Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Catch of the Day

Okay, it's just as much trivia as CotD, but Reid Wilson deserves something for noticing one thing -- really two things -- about the newly elected Mark Sanford:
Mark Sanford will join 10 other members of the class of 1994 in Congress when he's sworn in

Weirdly, Sanford will be the 3rd member of the class of '94 to return this Congress after taking time off (Stockman and Salmon, too) 
I've written about Newt babies vs. Watergate babies before (and also sparked by a Reid Wilson item; I guess we share an interest). I don't think this late-in-the-day revival for the '94ers will really do much to change the overall verdict, which is that it's not a class that has much to be proud of.

I'll finish by stealing my conclusion from the last time I wrote about the class of 1995, as I called it:

Of course, any similarity of the class of 1995 and Newt Gingrich in wild but unfocused ambition, lack of interest in the substance of governing, and/or scandal in private life is surely a coincidence.


  1. When the class of 1994 was sworn in, the estate tax exemption was only $600,000, and today it is $5.2 million. In my mind, that's a huge achievement of which they can be proud, as the most successful Americans can now pass on much of their wealth to their children and grandchildren. That huge increase in the estate tax exemption would never have happened without a Republican Congress and President George W. Bush, and for that I will be forever grateful to them.

    1. Well yes, but what does that have to do with the class of 94? The GOP won control of both houses of Congress in 96, 98 and 00, Newt and Co had nothing to do with the success of Bush's tax policies (which were also supported by a lot of Democrats.)

      In other Sanford news, Krugman made a great point:

      If you are a conservative Republican you should probably vote for Republicans even if they are kinda scummy. Partisanship works.

    2. Without the Republican victory in the Congressional elections of 1994, it is doubtful whether Republicans would have won control of Congress in 1996 or subsequent years. The incumbency advantage allowed enough of the class of 1994 to get re-elected in subsequent years to hold onto the House majority, even though they lost seats in 1996, 1998, and 2000.

    3. It is true that Sanford's victory in the general election can easily be explained by voters putting party and ideology ahead of sex scandals (IMO rightly so, regardless of my own views of that party and that ideology).

      But that doesn't explain Sanford winning the GOP *primary* against an at least equally conservative opponent.

    4. Yes, it does. The Republican primary voters selected the nominee who who was able to win in the general. It is in their interest to have a Republican represent their district in Congress. They chose the most viable conservative Republican. While it is quite possible that the other possible Republican nominee was just as viable, there was no guarantee of that. And, they seemed to base viability on the information they had about the candidates (previously popular gov).

    5. There was absolutely no reason to think that Bostic, if he got the nomination, would lose the general election in such a heavily Republican district--indeed, Sanford was the only plausible GOP candidate who *might* have lost (remember, he only got 54% of the vote agaist Colbert Busch in a district where Romney got over 58%). And it's not like Bostic didn't get any publicity; he had the support of nationally known social conservatives like Rick Santorum.

  2. JB: Did I ever show you the paper Buchler and I wrote trying to see if there was anything to the "class of ..." business?

    Really: we couldn't find it. Tried 6 ways from Sunday, too.


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