and why can House Republicans oppose measures that the majority of Americans support? The picture tells us whyLogic of House GOP intransigence
The unruly House Republicans who spurned Speaker John Boehner as the country flirts with fiscal havoc might’ve seemed like they were doing their best “Lord of the Flies” rendition. But last week’s mayhem had a certain logic — the logic of politicians wanting to keep their jobs.
In the staunchly conservative districts that most House Republicans inhabit, playing ball with President Barack Obama on taxes and the debt means tempting a primary opponent in the next election. The threat of a challenge from the left that might come from digging in, on the other hand, is almost nonexistent for most members.
So Republicans can truthfully say they hold a majority of seats in the House of Representatives and therefore they must be doing something 'right' while at the same time, Democrats can point out that more Americans voted for Democratic Representatives than for Republicans in the 2012 elections.The phenomenon isn’t new. For decades, many Republicans — and for that matter Democrats — have found themselves locked into districts where they’re beholden to their party’s electorate. But it will be heightened in 2014.
The polarization was exacerbated by the just completed, once-a-decade redistricting process. Both parties — but particularly Republicans, who swept control of statehouses across the country in the 2010 conservative wave — redrew district lines to shore up House members politically.