BigNews.Biz - Apr 30,2012 - Endorsement: Ever a faithful servant, Lugar should stay on
The Indianapolis Star
April 29, 2012
The Indianapolis Star Editorial Board endorses Richard Lugar for U.S. Senate in the May 8 Republican primary.
Before you turn away in disgust, or shout "Heck, yes!" please take a few minutes to consider our reasoning. And yes, we've heard, and considered, the most common objections to Lugar's nomination for another term in the Senate. Here's our response to those complaints:
Objection No. 1: Dick Lugar, for all that he's accomplished over the years, is out of touch with current political realities. He's a gentleman; we need a warrior.
Our response: Capitol Hill, without doubt, is a much more partisan, bare-knuckles kind of place than it was when Mr. Lugar first went to Washington in 1976. Lugar's style is to build consensus, reason with friend and foe alike, and look for opportunities to work together to get important things done. In contrast, his opponent in the Republican primary, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, promises to fight for ideological purity inside the Republican camp and to shun compromise with Democrats. That plays well to partisan crowds, but it's a formula for ineffectiveness and frustration in the Senate, which is designed to encourage moderation. The problems facing this country, including an out-of-control deficit, are daunting and Congress hasn't shown the ability in recent years to fix them. But adding another hard-core ideologue such as Mourdock to the mix is more likely to hurt than to help.
Objection No. 2: Lugar is a Republican in name only. The party can't count on him when things get tough.
Our response: Lugar has voted with the Republican majority in the Senate 88 percent of the time for more than 20 years. Is a 12 percent deviance from the crowd really a sign of disloyalty? To us, it's more of a testament to careful consideration of complex issues. No political party -- Democrat or Republican -- gets it right every time. But Lugar stands with his fellow Republicans on the vast majority of important issues.
Objection No. 3: Lugar is 80 years old now and would be 86 before another six-year term is completed. He's well past his prime.
Our response: Even some of the senator's supporters wonder if he shouldn't have announced his retirement rather than attempt another run at office. But Lugar's impressive depth of knowledge on issues such as energy and agriculture and his continued expertise in international affairs outweigh any concerns that his physical or intellectual abilities have slipped.
Objection No. 4: Questions about Lugar's residency aren't trivial politics-as-usual sniping. They speak to a larger concern that Lugar has lost touch with Hoosiers' true wants and needs.
Our response: Granted, Lugar isn't the typical all-politics-is-local style of representative who makes sure he sprinkles enough pork-barrel projects around the state to show that he's looking out for you. Lugar's attention has been focused on issues such as nuclear disarmament, foreign relations and national policies on agriculture and