There are two sets of freshmen being sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives this week, and their entrances couldn’t be more different.

The Democrats call themselves “The Mighty Nine,” David A. Fahrenthold says at the Washington Post, and that’s half right: There are nine of them. But the smallest freshman class either party has put forth since at least 1915 can’t be called “mighty” by any means. They’re in the minority, and they’re at the bottom of the seniority ladder.

“Congress is the most futile place in the world, and the most discouraging, and the most depressing” for people in that position, says one who should know–former Rep. Mike Ward of Kentucky, one of only 13 Democrats to enter Congress in 1995. He stayed just one term.

On the other side of the aisle are the 82 new Republicans, some of whom are throwing themselves a lavish bash tonight, Kenneth Vogel and Marin Cogan report at Politico. The $2,500 per ticket fundraiser at the W Hotel features country music star LeAnn Rimes; for $50,000, contributors get a block of eight tickets and a “VIP suite” at the hotel.

The organizer of the event, incoming Rep. Jeff Denham of California, “really wants to help keep the majority,” a consultant to Denham said.

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