How powerful, how influential can your Congressman/woman be if they’re a member of the MINORITY party in the House of Representatives? Missouri Senator John Danforth knows.
Back in the early 1990s, when Republicans had been the minority party in the House of Representatives for decades, Danforth fielded a question similar to the one that opens this article.
Danforth’s response (I’m paraphrasing here): To be a member of the MINORITY party in the House of Representatives…is to be dead. Translation: Congressmen/women whose party isn’t the majority party in the House of Representatives, have little or no chance to get meaningful things done.
The House of Representatives is much different than the Senate. The House’s rules allow the majority party to dominate debate and determine which bills do (or do not) get acted upon, much more so than the Senate. Moreover, the leadership of both political parties in the House have much more control over their members than Senate party leaders do. It’s a lot easier—and much less risky—for a Senator to ignore the Senate Majority Leader than it is for a Congressman/woman to irritate the Speaker of the House.
In other words—the majority party runs the House of Representatives, and party leaders run the majority party…so, the majority party leaders (the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader and Majority Whip) run the House. (Think of it as an example of the transitive property of American politics.)
The Republican Party runs the House of Representatives. It’s going to run the House after the November election. I encourage Democrats or members of the media (yes, I repeat myself) to show convincing evidence to the contrary. (Please make my day by citing Nancy Pelosi as your source).
We’re going to see major, major changes in Washington over the next few years. Every community, every region in America is going to need representatives that can effectively and ably speak up for the needs of their constituents.
But, that’s not going to be enough.
No, we’ll need representatives who can actually get the House leadership to listen to them. In the world we live in, representatives from the majority party in the House of Representatives find it a lot easier to get things done, and to protect the needs of their constituents.
That’s the reality of politics. I’m sure Pima County Democrats, who spend lots of money to advertise for Republican and Libertarian congressional candidates, understand the realities of politics.
Tucson needs a Congressman/woman that the House leadership will pay attention to. We DON’T need one that the House leadership will ignore. Translation: we need a Republican to win CD8 and CD2.
In the weeks ahead, I’ll lay out in more detail the reasons why the Old Pueblo needs a Republican in Congress.