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Richard Lugar: Not a Tea Partier, but not a moderate, either

By Ezra Klein,

Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of a new book on the fall of the Republican Party’s moderate wing, doesn’t think Richard Lugar deserved his reputation as a centrist:

Angry as the Tea Party became with him, Lugar had also been disowned by the moderate faction of which he was once a part. Indeed, the Senate’s dwindling number of Republican moderates expressed more frustration with Lugar than with any other colleague because they felt that too often he sided against them despite his better judgment. Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee, a liberal Republican, was convinced that it galled Lugar to witness George W. Bush and Richard Cheney undoing decades of bipartisan achievements in international relations. Yet “time and again,” Chafee wrote in his book Against the Tide, “Senator Lugar showed an unwillingness to fight with the White House over the direction of our foreign policy.”

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