Ex-lawmakers launch ‘Our Republican Legacy’ initiative to facilitate ‘comeback’

Former Republican Sens. John Danforth (Mo.), William Cohen (Maine) and Alan Simpson (Wyo.) announced on Tuesday that they are launching a new organization, “Our Republican Legacy,” to facilitate a “comeback” of the traditional principles of their party.

“Recently it has become popular to assert that this traditional brand of Republicanism is dead, replaced by a new populist, radical version,” the GOP lawmakers wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post on Tuesday.

“We disagree,” they continued. “In our view, traditional Republicanism, though currently in eclipse, is no more extinct than the sun was over portions of the country on April 8. And all of us who believe in it must do what we can to ensure its expeditious return.”

The lawmakers said they “are not leaving the party, but instead forming a new organization within it.”

The group will not be a lobbying organization or a political action committee, they said, but instead will serve as a digital information hub, providing news and commentary as well as ideas about strategy and tactics.

The lawmakers also said they would not publicly endorse a candidate in 2024, hoping the organization extends beyond this next election.

The group instead would rest on five foundational principles, the lawmakers said, that they hope will soon once again be accepted across GOP members: Constitution, Union, Fiscal responsibility, Free enterprise, Peace through strength.

“Our allegiance to the Constitution includes acceptance of the vote of the people, obedience to the decisions of our courts and support for the peaceful transfer of power,” the Republican senators wrote, describing the first principle – Constitution.

They also described the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol as “one of the darkest days in U.S. history.”

The second principle, union, invokes President Lincoln’s philosophy that while people come from different backgrounds, “we are one people.” The principle rejects “divisive tactics” on both sides that exploit grievance and rage.

On fiscal responsibility, the lawmakers blamed both parties for “abandoning that responsibility.” They also recommitted to free enterprise, supporting the private sector over government interventions, including on high protective tariffs.

The final principle – peace through strength – asserts that the world depends on a strong United States that stands against Russian aggression and against hostile regimes, while supporting allies abroad.

“In short, this group will be a catalyst for a movement to reassert traditional Republicanism against the populist version it has become under Donald Trump,” they wrote.

“This is something new,” they continued. “Many Republicans have given up on trying to winch their party out the populist ditch. National resistance has been missing. Our Republican Legacy will provide that resistance and do so with credible leadership and sufficient funding and will continue as a force well beyond the November election.”

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