There is no difference between the the two major American political parties. To wit:
The GOP class of 2010’s ideological convergence extends across a broad terrain. All of the Senate candidates have endorsed a balanced-budget constitutional amendment (except Fiorina, who hasn’t taken a position). Every one except Hoeven has pledged to oppose any tax increases. And all 21 have said they support permanently extending the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts for all families.
In 2005, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., won votes from half a dozen Republican senators for his cap-and-trade legislation limiting emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global climate change. But all 21 of the leading GOP Senate challengers have declared their opposition to cap-and-trade (and, for that matter, so now has McCain). Even Kirk, who voted for cap-and-trade legislation in the House last year, has renounced his support.
Nineteen of the 20 Republican Senate nominees who have expressed an opinion on the widespread scientific consensus that greenhouse gases are altering the world’s climate have declared the science either inconclusive or dead wrong, often in vitriolic terms. (Kirk is the only exception.) Ron Johnson, a business owner who won his party’s nomination in Wisconsin, says that accumulating carbon dioxide emissions are a less likely cause of any climate change than “sunspot activity or something just in the geologic eons of time where we have changes in the climate.”
All 18 GOP candidates who have taken a position support expanded drilling for oil and gas on public lands. All 19 who have taken a position want to expand construction of nuclear power plants. In each case, these positions represent a nearly complete rejection of the views of the leading environmental groups — many of which worked closely with significant numbers of congressional Republicans in earlier decades. “Those Republicans are all gone,” says veteran environmental lobbyist Dan Becker.
On immigration, as well, the 2010 class captures a sharp right turn in the GOP. As recently as 2006, 23 Republican senators voted — with the enthusiastic support of President Bush — for comprehensive immigration legislation that linked tougher border security, a guest-worker program, and a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants now in the United States. But now, all 20 GOP nominees who have taken a position say that Washington should toughen border security before considering any broader immigration reform. What’s more, all 19 who have expressed a view say they will oppose any “amnesty” or pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants even if Congress considers more-comprehensive reform at a later date.