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Reuters Sobs: House Is Listening To Constituents

From Reuters:

Analysis: For House Republicans, confrontation is safer than compromise

By Andy Sullivan | September 30, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For most Republicans in the House of Representatives, the only greater peril than shutting down the federal government would have been fighting to keep it open.

In other words, these Representatives are doing what their constituents want. What they sent them to Washington to do. They aren’t trying to please ‘their betters’ at Reuters and the rest of the news media. How horrible!

While a shutdown could hurt the Republican Party’s ability to win the Senate next year or take the White House in 2016, that’s not the concern of party members in the House, who led the push to pair continued government funding with measures that would delay President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

"There’s a large cohort of members here who don’t feel themselves harmed by a bad brand name for the party," said Sarah Binder, an expert on Congress at the Brookings Institution.

Because giving the people what they want (like a delay on the individual mandate) is terrible for the Republican ‘brand.’

Instead, the peril comes from being seen as too flexible. Republicans won control of the House in 2010 with help from the grassroots Tea Party movement, which combines strident conservatism with a mistrust of Washington dealmaking.

What is particularly ‘strident’ about trying to rein in government spending? Or trying to limit government intrusion in our lives?

The standing of the movement in public opinion polls has declined somewhat since then, according to a recent nationwide Gallup poll.

Gee, why would that be? (Even if it is true, and it probably isn’t.)

Tea Party lawmakers don’t run for office nationally, but in districts where they are more secure than ever in their jobs, thanks to careful redistricting after the 2010 census and increased polarization among voters.

Note to Reuters: Nobody runs for office nationally, except candidates for the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. And, in fact, there were several Tea Party candidates in the Republican primary.

The Cook Political Report, a Washington tipsheet, estimates that 205 of the chamber’s 232 Republicans can count on a safe re-election race a year from now. Only 11 Republican seats are viewed as competitive.

And, boy, does Reuters and the rest of the news media hate that. But for some reason we never hear about all of the ‘safe’ Democrats seats. Like Charlie Rangel’s.

With little pressure to court centrist voters, Tea Party-aligned Republicans face greater pressure to show conservative activists that they are staying true to their ideological roots than working to keep the government operating effectively.

And by "operating effectively," Reuters means ignoring the will of the people as expressed in countless polls. 

Thus it may be easier to allow the government to run out of money rather than face accusations that they did not fight hard enough against Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

"They’re in a much better position when they go home and explain a ‘no’ vote that they cast as a protest vote against the White House than a ‘yes’ vote where they have to explain what they voted for," said Kevin Madden, a former Republican House leadership aide…

Actually, Mr. Madden, that is why they are called ‘Representatives’ — you can look it up.

As House Republicans worry more about a challenge to their right flank than defeat from a Democratic challenger back home, they push their party farther from the mainstream even as their own seats remain secure.

That could complicate the party’s efforts to appeal to a greater cross-section of American voters nationally after two successive presidential defeats, veteran Republicans say…

And yet we have just been told that the country as a whole is more conservative than it has been since 1952. And that the Republican base itself is very much conservative right now. Heck, we were even told yesterday that the Republicans are more popular than ever with the precious Independents.

So clearly it’s the news media’s job to convince the Republican Party to change course, PDQ. Before they do something crazy like win big in the 2014 midterms.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Reuters Sobs: House Is Listening To Constituents”

  1. Roto-Reuter toiling in their native habitat again … the sewers of journalistic malfeasance ..


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