I am going to say exactly what I mean in there today. For twenty years, I watched the Republicans in Congress as though they had no function, no mandate, no capacity, to do anything more than constantly bite at Roosevelt and Truman. A party leader who can only say ‘no’ is no kind of party leader at all, in my book. Twenty years of screaming at Roosevelt and Truman got the Republicans this: the loss of power for twenty years and a reputation in the country for being only nay-sayers. I don’t believe that the sole duty of an opposition is just to oppose; I believe the United States Senate has a duty to have its own programs, too. Now that the Republicans at last are in the White House, I am not only interested in running a party that can only attack Eisenhower.
— Lyndon B. Johnson, on his vision for his role upon his election as the Democratic floor leader in the U.S. Senate, January 3, 1953.