If the new “centrist” group does have 18 Democratic seantors then they are a major group with one third of the total number of Democratic senators. The Democrats have senators all over the country so they are likely to be diverse. For example a Democrat in Nebraska is bound to be more Conservative than one in Vermont! The GOP is more ideologically pure because it is a regional party.
I agree with Taniel that Centrists need to get off saying - we have no ideology, we are pragmatic. Sometimes the “extreme” is needed.]]>
Therethore, any Democratic president (including a popular one) will have a hard time controlling thier party compared to a popular GOP president. In a way, for Obama to have such trouble could be helpful because he doesn’t just rush and make made decisions, and we know that the strong right polices that the GOP put through without question helped to drag them all down when Bush became very unpopular. Of course it is also possible that conservative Democrats could hurt the very party they are part of by critizing Obama’s polices as too liberal, but I seriously doubt the GOP would make more but minimal net gains in Congress and no chance of the GOP taking at least one chamber of Congress unless Obama suddenly becomes extremely unpopular, which is something I do not see as of now.]]>
I think it’s great that Bayh and other centrists are able to voice out their concerns about budget issues. Opening up lines of healthy discussion has been missing from the Senate for a long time. In addition, having the centrist faction exist gives other moderate Republicans some cover to actually vote for some strong legislation.
The major risk is that communication lines break down between the centrist and the more liberal faction of the Democratic caucus.]]>