Sunday, December 23, 2012

Republican butterflies

In 1981 there was a Republican president, a Republican Senate, a Democratic House. But major legislation was passed (e.g. the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981) with a minority of Democrats — the "boll weevils" — joining with the majority of Republicans in the House. There were 244 Democrats in the House and 53 Republicans in the Senate in the majorities.

In 2013, it's the reverse (but with fewer Republicans in the House and more Democrats in the Senate in the majorities). So it's theoretically possible that the reverse can happen: Obama could pass legislation with a coalition of a majority of Democrats plus a minority of Republicans.

A counterpart to the 1981 Democratic boll weevils? Republican butterflies* would have to emerge.

* The other Republicans would call such beings "gypsy moths", as they did decades ago.