But you know who else is a moderate? New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who's pro-choice, among other things. But Christie enjoys yelling at people, particularly teachers, and generally acts like a jerk when the cameras are on (granting that in private, Christie might be just the sweetest guy in the world). That has made him a hero to the right.Perhaps. But Scott Brown was a hero to the right last year, and he was a moderate as a state legislator and has turned out to be a moderate as a Senator -- and as far as I know, he's never yelled at anyone. He certainly has more of a nice guy than a tough guy image. What Brown and Christie have in common is winning in Democratic states, along with being new on the scene. My guess is that Christie's act wouldn't get him very far in national politics, at least unless he adopted the issue positions he would need at that level.
I really don't think there's any need to look to hard for reasons for Lugar's trouble. He's a traditional 1970s, Reagan-style conservative in a 21st century party that isn't very keen on international treaties and organizations and has little tolerance for any ideological divergence at all -- Lugar voted for Barack Obama's judicial appointments, for TARP, and has some other "bad" votes to defend. And for whatever reason, Lugar has chosen not to grovel to the Tea Partiers.
I still think Lugar would be better off switching parties if he wants to remain in office.