Why is the Democratic Congress so over-the-top liberal? That's the question that Michael Barone answers in an article "Republicans and Democrats: A Tale of Two Bases."
It's pretty simple really. A lot of Democrats are elected from very Democratic districts, and these are typically "gentry liberal" or race based. That is to say that the Democratic base is primarily gentry liberal or black or Hispanic, and these voters tend to be concentrated geographically in urban districts. Forty two percent of House Democrats come from gentry liberal, black, or Hispanic districts.
The Republican Party base is southern and rural. But the base is not as important. Twenty five percent of Republicans in the House come from identifiable base districts.
Then there's the leadership. Right now, the Democratic leadership comes overwhelmingly from gentry liberal districts. Only a few Republican House leaders come from the southern base (a change from the 1990s).
So that explains why the Democratic agenda right now is fiercely liberal, and why the Tea Party movement is leading the opposition to President Obama instead of the Republicans in Congress.
It does suggest that the MSM template is a little skewed. Republican support is less concentrated, and less driven by extremists. Who knew?
And of course, there is the binding factor of government largesse on the Democratic side. Those gentry liberals and the blacks and Hispanics depend disproportionately on the government for their livelihood. They are more focused and more dedicated to manipulating government and politics to deliver benefits. Republicans aren't so focused on politics because they don't depend so much on government for their daily bread.
But the Tea Party movement may change all this.