With 24 hours to go, it seems imminent that Indiana Senator Richard Lugar is about to lose his Republican primary for a seventh term to a Tea Party right wing extremist.
If this happens, as expected, it will be a true tragedy not only for Lugar, but also for Indiana, and for the wish for bipartisanship and principle in the US Senate.
Lugar has been in the Senate for 36 years, after serving as Mayor of Indianapolis, and while he is a strong conservative, he has never resorted to reckless statements or crazy viewpoints, always keeping his dignity and image as a person willing to cross the aisle and work with opposition Democrats.
The fact that he cooperated with a new Senator, Barack Obama, in 2005-2006, on working to avoid the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons on a world wide basis, now is being held against him.
The fact that he has occasionally supported the President on a few issues, not many, was enough to make people angry in his right wing Republican state.
The National Rifle Association is against him; Lugar has supported the DREAM Act on immigration; and he supported the two Supreme Court nominees of Barack Obama.
Lugar was twice Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and twice Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and if the Republicans won the Senate in 2012 and Lugar won, he would be Senate President Pro Tempore, third in line of succession to be President of the United States.
Of course, Lugar’s age, 80, could be used against him, but he is a very vigorous, energetic 80, and is seen by many as a brilliant statesman in his major area of interest, foreign policy.
But the GOP of 2012 is sadly controlled too much by the Tea Party and other right wingers, and the only good thing that might come out of a defeat of Richard Lugar is the takeover of the seat by a Democrat, Congressman Joe Donnelly, which would give his party a chance at keeping the Senate majority, a much endangered majority!