Former Republican Senator Hagel Says Reagan Would Not Identify With Modern GOP Last week, former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) told ThinkProgress that his party was becoming increasingly inconsequential and intolerant following the defeat of veteran Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN). Now, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has also taken aim at his party for its ideological extremism. Hagel who served two terms in the Senate, between 1997 and 2009 told Foreign Policy magazine on Friday that the Republican Party is in the hands of the right, I would say the extreme right, more than ever before. He observed: Reagan wouldnt identify with this party. Theres a streak of intolerance in the Republican Party today that scares people. Intolerance is a very dangerous thing in a society because it always leads to a tragic ending. Ronald Reagan was never driven by ideology. He was a conservative but he was a practical conservative. He wanted limited government but he used government and he used it many times. And he would work with the other party. Now the Republican Party is in the hands of the right, I would say the extreme right, more than ever before. Youve got a Republican Party that is having difficulty facing up to the fact that if you look at what happened during the first 8 years of the century, it was under Republican direction. The Republican Party is dealing with this schizophrenia. It was the Republican leadership that got us into this mess. If Nixon or Eisenhower were alive today, they would be run out of the party.