For a short while in this election cycle, there was a string of Democratic retirements in the House of Representatives, and some right wing commentators took the opportunity to proclaim that Democrats were on the run, and the Republican vision for America was rising again to take its place as the dominant electoral force. They ignored the fact that most of the retiring Democrats in Congress were right wing Blue Dogs. All that mattered to them was that Democrats were stepping aside.
The trouble with the right wing narrative is that plenty of Republicans are deciding to retire as well, and most of them are not at all moderates. This weekend, for example, Representative John Linder, a Republican sitting in Congress for the 7th district in Georgia, announced that he will not be running for re-election.
Linder is no moderate. On a legislative scale reaching from +100 for a perfectly progressive voting record to -100 for a perfectly regressive record, Linder scores a -48, and only fails to go even further to the right on this legislative scale because he has not yet cosponsored every extreme piece of legislation in the House of Representatives. Linder only has had a limited amount of time on his hands, after all.
In the current session of Congress, Linder has not voted for one single piece of significant progressive legislation. There’s no way that Linder’s retirement can be reinterpreted to support claims of a solidly progressive congressional retreat.