This Nate Silver piece was refreshing to read. Silver blandly and calmly, relying on numbers and dispassionate analysis rather than punditry or opinion, just destroys the “both sides do it” nonsense in terms of how far Right the GOP has gone at the state level:
If the states are laboratories of democracy, then the Republican Party’s research pipeline has run dry. Moderate Republican governors, a thriving species before last year’s elections, are all but extinct.
Here, for example, is how the comparison looks for current Democratic governors. (I exclude a handful of cases where OnTheIssues has not rated the candidate on enough issues to provide for a reliable estimate.) You see a fair amount of ideological diversity among the Democrats, from moderates like Mr. Beebe and Kentucky’s Steven L. Beshear to liberals like Ms. Gregoire and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.
You also see that there is a correlation between the ideology of the governors and the ideology of the states: with one or two exceptions, Democratic governors in moderate or conservative states themselves tend to be moderate, while Democratic governors in liberal states are quite liberal.
Unlike for the Democrats, there is almost no ideological diversity within the group: essentially all of the current Republican governors are quite conservative, taking moderate positions on at most one or two issues.
In light of the bizarre GOP pledge to their unelected leader, Grover Norquist, I thought this was particularly striking:
Also unlike the Democrats, there is no correlation between the ideology of the governors and the ideology of the states. Whether you have a Republican governor in a fairly liberal state like Maine, a moderate state like Ohio, or a conservative one like Idaho, his agenda is likely to be highly conservative