National Journal's Josh Kraushaar is convinced that Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, and the rest of the incoming GOP Senate class are going to govern as pragmatists.
This year's congressional majorities were built on the victories of center-right candidates, not the bomb-throwers who disrupted their party's leadership over the past two years. Of the 16 House Republicans who picked up seats for the party, 11 of them represent districts President Obama carried in 2012. And the freshman Senate class may be filled with conservatives, but ones who have expressed willingness to work across party lines.
The next generation's pragmatism is no accident. Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and aided by outside groups, worked assiduously to intervene in primaries, ensuring that far-right candidates like Chris McDaniel and Milton Wolf didn't win nominations.
The biggest bellwethers in determining how unified the new Republican-controlled Senate will be are four newly elected conservative stalwarts: Sens.-elect Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Dan Sullivan of Alaska. Three were endorsed by the antitax Club for Growth, while a fourth was a Sarah Palin favorite. But all of them had strong support from the establishment, too, and Republican leaders expect they will be team players in the new Senate.
Martin "BooMan" Longman is convinced that Josh Kraushaar is out of his freakin' mind.
Silly me, but I thought the "trope" about Cory Gardner was that he knew how to put a moderate sheen on an extreme anti-contraception record. He didn't say stupid things like Sharron Angle or Ken Buck, but his left-right alignment isn't any different. Thom Tillis presided over the most radical state legislature in North Carolina in living memory. Joni Ernst spent much of time talking about how she was going to come to Washington and start cutting the balls off the place. What these folks did was win where their radical predecessors had lost, and they gave lip service here and there to finding solutions, but all that happy talk was accompanied by completely uncompromising paranoia and lunacy regarding the president.
Let's remember that Joni Ernst has gone on record saying if elected she will work to abolish the Department of Education and the EPA. The tax plan Thom Tillis and the NC GOP put together benefits the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle-class Cory Gardner backed Colorado's abortion-ending personhood measure. Dan Sullivan campaigned on being responsible for Alaska's "stand your ground" law (and he wasn't, he lied).
And all the incoming GOP Senators have vowed to take health care away from millions of Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act.
And in the House, Steve M. points out that the same old battles over health care and stupid show trials prove there was never going to be a "more moderate GOP interested in governance."
Congressional Republicans seized Wednesday on controversial comments made by a former health-care consultant to the Obama administration, with one leading House conservative suggesting that hearings could be called in response as part of the GOP effort to dismantle the law in the next Congress and turn public opinion ahead of the 2016 election.
"We may want to have hearings on this," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an influential voice among GOP hardliners and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in an interview at the Capitol. "We shouldn't be surprised they were misleading us."
But you're supposed to believe these clowns are going to "work with President Obama to govern."