By Scott Tibbs, November 26, 2013
When former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it was something that I believe he richly deserved. Despite my philosophical differences with Lugar, his accomplishments as a senator - especially in the area of foreign policy - are worthy of praise and adoration. It's too bad that the Herald-Times could not honor Lugar without being childish and petty.
The H-T editorial board whined that Lugar was well respected by both Republicans and Democrats, "with the exception of the tea party wing of his own party who beat him in a primary election." It was not only petty, it is not true. Many of the people who worked against Lugar in that primary - including the candidate who defeated him - have a great deal of respect for his accomplishments.
Couldn't the Herald-Times use the space they used to whine about Lugar's 2012 loss to tout Lugar's efforts on nuclear nonproliferation? Even more importantly, Lugar's efforts to secure the nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union were a huge benefit to world security and likely kept those weapons out of the hands of terrorists. They just could not do that, and that speaks volumes about the maturity of the H-T editorial board.
The fact of the matter is that Lugar lost an election. The voters of Indiana chose Lugar's opponent by a margin of 400,321 to 261,285 - an astonishingly firm rejection of an incumbent Senator who had been in office since 1977. There had been an undercurrent of frustration with Lugar among the conservative base that preceded the Tea Party movement by fifteen years to the 1990's, when Lugar voted for the assault weapons ban and the Brady Law in addition to President Clinton's far-Left nominees for the Supreme Court.
It's long past time for Lugar supporters to get over it and move on.