On 100 key House votes, Republican freshmen rarely stand out, bucking the party line at almost the same rate as all other House Republicans — 12.5 percent of the time for freshmen and 12.34 percent for veterans. On 77 out of 100 votes studied, there was no more than a 5 percentage point difference between the freshman vote split and the nonfreshman split — hardly the portrait of a bunch of rabble-rousers.

And the number of times that most of the freshman class broke away as a bloc and voted against the GOP majority? Only two out of 100 key votes, neither of which were game-changing roll calls.

The numbers show that the compelling narrative of a bunch of wild-eyed freshmen playing ransom politics with the nation’s future is missing one essential element: evidence.