Supporters of the Federal DREAM Act participate in a candle-light procession and vigil in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which Congress will begin debating Wednesday, would allow the legalization of people who illegally entered the United States before they turned 16, who have been here for less than five years and who complete at least two years at a college or university, or join the military, among other requirements
But, the Club for Growth, Senator Jim DeMint’s PAC, Sarah Palin and other conservative grass root groups also organized/enabled rank and file conservative activists to buck/challenge establishment GOP candidates and hold them accountable for squishy left-leaning votes (like voting for any type of illegal alien amnesty masquerading as comprehensive immigration reform).
Two other races that come to mind are Utah Senator Bob Bennett (who voted for DREAM) who was defeated for GOP renomination (hence Orrin Hatch’s absence from voting on DREAM and perhaps the Montana Democrats voting No) and Pennsylvania’s long time Senator Arlen Specter who switched parties (when it was apparent he would not win GOP re-nomination) and then was beaten in the general election (Specter did vote for DREAM).
After seeing what happened to their colleagues, there is little doubt that long term Republican Senators felt more comfortable in voting with their caucus than to be a maverick and face the wrath of a contested primary election their next election.
Republican incumbent GOP Senators and Representatives will be held accountable for their political actions. With Twitter, YouTube and Facebook covering/documenting their every vote, fundraisers and speeches, they will vote their conservative constituencies or be replaced with candidates that will. This is especially true in small population states with less expensive media markets e.g. Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska.
Yeah Mickey, Democracy is a wonderful thing.