. . . so to speak . . .

22 October 2009

I watched an excellent Frontline episode (The Warning, aired Oct. 20th), and was poking around their website, reading interviews, looking at a timeline on the financial meltdown, and clicking here and there.  Clicked over to an interview with Barney Frank, featured in a previous Frontline episode, Inside the Meltdown, and found this nugget.  He is, in this case, talking about the difference between Republicans in the House and Senate and how it influenced the failure of the TARP bill when it first came before the House.

There was a difference between the House and Senate Republicans. The House Republicans have been more ideologically conservative. Maybe to win a whole state you can’t have quite the same ideological fervor. … And what you saw was conservative Republicans rebelling. [emphasis mine]

Now, I had marked in my mind that there is a higher proportion of extremely right-wing members in the House as compared to the Senate, but I had never thought about why.  I think this may be it.  House Representatives need only justify and explain themselves to their smaller districts, need only represent what may be homogenous communities, as opposed to a state-wide diversity in political and social values.

It explains why I can never envision a Michelle Bachmann or a Virginia Fox in the Senate.  Not to say they can’t sneak into that more austere body of 100 souls.  But it’s harder to envision, and harder for them to get there.

Seems rather obvious now.  Still, better understood late than never.

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