Posted by Tod Lindberg on 25th November 1996
A wake-up call for the GOP.
Republicans are in a pretty good mood these days in spite of Bob Dole’s loss. Their party successfully preserved its majority in Congress despite an expensive and wildly deceptive Democratic onslaught against Newt Gingrich, Republican freshmen, and GOP efforts on Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the environment.
Conservative Republicans are especially pleased with the way the election has led to what the Christian Coalition’s political director has called ” philosophical upgrades” in Congress. Take the Senate. Retiring GOP moderates Mark Hatfield and Alan Simpson were replaced by the more conservative Gordon Smith and Mike Enzi. And “conservative” is the word to describe the three Republicans who picked up Senate seats formerly held by Democrats. Moreover, the one Democrat who unseated a Republican — prochoice Republican Larry Pressler in South Dakota, to be exact — is pro-life. In the House, the Republican membership has taken on a slightly more conservative cast. While moderate Republicans lost seats, rightwing Republicans increased in number.