Quick comment to Sides re: Party Discipline

John gives some reasons why viewers of the political scene might think that congressional Republicans are more disciplined than their Democratic counterparts, even if this isn’t really so.

I’d like to give one more big reason based on recent history. When Barack Obama became president, congressional Republicans implemented a solid No strategy and were successful at stopping much of the Democrats’ agenda. With only 40% of each of the houses of Congress, the Republicans had few tools except party discipline. To me, it is this impressive achievement that earns congressional Republicans their reputation.

Everything John wrote is fine but I think he’s missing the elephant in the room (so to speak).

4 Responses to Quick comment to Sides re: Party Discipline

  1. Dave November 1, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    A few questions:
    How much party discipline do you need when Republican activists are adamantly opposed to anything with Obama’s name on it?

    In fact, have Republicans felt any pressure to not vote with the rest of their party? Maybe there were some pressure from some of their voters to vote with Obama during his honeymoon, but that’s as far away from the next election as you can get, so I’m not sure that’s much pressure.

    In the case of health care reform, did the Republicans need “party discipline” to vote together when many Democrats didn’t even want to vote for the bill? Again, were Republicans really feeling counter pressure on these votes? Democrats from moderate districts certainly were, and we saw how their party leadership do a lot of work behind the scenes to get enough votes for the deal.

    • Dave November 1, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      I apologize for the type-o’s in the last comment. I did some editing after writing most of the comment and obviously did not change everything that needed to be changed.

  2. Chris November 1, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    The Ds were just as opposed to Bush’s Social Security reform as the Rs were to Obama’s healthcare reform. On the other hand, Senate Ds were more unified on healthcare than Senate Rs were on social security.

  3. Anonymous Coward November 1, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    “In fact, have Republicans felt any pressure to not vote with the rest of their party?”

    Debt limit debacle says yes.