Former Republican Senator and immediate past United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth on what Republicanism used to be about:
During the 18 years I served in the Senate, Republicans often disagreed with each other. But there was much that held us together. We believed in limited government, in keeping light the burden of taxation and regulation. We encouraged the private sector, so that a free economy might thrive. We believed that judges should interpret the law, not legislate. We were internationalists who supported an engaged foreign policy, a strong national defense and free trade. These were principles shared by virtually all Republicans.
But in recent times, we Republicans have allowed this shared agenda to become secondary to the agenda of Christian conservatives. As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around.
Again: “We were internationalists who supported an engaged foreign policy, a strong national defense and free trade.”
Danforth’s piece is a dramatic rebuke to the zealots at the helm of the Republican wheel today.
John Bolton is just a symptom of a larger problem which Danforth highlights — but progressives and moderates need to know that they can win these battles. But one has to start somewhere — and John Bolton’s candidacy is the right issue on which to push back.
— Steve Clemons