Sunday, May 13, 2012

roadblocks to Senate reform

Several Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate are strongly aligned with the radical "tea party" movement and some of them may win election. Already, that prospect is affecting the Senate's business and making it less likely that there will be bipartisan support for even minor reforms.  That's the lesson hidden in the New York Times story about the Senate elections.  While the article says that Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky already has enough pledges to secure his status in the new Congress, it also notes that he is already having trouble with the existing tea party fringe in the Senate. That will likely be the story for the rest of this year. Remember, the only secret vote in the U.S. Senate is the one for party leader, so there is no sure way to know if promises of support are being kept. Fear of losing power, most likely to Senator DeMint of South Carolina, will keep McConnell from making too many deals with the Democrats.

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