Bi Partisanship

Who Is “Moderate” In Republican Party In US Senate After Defeat Of Richard Lugar?

It has been said for a number of years now that “moderates” are an “endangered species” in the Republican Party in the US Senate.

Without knowing what new members will join the US Senate in the upcoming elections of 2012, of those now in the Senate, who could be considered “moderate” in any sense?

Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee

What is this list based upon?

Voting records of these US Senators
Comments and Statements made on issues
Talk by these Senators about Bi-partisanship.

It should be made clear that this is based on the author’s own judgment, and is in a ranked order, from MOST moderate and cooperative and bi-partisan to LEAST moderate.

Overall, the concept of “moderate” Republicans is dying more every day, and particularly now with the voluntary retirement of Olympia Snowe of Maine and the forced retirement of Richard Lugar of Indiana!

Inevitable Result: Defeat Of Richard Lugar, And The Death Of Bi-Partisanship In The US Senate

The inevitable defeat of Senator Richard Lugar in the Indiana Republican Senate primary by Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party favorite, is a major tragedy for Indiana and for the US Senate,and also, for the Republican Party’s history and future!

Lugar, without question, was one of the most brilliant, insightful, intelligent, and learned members of the US Senate, not just now, but for decades in the past.

Richard Lugar was a man who promoted bi-partisanship and reason, rather than yelling and screaming and gridlock and stalemate, and he will be greatly missed.

And with him being forced out of the Senate, and Maine Senator Olympia Snowe voluntarily leaving the Senate, the Republican Party in the Senate becomes a true disaster area, leaving who is left as easily the most disgraceful group under the party name that we have ever seen in American history, from the beginning of the history of the party in 1854!

The GOP was a party of reform in the Civil War-Reconstruction Era, in the Progressive Era, and in the post World War II period, at least in the Northeast and scattered cases elsewhere in the 1960s and 1970s.

The deterioration of the moderate and liberal Republicans began with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and now is complete!

And to try to understand why Lugar was defeated is enough to make one wonder about the ignorance and stupidity of the voters who defeated him in Indiana.

What were their reasons to defeat him?

He is too old, being 80–totally ridiculous, as Lugar was a spry 80, fully in charge of his physical and mental faculties, more than most Republican Senate colleagues, who have far less ability at their younger ages than Lugar has always had.

Lugar spent most of his time in Virginia, and hardly ever was in Indiana for residence purposes–ridiculous as doing his job requires a Senator to spend most of his time in the DC area. This is such a totally phony issue and excuse to defeat a Senator who devoted his life to his state’s betterment.

Lugar was from Indianapolis, and the rest of the state resented his urban background–preposterous excuse to defeat him, but not uncommon in many states that the rural areas of a state resent the urban areas. But the thought that “country yokels” resent urban areas, and educated, intelligent people is an example of the problem of this country, that the “Know Nothing” hillbillies resent anyone who actually has brains and talent, and instead want a “good old boy”!

Lugar had the gall to do bi-partisan things, even with Barack Obama, when he was in the Senate–idiotic as that is the only way to get things done effectively, and Lugar always used principle over politics in his judgments, and was far from a liberal, but an honest, decent conservative.

Lugar specialized in foreign policy, and many rural people in Indiana hate foreign governments and the outside world in general–another example of the dangers of these”rural folk” having the ability to keep themselves and their fellow citizens out of touch with the “real world” out there. This anti foreign attitude is much too prevalent all over the country, and endangers our future in a complex world.

So the question arises over what Richard Lugar will do in 2013. He could go home to retirement, but does not seem like the type to want to do that. He could become a professor with specialty in international relations, and many universities would grab at the possibility of employing this brilliant statesman. He could write his memoirs, which would be fascinating.

But also, imagine this! As a good friend, and at times, supporter of Barack Obama on some issues, and with their common work on trying to prevent the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons when Obama was in the Senate in 2005-2006, and with Hillary Clinton leaving the State Department next year, there will be a vacancy that Lugar could fill very well!

Would the Republicans in the Senate oppose their long time colleague, with 36 years of experience, much of it in foreign policy, similar to the experience in foreign policy issues of Vice President Joe Biden, if Lugar wished to serve Obama as Secretary of State?

The assumption is that they would back him if Obama was re-elected and asked Lugar to serve his nation in another distinguished way, as Secretary of State.

So Indiana’s loss could be America’s and Barack Obama’s gain in 2013, and Lugar would richly deserve such an opportunity!

Gloomy Future For Bi Partisanship In Congress

The best Congresses of the past were those that promoted bi partisan reforms and change, but that has become a casualty of recent times, and there is no sign that it will be returning anytime soon.

With the Citizens United Case of the Supreme Court two years ago encouraging SuperPacs that award those on the extreme left and extreme right with unlimited campaign funds, any mainstream moderate is likely to decide to quit Congress (as for instance Olympia Snowe and Ben Nelson), or to face a challenge for re-election as not extreme enough (as for instance Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar).

The latest possible casualty is Senator Lugar of Indiana, a mainstream conservative, but not extreme enough for Tea Party types. Lugar has served longer than any sitting Senator, and is now 80, and there is an argument that it is time to retire, but Lugar, with his expertise and wisdom on foreign policy, could be argued to be a national treasure who should stay on in the Senate for another term.

Lugar’s experience and knowledge would be valued in any other profession, no matter what his age, and yet the argument is that it is time for a change. It will, of course, be up to Indiana Republicans next week as to whether Lugar stays on, with Lugar having the endorsement of Governor Mitch Daniels and Arizona Senator John McCain.

The irony for the Republicans is that if they defeat Lugar, the likelihood of a Democrat winning the Senate seat vastly improves, so in many respects, they are committing suicide if they defeat a man regarded as one of the very best they have had in office in the past four decades.

But then, statesmanship is not in vogue these days, sadly!