If the polls are right – you have every reason to believe that they aren’t – but if they’re right, as many as 12 never-before-seen ultra-conservative Republicans will be in the Senate next year.
Ron Brownstein wrote today that if it happens, this will be the biggest class of extremely conservative freshmen Senators we’ve seen in 50 years.
Unless Democrats can recover lost ground, it appears likely that the 2010 elections will produce the biggest crop of freshman Republican senators since the 11 who arrived in 1994, and possibly even the 16 who were part of Ronald Reagan’s landslide in 1980. Across a wide range of issues, the potential GOP Senate class of 2010 leans right even when compared with those earlier groups — some contenders hold positions on the far frontier of modern American politics. Next year could bring to Washington the most consistently, and even militantly, conservative class of new senators in at least the past half-century.
The Republican Party’s nominees are “more uniform in their philosophy, more populist, and more anti-Washington” than the 1980 and ’94 GOP arrivals, says Craig Shirley, who has been active in conservative politics since the 1970s and has written a Reagan biography. “Today there is less [ideological] diversity and more unanimity of thinking.”
Brownstein’s long-winded story about how conservative these Republican nominees are is mildly interesting, but he misses a key point, and that’s that these senators aren’t going to be able to govern. According to my polling analysis, Democrats will hold a slim majority in the Senate, and even it the GOP does take over by one or two seats, they won’t be able to pass any of the stuff they’re campaigning on.
Does Brownstein really think that the Democrats will let this handful of freshmen senators privatize Social Security and Medicare? Does he actually see these Tea Party Republicans are capable of passing immigration reform or a comprehensive energy bill?
What’s likely to happen is that next year the Senate will be even more gridlocked than it is now – nothing will get done. As far as the GOP is concerned that’s fine. While the government does nothing to create jobs and pull the economy out of the crater it’s in, more people will get more angry and the Republican party sees their chances of taking back the White House in 2012 improving while Americans suffer toward an economic depression.
Yeah, the future for America does not look bright when one of the two political parties sees high unemployment and poverty as a plus.