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Why is it the Repugs seem to be so much better at acting in concert?

They hide it better. Not always, of course - remember McCain's infamous 'thumbs down' on their top legislative priority? Or "infrastructure week"? Or going back a bit further, GWB's failed efforts at Social Security reform or comprehensive immigration reform, both of which died at the hands of GOP members refusing to go along? The GOP has had a few high-profile failed legislative efforts.

However, they do seem to keep a tighter lid on keeping bills that can't pass at the federal level from ever getting started. McConnell in particular is very adept at killing in the crib any bill that he doesn't have the votes for, so that they don't start to gather too committee votes or headlines. There's lots of members of his delegation that would love to take votes on a gun rights bill or a big deregulation bill or a hardline immigration bill. But he doesn't give in to those pressures. Meanwhile, the Democrats' legislative history is filled with big bold failed legislative efforts that fail very visibly (Waxman-Markley, ENDA, EFCA, Dream Act, etc.) because they're allowed to go all the way through the process rather than dying in the cradle.

I think part of it is just due to the national strategies of both parties. The Democrats like to emphasize the GOP as inherently 'obstructionist,' gumming up the works of the Congress - so having lots of high-profile bills dying on the rocks of the GOP caucus fits into that message. The reverse isn't really the GOP's message, so they don't do that as much. Democrats also use that to message to their base that they're really trying to get these things done, which GOP federal leadership doesn't seem to feel like they have to do.

Albaby
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