Last night I was checking out the Progressive Punch scores for the new GOP House members. Much of it was expected and depressing. Seven of the new GOPers had a Progressive Punch score of zero. That’s right Pete Olson (TX-22), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Blaine Leurkemeyer (MO-9, winner by 8,000 votes), Duncan Hunter (CA-52, son of that Duncan Hunter), Gregg Harper (MS-3),Brett Guthrie (KY-2) and John Fleming (LA-4) all had yet to cast a single “progressive” vote.
Eight others were not far behind with seven at 3.23 (Glenn Thompson, Tom Rooney, Tom McClintock, Lynn Jenkins, Mike Coffman, Jason Chaffetz, and Steve Austria) and one at 3.33 (Bill Posey). Jenkins is a disappointment here.
Four showed at least a hint of moderation: Phil Roe of TN-1 (6.45), Christoher Lee of NY-26 (9.68), Joseph Cao of LA-2 (12.90) and the positive surprise wonderkid Aaron Schock of IL-18 (16.13). Lee is an improvement over the man he replaced, Tom Reynolds. He might be harder to displace than I hoped.
I started counting Republicans by the year they were elected from information I had collected but found that the Washington Post lists representatives by class (the year first elected). The results mainly “agreed” but the Post disregards gaps in serevice. Ciro Rodriguez, for example, is shown as 1997 not 2006. Dan Lungren, who served ten years and then left the House for 14 years is shown as 1978.
The Post lists 36 classes (they don’t list the class of 2008. Republicans win 10 of the 37 classes (we know how 2008 turned out); 2 classes are tied and Democrats win 25 of the 37 classes. The largest Republican class is the class of 2002 with 24 Republicans (and 13 Democrats). The largest Democratic class is the class of 2006 with 37 members. The famous class of 1974 where Democrats picked up 49 seats is reduced to just four members, all Democrats. The Newt “Contract ” class of 1994 has been beaten down to 23 members, 16 Republicans and 7 Democrats. There are more Republican House members left from the class of 1992 (18) than from the “revolutionary” class of 1994. The Revolution is over.
The Republican years are 1973, (1-0), 1978 (3-0 including Lungren), 1979 (1-0, Tom Petri IIRC), 1980 (5-1), 1989 (1-0), 1994 (16-7), 2000 (17-12),2001 (5-1), and 2002 (24-13) and 2005 (2-1).
The three House members with the most seniority are all midwestern Democrats: John Dingell (1955, I kid you not), John Conyers (1964) and David Obey (1969, I remember his surprise election as an anti-war candidate). The two Republicans with the most seniority are both named Young (Bill was elected in 1970, Don in 1973). The other Republicans from the 70s are either from Wisconsin (Sensenbrenner and Petri) or California (Lungren and Jerry Lewis).
A narrow majority of Republican House members came in with George W. Bush. 2004 was the electoral high point for Republicans since 1928 when Herbert Hoover was elected along with 270 House members. Since the election of 1932, Republicans have had the Trifecta for six years and five months. The first spell lasted from early 1953 to early 1955. Eisenhower was pretty moderate and the Republican legislative edges were about as slim as possible with 221 House members and a 48-47-1 edge in the Senate. With the stolen Presidential election of 200, Republicans regained the trifecta from January 20,2001 to Jun 6,2001. Their edge was 211 House seats, a 50-50 Senate vote with Dick Cheney as the tie-breaker and that is what Cheney did. By obnoxiously leaning on Jim Jeffords and sonstantly denigrating him and threatening milk supports for Vermont Vheney pushed Jeffords to caucus with the Democrats. Way to break the tie, Dick. From January 2003 through January 2007 the Republican glory years broke out. Following the 2002 election Republicans had a modest 229 seats in the House and 51 in the Senate. With the elction of 2004 it spread to 229 House seats and a 55-45 Senate edge. Then came Katrina. And Iraq’s death toll mounting.
Since then, it’s been our time.