Saturday, May 12, 2012


Senator Richard Lugar
When Senator Richard Lugar was defeated by Tea Party backed candidate Richard Mourdock in the recent Indiana Republican primary, it marked more than the end of the 36-year term of a distinguished public servant. It reflected and symbolized the drastic change that has taken place in the nature and purpose of the Republican Party. The G.O.P. is not the grand old party it used to be. It has been taken over by right-wing extremists.

Before entering national politics Richard Lugar was an immensely popular, exceptionally effective, and highly respected Mayor of Indianapolis, whom I knew personally and admired greatly, when I was serving a church in that city.

As a United States Senator he has exhibited the highest and best of bipartisan politics. Throughout his long career he has been a man of stature and integrity. Because he was willing to put principle above political expediency and the good of the nation above partisan loyalties, he was able to work with his colleagues across the aisle on matters of national importance. That spirit, along with his wisdom and good judgement, earned him the respect and gratitude of his colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and of our nation and its allies.

In reflecting on his recent defeat, Senator Lugar commented, “I knew that I had cast recent votes that would be unpopular with some Republicans and that would be targeted by outside groups. These included my votes for the TARP program, for government support of the auto industry, for the START Treaty and for the confirmations of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan. . .  But I believe that they were the right votes for the country, and I stand by them without regrets. . . ” (quoted from the Newark Star Ledger of May 11, 2012).

How different his attitude and demeanor from that of the Republican leadership in the House and Senate today. Their announced goal has been to make Barack Obama a one-term President. To that end they have opposed every proposal put forth by his administration and given him no credit whatsoever for any of his accomplishments. The Party of Lincoln has become the Party of No! What a tragic development!

There have been many glowing expressions of appreciation for Senator Lugar’s service in the Senate. We wish him well, as he finishes his term in office. Would that there were more Republicans like him today.

No comments:

Post a Comment