“Going rogue is not en vogue,” acknowledged one Senate GOP aide. “The view is that [President Barack] Obama’s agenda is pretty radical. So in cutting a deal with [Democrats], you’re still going to look like you’re signing onto the Obama radical left agenda.”
Indeed, Republicans appear to believe that no matter where they turn, they could get rapped for playing too nicely with Democrats.
The anti-incumbent mood of the electorate has not insulated the minority party from electoral peril, largely because of a reinvigorated conservative movement that is demanding more and more purity from its elected leaders.
Also, because Republican have the bare minimum necessary to break a filibuster, a single defection can mean defeat. Consequently, members face more pressure than they would if the minority were smaller (and Republicans were going to lose anyway) or larger (and Republicans could still win without perfect unanimity).