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.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More