John Danforth has repeatedly expressed his desire for bipartisan compromise in Washington. In a new piece for Politico, he writes:
Compromise, the capacity to work out our differences, is the essential element of workable politics. Compromise was made essential by the framers of our Constitution who created a system of checks and balances so that each side of an issue is unlikely to get everything it wants. In today’s world, when the extremes demand pure ideology, compromise is difficult without rebuilding the center.
Danforth has a history of being a voice for the ever-diminishing moderate center of the Republican Party. This is a good thing. But despite his talk about finding politicians willing to work on finding common ground, he has thrown his support behind some of the most divisive candidates Missouri has to offer.
Take Ed Martin for instance. Danforth supported him in his 2010 Congressional race. Ed likes to call elected officials "the devil" and thinks Barack Obama wants to keep people from being saved by Jesus Christ. And he really likes to suggest that if government gets control of health care, bureaucrats will start killing old people.
Senator Danforth has also thrown his support behind Peter Kinder. Lost in the recent Kinder-related drama is the fact that Peter Kinder is an extremist. (Unless most Missourians agree that there is "great prevalence of virulent anti-Semitism from the Left" and an"astonishing explosion of lefty Jew hatred." Not to mention that he also thinks government provided heath care would lead to bureaucrats using death panels to decide who lives and dies.)
The bottom line is Danforth's words would mean even more if he supported candidates and elected officials that actually valued compromise and common ground over enflamed rhetoric and extremism.