• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Isn't this just dancing with who brung you to the party?

Indiana lawmakers saw few reasons to cross party lines last year.

That was especially true for the state's six House Republicans, who voted with their party on at least 96 percent of the 716 votes that divided the two parties in 2011, according to Congressional Quarterly, a nonpartisan publication that has been tracking votes since 1953.

[. . .]

Polls indicate the unity among Republicans could be hurting the party's image. A December survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that Republicans are viewed as the more extreme party and the one less willing to work with others to get things done.

Neither party, however, is viewed well. A record-high two-thirds of those polled said most members of Congress should be replaced.

So, people run as Democrats or Republicans, and we elect them based on their espousal of Democratic or Republican ideas, then we get in a snit when they mostly vote with other members of their party? Not too bright, are we? Yeah, yeah, I know, a good idea knows no party, and legislators should be willing to be nonpartisan or at least bipartisan sometimes for "the good of the country." Good luck with that.

I think the House GOP's solidarity is understandable, given the Democrats' control of the Senate and the White House. Democrats have two-thirds of the power, so they can afford a little more disunity. And since the House GOP membership is about the only force in Washington even playing lip service to restraining the federal government, their line-toeing unity is OK by me.