The GOP was not only a pachyderm but a power. Everywhere west of Manhattan’s PM and the New York Post, more and more of the US was becoming Republicanland. In the Solid South, hatred of the New Deal was bitterer than anywhere else. In 26 states Republican governors administered the affairs of 66% of the American people. Since 1938 more & more citizens in 38 states had consistently voted Republican.
The Republican party…. had less than five months to pull itself together.
What made the Party crisis important not only to politicians but to plain people was the deepening need for leadership in the land. The President’s leadership had been repudiated again & again by Congress, and the people’s only answer to complaints from the White House about Congress was to send more & more Republicans to Congress, to repudiate that leadership further.
This search for leadership was just as deep in Congress itself. … These, the very men supposed to generate leadership, were leaderless. The spectacle of Congress thrashing about was a significant index to the national need.
One plain evidence of the need was the abnormal national interest, nine months before Election day, in the doings and movements of politicians.
Time, Feb 14, 1944, p. 18