Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Conservative Index

Not that anyone with half a brain did not already know this, but it turns out that Republicans aren't conservatives. Indeed, some of them, like Tom DeLey, are raging socialists.

Just ask Laurence Vance. He wrote an excellent piece analyzing what the pesky Republican-controlled 109th Congress has been up to with our money. After describing much of the frivolous legislation that the Congress passed to swell the already behemoth government, Vance reviewed the The Conservative Index, published in The New American, which "rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, to fiscal responsibility, to national sovereignty, and to a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements."

The votes cast by congressmen on certain key issues are assigned a plus (good) or a minus (bad) by the publishers of the Index. Scores from 1 to 100 are determined by dividing a congressman’s plus votes by the total number of votes cast and multiplying by 100. Thus, the higher the number, the stronger the congressman’s commitment to the constitutional principles just mentioned. The overall average score for the two indexes prepared thus far for the 109th Congress is also given. [this article and post only deal with the current index, the score from which is in the left column]

Here are the highlights from the Index that Vance found worth mentioning.
  • The average score in the House was only 30. The average score in the Senate was even worse – 21. Once again, the high score in the House (100) was made by Ron Paul (R-TX). The high score (if you can call it that) in the Senate (60) was once again made by John Ensign (R-NV), who was tied this time by James Inhofe (R-OK). Several representatives and senators were tied for the lowest score – 0.
  • The Republican leaders in the Senate (Majority Leader Bill Frist [R-TN] & Majority Whip Mitch McConnell [R-KY]) both scored higher than their Democratic counterparts (Harry Reid [D-NV] & Dick Durbin [D-IL]), but what kind of conservatism does it take to score a 30? Ted Kennedy has scored higher than that before.
  • The Republican House leadership did not fare as well. Outgoing Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) scored a 22, while Majority Whip Roy Blunt only managed a 20.
  • The Democratic leaders in the House are ultra-right wingers compared to the Republican leaders. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) each scored a 40, as did the socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT). How many thousands of hours did you say that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Neal Boortz have wasted railing against the "evil" Democrats?

The House of Representatives is really bad. Check out Arkansas. All three House Democrats scored higher than the Republican from the State. The Mississippi Republicans are bigger communists than that state's Democrats; same with Nevada. Why do Nebraska and New Hampshire even bother calling themselves Republican when they are sending socialists to Congress? And you have to check out New York, the eternal Blue State. The Democrats are out-right-winging the Republicans.

An astute blogger posted a comment elsewhere that says it best -- "I think our '2' party system, is actually a '1' party system with 2 divisions: conservative and liberal. They don't even bother to cover it up: both parties operate exactly the same."

Vance's article and the Conservative Index only confirm this reality.


At 11:06 PM, January 14, 2006 , Blogger Birdy said...

Thats actually a pretty enlightning set of statistics...but doesn't what they actually voted on count too? I mean, some things can't be compared as a simple plus or minus. BUt I guess thats the problem with most statistics, huh?

At 12:42 AM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

From what I can gather, the index looks at 10 things each person voted on and calculates "conservatism" on that basis. But you are absolutely right that all statistics are imperfect.

At 1:19 AM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

01 15 06

Hey there II: I have been hinting around this for a while too. Nail on the head and thanks for telling the truth!

At 12:31 PM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


I figured you would appreciate this one because it has been a consistent theme of your recent posts.


At 4:23 PM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

We've got Republicans where I live that are in favor of bigger government, because it they know that no matter what form of government there is, they'll have the reigns of it. The bigger the government, the more power their reigns hold. The more power their reigns hold, the more they can collude with eachother to choke out all competition (business and wage) and benefit their inner-circle of friends to the exclusion of everyone else.

At 7:57 PM, January 15, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

When Bush came into Office, he said that the US would not engage in "nation building." Laughable.

At 12:02 AM, January 16, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Boris -

They are like the brownshirts who helped Hitler consolidate power in Germany. It's not about principles or morality. It's about power. You are so right about using it to squeeze out the competition.

At 2:22 PM, January 16, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

I remember a time when conservatism meant things like 'less government', 'intellectual honesty', 'respect for tradition' and all that.

It's a mistake to call these people conservatives. They're reactionary revolutionaries, which is an entirely novel thing in the flow of human history in some ways. Tommy Franks compares them to French revolutionaries in 1789 storming the Bastille with the cry of 'More power to the aristocracy'.

:-), StS

:-), StS

At 12:22 PM, January 17, 2006 , Blogger Gyrobo said...

And they say America has become more polarized.

At 4:14 PM, January 17, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Hi Gyrobo -


It seems like people are polarized, but vote for candidates that aren't materially different from those they criticize. If DeLey got a 20 and Nancy Pelosi got a 40, I don't see how anyone can argue that Republicans are any different than Dems.

Oh, and, for the record, the reason Cabe got mad at me was because I told him that the legal terms he was using made no sense. As a lawyer, it's a pet peeve of mine when non-lawyers make up legal jargon. I meant no offense, but it does not seem he can handle being corrected. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to future comments from you.

At 4:14 AM, January 21, 2006 , Anonymous rightwingprof said...

This study assumes that conservative == paleoconservative, and paleocons have been irrelevant since Pearl Harbor, Pat Buchanan notwithtanding. If you can convince me that Goldwater, the father of modern conservatism, was concerned about so-called "foreign entanglements," then I might reconsider.


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