Richard Lugar is a longtime senator from Indiana but hasn’t owned a home there since 1977. And it is this type of paradox, a political career’s worth, that has Sen. Luger in the conservative’s cross-hairs.
Sen. Lugar was born and raised in Indiana and graduated first in his class at Shortridge High School in 1950. He attended Denison University and went on to obtain a second Bachelors degree and a MA from Pembroke College, Oxford, England. He was also a Rhodes Scholar. He did a stint in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960 and achieved the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.
Back in Indiana, he served on the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners from 1964 to 1967. He was elected mayor of Indianapolis in 1967 at age 35, and served two terms. In 1976, he was elected to the Senate and has been serving Indiana since. This feat makes him the longest-serving Senator in Indiana’s history. TheIndyChannel.com reported in March of 2009, Luger holds a 98% attendance record.
If we stopped here, we see a man that has met with success. It’s a nice resume. But the current political environment demands we look further into our representatives’ voting records, and it is here, the paradoxes of Richard Lugar begin to accumulate.
Lugar loves pork, so much in fact, he voted against the Republican majority for a permanent ban on earmarks in 2012. He also voted for the Wall Street Bailout. And the Auto bailout. He has voted to raise the gas tax and he voted for the tax hike in 1990 under George H. W. Bush. Incredibly, he also voted for Cap and Trade, and the ethanol mandate. But there’s more.
DailyKos.com reported on April 9, 2012, Senator Lugar has an F rating from the NRA. He also has an F rating from Gun Owners of America. He is a longtime supporter of the DREAM Act, and even introduced his own version (S. 2205) in 2007. Clearly, this is not the type of voting record that earns one a nomination into the conservative hall of fame.
A final factor to consider is Lugar’s relationship with Obama, perhaps started during their visit to Russia in August, 2005. Lugar is on record praising Obama and his foreign policy in a speech at the National Defense University and Lugar was named an honorary co-chairman of the Obama-Biden inauguration. Many conservatives feel the relationship is a bit too chummy.
So now we know the real Sen. Richard Lugar. He represents Indiana but stays in hotels when he returns “home” to his Indiana constituency, because he hasn’t owned a house there for thirty years. He is a political porker and has no problem spending obscene amounts of money. Nor does he have a problem raising taxes to do so. He doesn’t like guns, he supports amnesty for illegals and plays in the sand box with pals like Obama and Biden. He is a member of that group of politicians that hide behind the label “moderate” (see my piece The Moderate Illusion) in hopes of being able to eat from both plates. Their objective is to perpetuate their careers, not perpetuate America. And that is why he is in the conservative cross-hairs. The RINO hunt is on.
Can the conservative movement really take down a six-term incumbent? Many think it’s a long shot. But polls show the primary race between Lugar and Richard Mourdock, the conservative challenger, is much closer than expected. Will Lugar survive? Or has the time come for this RINO to be put down. On May 8, the Indiana voters will let us know their decision.