Sunday, January 14, 2007

"You're freer to vote your conscience," said Rep. Jo Anne Emerson.

This paragraph struck me in the Washington Post article today about the Republican minority in Congress:

Freed from the pressures of being the majority and from the heavy hand of former leaders including retired representative Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), many back-bench Republicans are showing themselves to be more moderate than their conservative leadership and increasingly mindful of shifting voter sentiment. The closest vote last week -- Friday's push to require the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare -- pulled 24 Republicans. The Democrats' homeland security bill attracted 68 Republicans, the minimum wage increase 82. (WaPo)

I've never thought about the "pressures of being the majority," but it's true. Being the minority party has freed some of them up to be more moderate, to -- presumably -- follow personal convictions. This could be a great thing for the GOP.

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