Wednesday, November 06, 2002

One more post-election point. I've blogged here several times on when it might make sense to vote for your local pro-gun Democrat, even though he'll deliver control of a chamber of Congress to an anti-gun party, or for your local pro-choice-Republican, even though she'll deliver it to a pro-life party. The voters have now had their say, and they seem less willing to overlook party in Congressional races than they used to be, and less willing than they are in gubernatorial ones (which is rational, as discussed earlier). New York and all of New England now have Republican governors, and at least five of those seven are moderate-to-left Republicans. But Connie Morella lost her attempt to get to the House on the basis of an "I don't agree with my party" platform. Max Cleland didn't make it, either. The gubernatorial map now looks very mixed; the House-and-Senate maps now look pretty sharply red-state/blue-state divided. Voters figured out that party control matters in Congress, and voted accordingly. Zell Miller and Lincoln Chafee are going to start to feel pretty lonely.

This results in the loss of some useful caucus-dissent; and may encourage the sort of majority-party-overreach that contributes to electoral see-sawing. As I've said, I want there to be pro-choice, pro-gay Republicans, and anti-tax, pro-trade Democrats. But today we're one step closer to something like parliamentary responsible-party government, as both Congressional parties look increasingly internally homogenous.

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