The petty arguments thrown about in Indiana's U.S. Senate race are annoying distractions from the real issues in this campaign.
U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar's residency should not be an issue, particularly when he still has the family farm in Marion County. Lugar travels the world, making the world safe for not just Hoosiers, but Americans in general. His work in securing weapons of mass destruction — nuclear warheads, but also viruses and other agents that could be used for biological warfare or other man-made disaster — must continue.
The Nunn-Lugar threat reduction effort speaks to the seriousness of issues facing the nation and why Indiana, and indeed the nation, needs senators like Lugar who have the gravitas to deal with them.
Lugar has addressed other serious and major issues as well — including the federal spending that causes his opponent, Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, to weep.
The supercommittee that was to address federal spending "crashed and burned," as Lugar aptly put it, so the hammer of the legislation that created that committee is about to fall -- the sequestration of federal funding to start bringing federal spending under control.
"You'd better figure out now where you're going to make your cuts, if you're going to be responsible," Lugar said.
So Lugar is promoting a farm bill that reduces federal agriculture spending by $40 billion.
Accomplishing that effort, like reducing the stockpile of weapons of mass destruction that could be used against the U.S., requires a bipartisan approach, something Lugar has mastered.
Congress is divided, just as the American people are divided. Mourdock is a far right Tea Party candidate, which makes the more moderate Lugar appear to be farther to the left of the political spectrum than he really is. Lugar is conservative, a true Republican.
Unlike Lugar, who realizes the value of compromise, Mourdock has taken a more abrasive tone. It is hard to reach across the aisle when you're as far from the middle as the ultraconservative Mourdock is. Throwing brickbats at the other party doesn't build bridges, either.
A vote for Mourdock is a vote for continued gridlock in Congress. Anyone who has hopes that Congress can become functional again will vote for Lugar.
Lugar has done an admirable job of representing both Hoosier and national interests in the U.S. Senate for 35 years. His experience in handling major national and international issues should not be ignored.
Lugar's bipartisan efforts to accomplish his goals have helped him become one of the nation's top statesmen, and not just in Congress. Lugar is the clear choice in this primary election.
We endorse Lugar.