What to Expect From the New Congress

By:  Thomas R. Eddlem
11/26/2012
       
What to Expect From the New Congress

The party numbers are pretty much the same, but the congressional Democrats are far more liberal, and the Republicans are much closer to traditional constitutionalism.

The election results were not even finished being tallied by the time the left-wing, establishment media began telling constitutionalist Republicans that the path to electoral success was to sell out their principles before the next election, call themselves “moderates,” and adopt every aspect of the far-left Democratic political agenda. Though Mitt Romney had no discernible difference on principles from Barack Obama and his national healthcare program, that didn’t stop the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen from sermonizing on election night about how the Republican Party lost because Romney “pandered” by “appealing to evangelicals and other cultural conservatives.” The only way the GOP can avoid another defeat in a presidential race, Cohen counseled, is to knuckle under: “About $2 billion was spent on the 2012 race, more than half of it, certainly, on Romney. The GOP would do itself — and the nation — a favor if the fat cats who put up this money started backing moderates and rebuilding the party.”

Cohen’s remarks fit perfectly with the mainstream media complaints about continuing partisanship in Washington that can be saved by Republican “moderates” who enact the big government agenda by “working together.” But the old-time, bipartisan cooperation and an end to partisanship is not in the cards for the upcoming Congress, any more than “moderation” is the electoral victory path for Republicans.

“Moderates” Swept From Office

Cohen claimed being more liberal is the path to electoral victory for Republicans, but the November congressional election results actually provided evidence to the contrary. Of the 13 House Republican incumbents ousted in the November vote, their average rating in The New American’s Freedom Index was less than 65 percent, significantly more liberal than the average House Republican. And the only incumbent Republican Senator who lost in November was Massachusetts’ Scott Brown, whose anemic 28 percent Freedom Index score was by far the most liberal of any Republican Senator. Republicans also lost some “moderates” in the primaries, including Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana (Freedom Index score: 58 percent) who lost to Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock (who lost in the general election), and to retirement, such as Maine’s Olympia Snowe (Freedom Index score: 56 percent).

One would think that if the Republican Party were too conservative for general election voters, the most conservative candidates would bite the electoral dust first. Yet in case after case, voters often favored Republican candidates who were more ideologically constitutionalist — or Democrats who were even more stridently leftist.

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