Interesting exchange on a recent edition of “McLaughlin & Company” when host John McLaughlin asked a question about the likely committee chairmen who would emerge in the wake of a GOP takeover of the House next Tuesday:
McLaughlin: As a group, how powerful and how tough are these Republican chairmen?
Eleanor Clift: Well, there are some there, like Fred Upton, who's going to take over, I think, Ways & Means, who's a moderate Republican, and I don't think Democrats would have any great issue with him. They would probably applaud his chairmanship.
In fact, Upton would be in line to assume the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, not Ways & Means. But the exchange may be indicative of one of the familiar fault lines that will soon be evident – the situation facing the very few remaining GOP moderates will be completely unlike what it was in 1994 when the House GOP last took over.
Upton's voting record isn't exactly inspiring, especially on issues of direct interest to incoming Tea Party insurgents, so this could get rather interesting very quickly. Stay tuned.