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Sunday, January 14, 2007

GOP Members Not Towing the Party Line

Republicans in the House are finally free to vote as their constituents would trust them to vote and not as a hardline party member. The days of Tom DeLay forcing all members of the party to vote as he pleased are hopefully long gone. This past election proved to the House members that your national party is not going to get you re-elected, the people in your district will. Piss the people off enough and you can pretty much kiss your comfortable public servant job in the House goodbye.

House GOP Shows Its Fractiousness In the Minority
By Jonathan Weisman

House Republican leaders, who confidently predicted they would drive a wedge through the new Democratic majority, have found their own party splintering, with Republican lawmakers siding with Democrats in droves on the House's opening legislative blitz.

Freed from the pressures of being the majority and from the heavy hand of former leaders including retired representative Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), many back-bench Republicans are showing themselves to be more moderate than their conservative leadership and increasingly mindful of shifting voter sentiment. The closest vote last week -- Friday's push to require the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare -- pulled 24 Republicans. The Democrats' homeland security bill attracted 68 Republicans, the minimum wage increase 82.

"You're freer to vote your conscience," said Rep. Jo Anne Emerson (R-Mo.), who received an 88 percent voting record from the American Conservative Union in 2005 but has so far sided with Democrats on new budget rules, Medicare prescription-drug negotiations, raising the minimum wage and funding stem cell research. "Or, really, I feel free to represent my constituents exactly as they want me to be."

"Times have changed. I don't want to be someone who they say is too stubborn to change too," said Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), whose 92 percent conservative rating did not stop him from voting with Democrats on the homeland security and minimum-wage bills.
- Washington Post

It will be very interesting to see how much the bipartisanship voting continues down the road. Many moderate voters could consider themselves a member of either party based on individual issues. For all intents and purposes I consider myself a moderate Liberal but there are issues that I could be called a strong Conservative. I’m pretty confidant on some issues and my opinion can be swayed on others if the arguments are presented properly and with a clear link to facts and not party rhetoric.


Other folks talking about this issue…

The Gun Toting Liberal


The Moderate Voice

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Blogger Lefty said...

Is it a case of GOP members voting their conscience or a case of GOP members trying to appear more bipartisan?

while it's nice to see politicians place a vote that's not 'lock-step' with the party line, it's a shame that GOP members who didn't need a Democratic upset to cross party lines, like Linc Chafee got sent home.

I do agree with your take on the moderate voter, although registered as a Republican, I often find myself in agreement with a moderate or liberal view.

9:57 AM  

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