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Thomas M. Davis Iii
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The Founders of our country thought that the impulse toward partisanship was a darker side of human nature that needed checks. They called it faction. They wrote about it, especially in the Federalist Papers, and warned of its insidious effect on government and society. They knew that good government resides in following the law, not implementing party or interest-group agendas on the public dime.
Tea partyers may be getting all the attention, but the centrist wings of both parties remain the fulcrum in Congress, though which way they swing depends on the issues lawmakers tackle first.
Independent voters who powered President Obama to victory in 2008 have deserted his party this year, all but guaranteeing that Republicans will win control of the House in Tuesday's elections, though analysts said self-inflicted wounds likely will keep the GOP from winning the Senate.
Conservatives have talked wistfully for years about eliminating the Education Department, but a host of Republican "tea party" candidates this election year are saying it's time to move beyond talk and force Congress to vote.
While House Republicans are jockeying behind the scenes for coveted committee chairmanships should Democrats be ousted from leadership after the midterm elections, many political insiders don't expect a drastic reshuffling of leadership within the GOP.
Two weeks out from Election Day, Republican Pat Toomey appears poised to lead a Republican surge in Pennsylvania in a Senate race that will test just how deeply the state's "blue" roots run.
Two years after painting the electoral map blue and winning such conservative strongholds as Indiana and Virginia, President Obama has found his campaign travel efforts are confined mostly to the pre-Obama map that kept Democrats contained in the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast.
The "tea party" remains an unknown factor, with Democrats saying the movement will cost the GOP seats and Republicans saying it's part of an anti-establishment sentiment.
After being entirely shut out of New England in 2008, House Republicans are making the traditionally liberal region competitive this year — so much so that liberal icon Rep. Barney Frank is facing his strongest challenge in years and had to call former President Bill Clinton in to stump for him on the campaign trail.