House Democrat Leader Mariano laments rise of principled Republicans

The Lowell Sun this weekend had a story on the Republican and Democratic cooperation on Beacon Hill.  Apparently it’s a love fest.

Democrats have held a majority in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1955. Their Republican colleagues haven’t had more than 50 representatives since 1973. But to characterize the body as a corps of Democratic yes-men shutting out a powerless Republican minority would be inaccurate.

Or so says the House’s top Democrat, Majority Leader Ronald Mariano, D-Quincy, a 21-year veteran of the chamber.

“We understand the role that the minority party has to play in this process,” he said.

Surprisingly, in these days of partisan gridlock, the House’s top Republican agrees.

“We try to engage in a way that allows our viewpoint to be heard. Sometimes it carries the day, and sometimes it impacts or modifies the outcome,” said Minority Leader Rep. Brad Jones, R-North Reading, who has served 18 years in the House.

I’m somewhat confused by this.  The House is a corps of Democratic yes men.  Otherwise there would be you know real debate on real issues. My favorite is this quote from Mariano.

Republicans face occasional internal spates with the rise of the tea party-leaning representatives who are seen as more ideologically rigid. Mariano sees no upside to this trend in the legislative process.

“One of the keys to the majority party is being able to cut a deal, and when you have a segment of your party that is unwilling to compromise, and is dug in on purely ideological points, and is unwilling to bend, it creates difficulties for the minority leaders,” he said.

But Mariano understands the pressure put on the minority leadership when some of their members go rogue.

Some may not call it going rogue.  Some may call it, standing up for principle.  Most recently when seven GOP members voted against socialistic price controls in private industry.

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