- Posted May 9, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
End of Moderate Era - Lugar "Retired"
Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock with the strong backing of the Tea Party movement forced the "retirement" of 6-term Senator Dick Lugar in yesterday's primary by a 60-40 margin. The "retirement" put an end to the Moderate Era and portends to usher in an era that doesn't understand the meaning of compromise or of statesmanship.
In my former life almost 30 years ago as a newspaper reporter, I remember the thrill I had in always getting a sit-down exclusive whenever Lugar was in the area. He would answer any and all my questions and hold nothing back. Any time I needed a quote, I could call his office in Washington DC. I would be put straight through to the Senator if available. When not available, the phone would always ring and I would hear, "Please, hold for Senator Lugar".
Lugar is the last of his kind. He was a moderate Republican who understood the meaning of compromise. He knew that it meant more to do what was right than adhere to ideology or pander to voters.
Lugar was not only a statesman in the hallowed hallways of Congress, but on the world stage. Lugar was a man the foreign leaders knew and respected. He stood toe-to-toe with Mikhail Gorbachev and pounded out a treaty which lead to the downsizing of nuclear weapons which threatened the world. Lugar negotiated with Boris Yeltsen and was instrumental in going to nuclear sites inside Russia and monitoring the dismantling of that weaponry.
Dick Lugar had the backbone and the force to fly to Manila, The Philippines and tell dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the jig is up. Marcos and his wife, Imelda, boarded the plane with Lugar and left the island nation.
Lugar was a man that understood when to engage in battle and when to make a strategic retreat. He knew how to walk into the opposition Democrats office and hammer out a deal that was good for the nation. Lugar also was not afraid to go up against his own party and the congressional leadership when he disagreed and oftern swayed minds and opinions.
We will never see the likes of Dick Lugar again. With Lugar gone, the Moderate Era has lossed its last warrior.
There are those who say it was time for him to retire. They say he served long enough. That may be true, but the candidate who forced Lugar's retirement is not good for the Cornfield, the state or the nation.
Why Mourdock is not the right man to elect come November is best summed up in this remark from Mourdock:
"I have a mindset that says bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view."
For that reason alone I must vote for his Democratic opponent in the fall.
Dick Lugar - a loss for the Cornfield, a loss for Hoosiers, a loss for the US of A, a loss for the world.
From the Cornfield, Mr. Senator, you will be missed. May your retirement be filled with the memories and the pride of knowing you always did what was right even if not always politically correct.