There’s no doubt voters were upset last November—frustrated by a poor economy and inaction from Washington, they sent a rebuke to the party in power. But was it an endorsement of Republicans and their ultra-conservative ideology? At the time, many Republicans wisely said it was not. "We make a grave mistake if we believe that tonight these results are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party," said freshly elected Senator Marco Rubio on election night. "This is not necessarily ‘we love Republicans.’ This is, ‘change course, the country’s on the wrong track,’" said Representative Paul Ryan shortly thereafter.
Unfortunately, since taking power, Republicans have acted as if they have an enormous mandate—Ryan, of course, turned around and proposed the end of Medicare. Have Republicans gone too far? Will it cost them? As The Nation’s George Zornick looks through these 13 newly elected conservatives in the slides that follow, the answer seems to be yes. Since taking office in January, these men and women have embraced some truly radical policies, and are already paying the price.
Images: AP Images