In the Prologue to his book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, Barack Obama writes:
Perhaps more than any other time in our recent history, we need a new kind of politics, one that can excavate and build upon those shared understandings that pull us together as Americans
So, you’d think a guy who wants to build on such “shared understandings” would break ranks from his party on a pretty regular basis. That’s not what the the Corner’s Yuval Levin found when he perused Congressional QuarterlyÂ â€œVote Studies Workbook,” :
Obama and Biden, for instance, turn out to have very high party loyalty, following the extremely unpopular leaders of the Democratic senate on almost every close vote. Obama’s party loyalty score was 96%, making him a more orthodox Democrat than even the Democratic leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, whose score was 93%. Biden was tied with Reid, at 93%. John McCain, meanwhile, had a party loyalty score of 81%, among the lowest in the Republican conference, as many of his fellow Republican senators could no-doubt attest.
Maybe for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, excessive party loyalty, even exceeding that of the hyperpartisan Harry Reid, must define their new kind of politics.