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In response to the GOP-led madness in Washington D.C., Steve Benen asks an interesting question:

… where are the “sane Republicans” willing to “stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst”? Where are Bob Dole and John Warner? Why can’t John Danforth and Colin Powell express their disapproval for what their party is doing? Maybe some of Reagan’s old guard, like Ken Duberstein, could speak up? […]

We’re not talking about GOP officials taking a hard line on some random piece of legislation, or nominating some radical for a key public office. We’re talking about congressional Republicans who’ve decided to play a game of chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States – something no American institution has ever done in more than two centuries – and who are fully prepared to trash the constitutional principle next week as part of a hostage strategy gone horribly awry?

Made me think about the silence of Missouri’s “respectable” GOP establishment in regard to the Tea Party debt ceiling shenanigans. (N.B. “Respectable” as I use it here means there is some sense that the person is at least minimally rational and occasionally sincere. Consequently the Tea Party representatives are excluded.)

Let’s start with Danforth since Benen called him out by name. If you will remember, this is the elder GOP statesman who felt impelled to hold his nose and endorse Tea Party trickster Ed Martin in the last congressional election – so I guess there’s  probably no point looking for integrity from this particular quarter.

Compared to wheeler-dealers like Martin, his opponent in the 2nd district congressional race, Ann Wagner, seems to have some slight sheen of respectability left. But notice how she has rushed to grovel before one of the main instigators of the madness, Grover Norquist?

Don’t even bother to bring up the recently retired Kit Bond.  Not only was he in high pander mode before he retired, most of his pronouncements were so sclerotic that it was hard to take them seriously even when one sensed he was trying to do the right thing. He actually proposed using the debt ceiling to secure budget cuts last April. Hope he likes the mess he’s helped to create.

Roy Blunt? The guy’s sane – and he’s on the record for raising the debt ceiling. He’s also on record for not raising it unless we get insane cuts at a time when the economy is at risk from just such a retraction of federal spending.  So far, when Roy walks a thin line, he’s far more apt to stumble down on the side of a Tea Party pander than common sense. The only hope Blunt offers is that he’s so in hock to his pet “job creators” that he’ll do their bidding in financial matters when push comes to shove.

Who else in Missouri can speak for the traditional GOP establishment? Anyone? What are the odds that any of them have more backbone than the quartet above? Surely there are some Missouri GOPers who put the welfare of the country above the welfare of the party, who will be willing to stand up to the brain-dead morons that the Tea Party sent to Washington?

*Fourth paragraph slightly edited for clarity.