Indiana Senator Dick Lugar was known as a foreign policy expert, and always seemed like a fairly dignified guy to me; he was my Senator for the two years I spent in Indiana. I voted against him, but didn’t hate him.
And I fully expect that along with George Voinovich and Gordon Smith before them, Lugar will be praised for his independence and statesmanship for finally calling for a “drawdown” in troops — not exactly a full exit, but close. Indeed, Harry Reid called his remarks “courageous”.
I understand Reid’s intent and obligation to say so, but … this is just too damn late. We needed these guys to be statesmen in 2002 — and throughout the last five years, not just expressing “quiet skepticism” and rubber-stamping the administration’s incompetence with their votes. This isn’t courage. It isn’t good judgment. It’s impossible to disentangle the undeniable truth of Lugar’s “bleak assessment” from the fact that the vast majority of Americans already reached this decision — without our Senate “experts” having to tell them. If he’s the expert, he’s supposed to be smarter than the rest of us. If he has good judgment, he’s supposed to share it with our leaders. If he’s courageous, he’s supposed to lead.
PS: Should Susan Collins get a free pass, too? Do you trust her judgment and leadership?