It says a lot about the state of our politics that people who would have reviled Dick Lugar as a wild-eyed extremist have gone into prospective mourning over his apparently inevitable defeat in next Tuesday's primary. Count me among them: however grudgingly I've come to recognize Lugar as representing a standard of purposeful integrity that is almost Quixotic.
That said, I'd have to say I can't really blame the voters of Indiana for wanting to get rid of him. He came in with Jimmy Carter, for heavens' sakes. And I've no doubt his enemies are right when they say he spends more time cooling his heels in the departure lounge at Perm than he has kicking back a few brews with the boys at the Legion hall in Terre Haute. And didn't Plutarch tell us that the Athenians banished Aristides because they were tired of hearing him called "the just?"
Fn: I didn't know it until I scanned his record for this piece, but it appears that by the standards of the Republican party of today, Lugar can be ranked as positively bomb-throwing. He's squishy on abortion and gay rights, close to liberal on immigration and Cuban sanctions. And he gets an F from the NRA. Ironically, I suppose quite a few Republicans would have embraced such a record in 1976. Like I said, times change.