In light of yesterdayâs defeat for Lugar, denied the Republican nomination for his Indiana Senate seat by a 60 percent to 40 percent landslide, ThinkProgress contacted to Senator Danforth to ask him his reaction to the news:
THINKPROGRESS: What do you think is happening here?
DANFORTH: An effort by some, and apparently a large number, 60% in Indiana, to purge the Republican Party and to create something thatâs ideologically pure and intolerant of anybody who does not agree with them â not just on general principles, but right across the board.
THINKPROGRESS: Do you stand by your view that GOP is beyond hope?
DANFORTH: If this trend succeeds, yeah. What they will be left with, if indeed they want to purge the party of all but people who have a particular ideological slantâŚ itâs not a way to win elections, itâs not political sustainable. It might make them feel good for a time but doesnât work, it hasnât worked. It didnât work in Nevada or in Delaware in last election. They won nominations but couldnât win elections. I donât know how you win elections without getting 51% of the vote. I donât see how youâre gonna get 51% of the vote if you make it clear that people in your own party, who donât absolutely agree with everything you want to do, arenât wanted.
Now that the Republican Party that has cast out Lugar, who he noted is not âsome kind of liberalâ but a âvery conservative person,â Danforth warned, âYouâre gonna be left with a party that is very pure and increasingly inconsequential. And a political system that is increasingly unable to get off the dime.