A few gee-whiz’s at Politico decided to chart the voting patterns of Tea Party freshmen against the voting patterns of veteran Republicans and found that the Tea Partiers aren’t as unkempt as they let on:
On 100 key House votes, Republican freshmen rarely stand out, bucking the party line at almost the same rate as all other House Republicans — 12.5 percent of the time for freshmen and 12.34 percent for veterans. On 77 out of 100 votes studied, there was no more than a 5 percentage point difference between the freshman vote split and the nonfreshman split — hardly the portrait of a bunch of rabble-rousers.
And the number of times that most of the freshman class broke away as a bloc and voted against the GOP majority? Only two out of 100 key votes, neither of which were game-changing roll calls.
The numbers show that the compelling narrative of a bunch of wild-eyed freshmen playing ransom politics with the nation’s future is missing one essential element: evidence.
It seems like the Don’t-Tread-On-Me’s have been playing follow the leader more than they’ve been stirring up the status quo. Not only does this confirm the suspicion that the Tea Party is not as different from the GOP Establishment as they would have you believe, but it also points to the fact that the Republican leadership are the ones to be blamed for “ransom politics”. Either way, it shows the lack of discrepant and individual viewpoints that the Republicans of the House bring to congress.