Honestly: how does former Senator John Danforth reconcile (a) his stated belief that allegedly moderate Republicans should take on the extreme elements of their party with (b) his endorsement of Ed Martin, a man whose politics are everything that Danforth claims to loathe.
First, let's recall how Danforth presents himself to the public as a moderate Republican. From a 2006 profile in the Washington Post.
'ST. JACK' AND THE BULLIES IN THE PULPIT
John Danforth Says It's Time the GOP Center Took On The Christian Right
Jack Danforth wishes the Republican right would step down from its pulpit. Instead, he sees a constant flow of religion into national politics. And not just any religion, either, but the us-versus-them, my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God, velvet-fist variety of Christian evangelism...
"The Republican Party has been taken over by something that it's not," Danforth says over a suitably austere lunch of steamed vegetables in a well-appointed 40th-floor St. Louis club overlooking the Mississippi. "How do traditional Republicans put up with this? They put up with this because it's a winning combination, for now. It won't last."
That is the question, isn't it, Senator? "How do traditional Republicans put up with" an extreme, unethical, serial liar like Ed Martin? Especially in a race that even Republican pollsters say Martin won't win. It's not even a "winning combination" here.
Just this summer, Martin told local right-wing radio listeners that Barack Obama and Russ Carnahan are "taking away that freedom. The freedom -- the ultimate freedom, to find your salvation, to get your salvation." He told supporters of his anti-stem cell campaign last year that SOS Robin Carnahan is "the devil" who "doesn't need to be honest, doesn't want to be honest." Martin "orchestrated a taxpayer-funded character assassination unlike anything ever seen before in Missouri government." Is this the kind of record a mainline Episcopal priest typically endorses?
Martin has shamelessly told voters that Democrats want to kill old people with the new health care reform law, and has lied about how the law will impact abortion policy. Is Danforth down with candidates who lie like this?
The Senator also says he doesn't like the way Republicans have used same-sex marriage as a wedge issue. So then what does he say when Ed Martin dishonestly 'translates' an answer about federal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy into a shot about gay marriage?
I could go on, but I think the point is made. If Danforth wants to be thought of as a moderate Republican, he should act like one. But in sweeping Martin's garbage under the rug and endorsing him without comment on the lie and outrageous claims of Martin's campaign, he's made himself complicit in the extremism he claims to deplore.
Image credit: Ed Martin for Congress