Brief Note on Dick Lugar

I’ve said this again and again, but the notion that Richard Mourdock and Dan Liljenquist are deranged ideologues while Dick Lugar and Orrin Hatch are paragons of virtue is flatly absurd. Liljenquist is one of the most impressive elected officials in the country. He is, in my view, the model of the kind of legislator we want in a “safe seat” — i.e., the kind of person who will invest in building expertise, in crafting ambitious and durable reforms, etc. Mourdock hasn’t proven himself to the same extent, but he is well within Indiana’s ideological mainstream.

Regardless, I keep reading about Lugar as a noble statesman, etc., for having backed a number of sensible foreign policy measures since he first entered the U.S. Senate in … 1977. Though I don’t support formal term limits, it seems entirely reasonable that Indiana Republicans decided that Lugar had served long enough.

Finally, I think that some of Lugar’s non-Republican admirers should note his support for replacing the progressive income tax with a national tax on retail sales

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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