugar, to be frank, had been in Washington for far too long, had come to value compromise over conviction, and had believed overmuch his press that he was an elder statesman. It is telling the fellow senator who was first to mourn Lugar's passing was none other than John Kerry, the uber liberal from Massachusetts. ABC News relates how Kerry lamented Lugar's record of "thoughtful, mature and bipartisan work" was now unappreciated by the good people of Indiana.
The times, with the debt crisis and turmoil in the Middle East and elsewhere, do not call for someone who is overly admired by the likes of Sen. Kerry. The times call for public servants who see clearly what threatens the U.S. and who are not concerned about the good will of people like Kerry. In short, the times call for Mourdock.
This is especially true since the man running to replace President Obama is another man from Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, whom Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner suggests is of a sort like Lugar in that he is far too willing to compromise and blow with the wind. The idea is that if Congress has more people like Mourdock and less people like Lugar, the wind will blow hard to the right and Romney will find himself tacking accordingly.
The crisis of our times, with a nation threatened by debt, a government expanding to every nook and cranny of private life, and a world devolving into chaos, does not call for compromise or collegiality. It calls for action and clear eyed conviction. That is why Lugar lost and Mourdock won.
- Politics & Government
- Parties & Movements
- Richard Lugar
- Richard Mourdock
- John Kerry