Can’t give credit where credit is due

Written on February 2, 2015

Even though the Senate Majority leader didn’t really give the Democratic amendments to the Keystone bill a “vote,” he did allow more debate on the amendments than the Democratic Majority probably would have in previous congresses. In fact, the allocation of debate time was so comparatively generous and was so appreciated by some Democrats that Sen. Schatz (D-HI) `told the GOP leader he “wanted to applaud, but I’m on Team Blue.”’

This is a cool little insight into how the modern Congressional party works. According to Frances Lee, party members in Congress view their party more than just a group of people with a similar ideology. Instead, they are members of a “team” and partisans view other partisans as teammates. She looks at proposals that should be not ideologically divisive and finds that they are as evidence for this hypothesis.

I think this is borne out here as well. Even though McConnell hasn’t fully thawed Senate floor rules, they are less frozen than they were under Senate Democrats. This seems to please Senate Democrats but they won’t give McConnell any credit because he isn’t on their team and they can’t be seen praising the opposing team. So even though McConnell has probably annoyed his own party by giving the Democrats a platform, Democrats probably won’t give him any public credit or goodwill.