Asserts the moderate-liberal commentator in D.C.: "Scaring incumbent Republicans from the right wing of the political spectrum is proving to be effective at keeping them in line. GOP senators know the danger of moderating their views — there is a political penalty attached to any political compromise with Democrats. That is why Republicans in the Senate found it politically preferable — even if it damages them with moderate voters — not to negotiate with the White House on health care; why they blocked budget deals; why they stood aside as immigration reform went nowhere."
He continues his commentary: "This strategy has made Senate Republicans, once a power on Capitol Hill, second-class citizens in Congress. They are only allowed to follow the lead of tea party freshmen in the House. The curious reality is that party activists who cry out for more conservative voices in Washington are pushing Republicans in the Senate into political irrelevance. Under pressure from the right, the GOP has nominated candidates with little or no appeal to moderate voters."
More: "Those same groups [like FreedomWorks and Club for Growth] will no doubt be ready to howl when Mr. Obama nominates someone to the U.S. Supreme Court who isn't to their liking. But their election efforts will have made the nominee's Senate confirmation that much easier. The fight for the future of Republicans in the Senate rests on whether ideologues or establishment politicians win control of the party. Right now, the ideologues are winning. At this rate, President Obama will have a 60-member super majority in the Senate for his last two years in the White House."