I’ve had several good laughs in recent days over claims that the Republican party is dangerously divided between Tea Party activists and establishment traditionalists. On most policy issues you would be hard-pressed to find any distance between these ostensibly feuding groups. Plus, the Republicans won a smashing victory earlier this month. It is defeat, not victory, that generally produces disunion.
Which brings us to the Democrats:
Fractious House Democrats feuded Tuesday over their leader’s refusal to step aside after massive election losses, and some signaled they will compromise with Republicans over the next two years. In contrast, Republicans who won control of the House and strengthened their power in the Senate further closed ranks.
GOP discipline was on stark display as Senate Republicans unanimously voted to ban earmarks–lawmakers’ pet projects for their states and districts–in spending bills, heeding the message tea partiers delivered Nov. 2 about their frustration with government and deficit spending. The vote occurred a day after Republican leader Mitch McConnell switched sides on the issue.
In contrast to the Republican unity, Democrats stung by the loss of their House majority let their members vent their emotions in a four-hour closed meeting before Wednesday’s scheduled vote on keeping Nancy Pelosi as their leader. …
Pelosi, who is poised to move from House speaker to minority leader in the next Congress, got an earful Tuesday from some rank-and-file colleagues who said a party must change leaders when it suffers the type of losses Democrats absorbed on Nov. 2.
That strikes me as a more realistic assessment of the state of mind of the parties’ representatives, at least in the House. Michael Ramirez, in understated fashion, puts the Democrats’ defeat in historical context; click to enlarge: