05 February 2021

Former Senator John Danforth (R-Missouri) offers his assessment of the current Republican Party

"... the Republican Party today is not just different from what it had been.  It's the opposite, in many ways, of what it had been.  America needs a strong, responsible, conservative party.  That has been the Republican Party.  It is neither strong, nor responsible, nor conservative today..."


  1. I swear I made a similar comment about this 4 years ago.

    The presidency is not the party. Republicans saw solid gains downballot, not to mention the fact that Trump received an additional 10 million votes over 2016, including gains with minorities. Nothing about Trump has repudiated the policy differences between Democrats and Republicans, and state level elections still trend red for the most part. GA was a failure of party organization, not ideas. Nothing about the Biden administration so far has changed my mind about him, and I see no reason not to continue to vote Republican.

    You can only point to Trump and the capitol riots for so long. Dems own the country for now, and need to understand that their victory was not anything close to resounding.

    1. Agreed: "the presidency is not the party"
      Disagree: "Dems own the country for now" - there is no ownership there.
      Agreed: "their victory was not anything close to resounding"

      But the point made by Danforth (and something I have been saying for years) is that the Republican party is fragmenting, perhaps irrevocably. The Democrats are also divided between center-left and far-left, but not with as large an ideological gap.

      "Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer
      Things fall apart; the center cannot hold..."

      Yeats' next line may or may not be predictive.

  2. "Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,..."

    And these lines are too close to the truth:

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity."

  3. "America needs a strong, responsible, conservative party."

    Um, no it doesn't.

    This phrase absolutely drives me up a wall! It's always thrown out there as some sort of self-evident truism, with no sort of defense whatsoever. Why, exactly, do we need a "strong, responsible" conservative party? What does it do for us? I mean, at all?

    All these supposedly "responsible" conservatives have done for over a century is stand in the way of even the most incremental progress. They stood up for the plutocracy during the Gilded Age, tried to block the New Deal (and subsequently mostly dismantled it), supported white separatism in the South, opposed every expansion of the social safety net from Social Security to Medicare to the ACA, reduced taxes for billionaires, crushed unions, handed a blank check to the military industrial complex, slashed regulations for banks and big finance, defended the IRS; I could go on endlessly.

    How, exactly, do any of these things help anyone outside the top One Percent? What is a single, solitary thing that these "strong, responsible conservatives" have done since the Republic was founded that has made the lives of average Americans any better outside of their wealthy backers? Why do we supposedly "need" a party that does all of these things?

    We don't.

    And this is not new, or something they've done since Trump--this was the agenda of the "responsible" conservatives since Ronald Reagan and before. And since Reagan, they've been able to enact nearly 100 percent of their agenda, and they won't stop until the rich have it all and the working classes are reduced to penury. Why, exactly, is that so "necessary?"

    No, we don't need a responsible conservative party. We don't need a conservative party at all. We would all be better off if it didn't exist. I suppose if the Left in America were comprised of revolutionary Marxist-Leninists or something like that, then you could reasonably make that case. But we are so far away from that as for it to be a joke. We're the most right-leaning industrialized nation in the world, and have always been so--just take a look at history. There is absolutely zero chance we're ever going to move "too far" to the Left. Not here, not in America. As Gore Vidal noted, the Democrats are "the second most enthusiastic capitalist party in the world." No, the real challenge facing us is standing up to the plutocrats, and "strong, responsible conservatives" will do everything in their power to stop that from happening, just like they always have.

    I would argue that we already have a "responsible" conservative party. They're called the Democrats. The Democrats are indistinguishable from what the Republican Party was from Eisenhower through Nixon.

    What America really needs is a strong Leftist Party. One that represents the interests of the bottom 80 percent of us who work for a living and aren't millionaires or billionaires. We currently don't have that. It's not the Democrats and it's sure as heck not the so-called "strong, responsible conservative party," that we supposedly "need" for some unexplained reason, even one purged of Trumpist authoritarianism and reactionary John Bircher paranoia.

    So, I'm sorry, but I don't think we don't "need" a "strong, responsible conservative party," for any reason whatsoever that I can see. I'm so sick and tired of hearing this brain-dead platitude.

    Sorry for the rant.


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