98th Senate Bonus Fact

Related to the point below about the past being a different country in political terms, it seems that in the 98th Senate (serving from 1983-84) Richard Lugar was the 77th most conservative senator putting him in the rightwing half of the GOP caucus. In the 111th Senate he’s 69th and the overall size of the Republican caucus is much smaller, so he’s distinctly on the left side.

Moderate Democrats like Howell Heflin have been replaced with very conservative Republicans like Jeff Sessions, while the Robert Staffords has been replaced by Bernie Sanders.