Most freshman GOP senators already assimilating in D.C.

Many have hired lobbyists and other D.C. insiders to run their offices. Ten of the 13 GOP freshmen have shunned any formal affiliation to the tea party. And most are quick to follow marching orders from Republican leadership. They rarely speak on the Senate floor, they haven’t been introducing much legislation. And they’ve been quietly loyal on roll call votes…

“Clearly, [McConnell] wants to be more than the ‘party of no,’ especially if he wants to gain the majority in 2012,” said Sarah Binder, a George Washington University political science professor and congressional scholar at the Brookings Institution. “So there’s an incentive for McConnell to do everything he can to entrench these members to build up the reputation of the Republican Party and the Senate GOP caucus, to get well known at home and raise money.”

The reality is that despite the rhetoric on which they rode into the Senate, most of these GOP freshmen were already establishment types. Nearly all previously served in elected offices in which legislative success comes from compromising and building consensus — not throwing bombs.