The US Senate used to be a legislative body with moderate and even liberal Republicans, and moderate and conservative Democrats, allowing for a “crossing of the aisle”, and the creation of coalitions of Republicans and Democrats to promote legislation.
The recent Senate elections further destroyed any such “crossing of the aisle”, and insured more deadlock and gridlock, as moderate Democrats were defeated, and the most moderate Republican Senate nominee was defeated.
I am referring to the defeat of Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and the pending likely defeat of Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, on the Democratic side, and the defeat of Scott Brown of New Hampshire, who was often called the most moderate Republican.
When one looks at the new 2015 Senate, who is really “Moderate”?
On the Democratic side, we could say Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and the almost defeated Mark Warner of Virginia, who shocked everyone, including himself, by his almost loss to Ed Gillespie.
On the Republican side, the list of “Moderates” would include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John McCain of Arizona, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
Some readers might be shocked to see McCain and Flake included on this list, but in comparison to the rest of the GOP, they are, often, somewhat moderate and reasonable, although not reliably so.
This is a sad state of affairs, and not likely to change anytime soon!