Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana was defeated soundly by a Tea Party-backed candidate in the Repub state primary yesterday. This is most unfortunate for the Country --- especially if the Repubs are able to hold Lugar's Senate seat in November.
Senator Lugar was one of those "lost breed" Repubs who, while solidly right of center on political issues, still saw it in the Country's best interests to negotiate and reach some middle-road agreement with Dems from time to time in order to address the significant problems confronting our Nation.
With the defeat of Senator Lugar, the Repubs have moved closer to being the extremist party for which "principle" (aka, myopic stubbornness) outweighs "economic patriotism" (which I'll define for this limited purpose as the willingness for Repubs and Dems to compromise on critical issues in order to advance the Country's economic standing in the global economy and advance our on-going, but weak economic recovery --- in other words, for Repubs to be the "loyalist opposition").
And, if the trend continues that the Repubs move closer to the extremist right, we're all in danger of falling off that conservative cliff --- and it won't be pretty ...
UPDATE - 12:23 PM ---
Here's an excerpt about Lugar from an article in today's The National Journal by Matthew Cooper:
"But he had a style that could only be called senatorial. He raised the debt ceiling, voted for omnibus legislation, worked well with colleagues and had a courtly manner that was more PBS than Drudge. Famously, he was Richard Nixon's favorite mayor but the thing to know is that by being mayor--having to make sure the cops were paid and the trash got taken out--he had to be more pragmatic than a lifetime legislator. When he got to the Senate in 1977, as Nicholas Reindl noted, there were three members who had been born in the 19th century and had voted on Social Security. Lugar was a link to a different time, not a golden age of bipartisanship, but at least one where filibusters were for break-glass-in-case-of-emergency moments and shutdowns were not a handy tool."