In our neighboring state to the west, Indiana voters have decided that Senator Richard Lugar has served long enough. The networks are calling his primary race and have concluded that he will lose to fellow Republican Richard Mourdock.
I don’t blame Indiana voters for giving the 80-year-old Lugar the boot. He has served in the Senate for 36 years — six terms in all — which means he has been in the Senate since Jimmy Carter was President and I was in college. Can anyone identify any great legislative accomplishments or extraordinary statesmanlike achievements by Lugar during that 36-year period? I’d say he has served long enough.
I’m not sure that term limits are the answer, but I see no value in having legislators serve in Congress for more than a third of a century. They inevitably focus more on what people are saying in Washington, D.C. than what their constituents are saying back home. In Lugar’s case, he hadn’t even lived in Indiana since 1977. How could he possibly reflect the views and values of Indiana voters under such circumstances?
Lugar’s loss my just be another sign of a strong anti-incumbent mood in the heartland this election year. American voters seem to be fed up with career politicians who have sat ineffectively by while the country has moved off on the wrong track. When that happens, the logical recourse is to throw the bums out.