T Nation

Conservative Candidate Vote Scoring


#1

Someone on another thread posted a website the "scored" GOPers (officially declared candidates for the presidency as well as other notables, like Boehner). The scoring was expressed as a percentage, as in 96% conservative or 65% conservative. The American Conservative Union has something similar.

A question I posed is this: say the USA goes to war with China (and there's no dispute over whether we shoukd have gone or anything like that). Big war, very expensive. A Democrat submits a bill to raise taxes to pay for the war. A Republican votes in favor of the bill.

Does/should that Republican get scored "up" or "down" on his conservative bona fides for that vote?


#2

I wish someone could adequately explain to me this desire for “Conservative Purity”.

First…you are dealing with the imperfections of men and women. Then these imperfect people are placed into the Cesspool of Politics to be judged.

What is the “RHINO” Threshold?

Is a 65% Conservative “better” than a 55% one?

(I would be VERY curious to see how Reagan would rank throughout his Life and Career. Does he lose percentage points for being a divorced Hollywood Actor?)

It’s insane.

Mufasa


#3

Would he gain or lose percentage points for feeding Bonzo?

Mufasa


#4

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
I wish someone could adequately explain to me this desire for “Conservative Purity”.

First…you are dealing with the imperfections of men and women. Then these imperfect people are placed into the Cesspool of Politics to be judged.

What is the “RHINO” Threshold?

Is a 65% Conservative “better” than a 55% one?

(I would be VERY curious to see how Reagan would rank throughout his Life and Career. Does he lose percentage points for being a divorced Hollywood Actor?)

It’s insane.

Mufasa[/quote]

I think they are simply judging the voting record. So, no points taken away for divorce.

But, many don’t realize that Reagan began his career as a democrat. His now famous line as to why he became a republican:

“I didn’t leave the democratic party, the democratic party left me.”

Judging by JFK’s policies and his voting record as a Senator one can only agree with Reagan. Today JFK would be considered a moderate to conservative republican. As President he even lowered taxes. Today’s democratic party has turned so far left that one can mistake them for a third world socialist regime.

Some naïve individuals scream that there is no difference between the republican and democrat parties, which is nonsense as there are vast differences in ideology. But back in the day the difference between the two parties was minimal.

Obama has taken the democrats so far left it’s actually shocking the damage that one man has done to one party. That has actually become one of Hillary’s problems (one of many). In the primaries she now has to pretend that she is further left than she actually is. And real left wing wacko’s like Bernie Saunders is gaining ground on her (albeit minimal) because he is far left of her and as we all know only the lefties vote in a democratic primary just as the right wingers vote in the republican primaries.

This presents quite a problem for Hillary. If she positions herself too far left, which she may have to do in order to get the nomination, she further harms he chances in the general election.

Okay I rambled on a bit here but I get to do that it’s my thread :slight_smile:


#5

This is a problem, though, Zeb…

Bills are not purely “Liberal” or “Conservative”.

Bills are so full of pork, garbage and nothing having to do with the main “focus” of the Bill that basing one’s belief’s on their voting record is nebulous at best.

In other words; individuals will often Vote up or down in order to 1) get the parts of the Bill that they believe in and/or will help them or their constituents in the long run and/or 2) as part of complex “deals” with other Senators or Congressmen.

I wish Bills and/or resolutions were “pure”…but they are not.

Mufasa


#6

[quote]ZEB wrote:

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
I wish someone could adequately explain to me this desire for “Conservative Purity”.

First…you are dealing with the imperfections of men and women. Then these imperfect people are placed into the Cesspool of Politics to be judged.

What is the “RHINO” Threshold?

Is a 65% Conservative “better” than a 55% one?

(I would be VERY curious to see how Reagan would rank throughout his Life and Career. Does he lose percentage points for being a divorced Hollywood Actor?)

It’s insane.

Mufasa[/quote]

I think they are simply judging the voting record. So, no points taken away for divorce.

But, many don’t realize that Reagan began his career as a democrat. His now famous line as to why he became a republican:

“I didn’t leave the democratic party, the democratic party left me.”

Judging by JFK’s policies and his voting record as a Senator one can only agree with Reagan. Today JFK would be considered a moderate to conservative republican. As President he even lowered taxes. Today’s democratic party has turned so far left that one can mistake them for a third world socialist regime.

Some na�¯ve individuals scream that there is no difference between the republican and democrat parties, which is nonsense as there are vast differences in ideology. But back in the day the difference between the two parties was minimal.

Obama has taken the democrats so far left it’s actually shocking the damage that one man has done to one party. That has actually become one of Hillary’s problems (one of many). In the primaries she now has to pretend that she is further left than she actually is. And real left wing wacko’s like Bernie Saunders is gaining ground on her (albeit minimal) because he is far left of her and as we all know only the lefties vote in a democratic primary just as the right wingers vote in the republican primaries.

This presents quite a problem for Hillary. If she positions herself too far left, which she may have to do in order to get the nomination, she further harms he chances in the general election.

Okay I rambled on a bit here but I get to do that it’s my thread :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Oops…meant to say “my post”.


#7

Mufasa, you raise a good point re: purity, and that’s what these scorecards are designed to do: gauge and announce purity (or heresy). And all actions are zero-sum - the vote either moves the score up or down.

In terms of where the GOP or movement conservatism is these days, I don’t know where a vote for a tax raise to pay for a war falls. Barry Goldwater would probably call someone a traitor for not voting to raise revenue to pay for a war, but modern “conservatives” certainly don’t think way, from what I see.

I’m really curious as to how such a vote would impact a legislator’s score, but more broadly it is part of a larger discussion about what constitutes “conservatism” and how big the tent is.


#8

Zeb,

Commenting on the leftward drift of the Democratic Party is fine and worthwhile, but the same has occurred with the GOP.

Some say Kennedy wouldn’t be a Democrat today - that has some validity, but nor would he be a Republican. He would be well to the “left” of certain GOPers decried as RINos and would be on the outside looking in.

Any idea that the GOP has created a bigger tent while the Democrats have shrunk theirs is incorrect.


#9

“…Any idea that the GOP has created a bigger tent while the Democrats have shrunk theirs is incorrect…”

Bolt;

Agree.

I might also add that individuals and groups holding certain beliefs have shifted the tents they are under…which makes comparing the DEMS and GOP of 50 years ago (or more) with the ones of today a futile (and disingenuous) effort.

But that topic is a whole other thread.

Mufasa


#10

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#11

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#12

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Zeb,

Commenting on the leftward drift of the Democratic Party is fine and worthwhile, but the same has occurred with the GOP.

Some say Kennedy wouldn’t be a Democrat today - that has some validity, but nor would he be a Republican. He would be well to the “left” of certain GOPers decried as RINos and would be on the outside looking in.

Any idea that the GOP has created a bigger tent while the Democrats have shrunk theirs is incorrect. [/quote]

What I think has occurred is the democrats drifted left, pulling the republicans with them. But, now we have a more conservative group within the republican party, perhaps begun by the Tea Party, attempting to pull the republicans further right.

Also, the media continuing to beat the drum that Obama (and others) are in step with mainstream America has not helped. America has always been center right on the majority of issues. If you listen to those in the MSLM they attack some of the more conservative republicans for being “right wing nuts”. when in fact if we were to take a blind survey (no party, no names) with possibly 10 issues the majority of Americans views with line-up with the very candidates that the media has attacked as being too far right.

I am not a “purist” republican in any sense of the word. Terms like RINO mean nothing to me. All I want is for there to be a republican elected to the Presidency. In the long (and short) run that is better for the country. appointment of judges, tax policy, stronger foreign policy, etc. At this point we need to simply steer back to the middle from this crazy left turn that Obama has taken us on and that the media applauds and promotes at every opportunity.

National Health Care

Illegal Aliens

A horrible and disastrous foreign policy

A meteoric rise of those on food stamps

Runaway debt (both parties responsible Obama the worst)

A general feeling that somehow everyone deserves well…everything

This all must end and end soon or we will never again be the great country that we once were.

Can one republican President reverse all of that? Possibly, but even if the answer is no, it can certainly be a good start.

Your thoughts my friend?


#13

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
This is a problem, though, Zeb…

Bills are not purely “Liberal” or “Conservative”.

Bills are so full of pork, garbage and nothing having to do with the main “focus” of the Bill that basing one’s belief’s on their voting record is nebulous at best.

In other words; individuals will often Vote up or down in order to 1) get the parts of the Bill that they believe in and/or will help them or their constituents in the long run and/or 2) as part of complex “deals” with other Senators or Congressmen.

I wish Bills and/or resolutions were “pure”…but they are not.

Mufasa[/quote]

Very true you make a valid point.


#14

Does Abe Lincoln lose points for that weak ass Chin Strap Beard of his ??

… I think so.

mf


#15

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
"…Any idea that the GOP has created a bigger tent while the Democrats have shrunk theirs is incorrect…"

Bolt;

Agree.

I might also add that individuals and groups holding certain beliefs have shifted the tents they are under…which makes comparing the DEMS and GOP of 50 years ago (or more) with the ones of today a futile (and disingenuous) effort.

But that topic is a whole other thread.

Mufasa[/quote]

History shows us that it doesn’t really matter who is registered to what party. Back in the day most were democrats. When Ike was elected and reelected the majority of voters were democrat. Same with Reagan and the list is endless. The good part for the GOP is that most people are not party zealots. They register for whatever reason and then go out and totally disregard the party and vote for the man/woman who moves them emotionally. That’s why it’s important to have a good looking charismatic candidate who portrays honesty and also has great people skills.

You know the exact opposite of say a Hillary Clinton.


#16

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#17

[quote]pushharder wrote:

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
I wish someone could adequately explain to me this desire for “Conservative Purity”.

[/quote]

I might be able to help you with this. First, could you please assist me by explaining this desire for “Moderate Purity?”[/quote]

I can’t help you, Push.

I’ve never heard of it…never seen a ranking of “moderates” based on their Voting record…never heard a term like “Moderates In Name Only”…never heard of “not being Moderate enough”…or of not being a “real” Moderate…the list goes on…

I have seen, read and heard all of the above about Conservatives…and it came from things like “CPAC”…not the infamous “MSLM”.

So, I couldn’t possibly be looking for any “Moderate Purity”, when I don’t even know what it is.

Your turn.

Mufasa


#18

[quote]pushharder wrote:
Wondering why this “gauge” vexes Muf (and maybe TB to a lesser degree) so much. It’s a gauge – one of several things to be used to gauge a politician’s record.

Every voter can’t have coffee with every politician. Relax, collect the data from the various gauges, and assess. What’s the big deal?[/quote]

There’s nothing vexing about it, but your point is a red herring. People use the scorecard in assessing a legislator a little, a lot, or not at all. Everyone gets it.

The issue raised is that in order to create such a scorecard, there has to be a litmus test with zero sum answers.

And where does the vote fit in the litmus test? Up or down on the score? And why?

A separate but related issue is how much the litmus test figures into a candidate’s chances of actually getting through the primaries. Unquestionably, the litmus test is much more rigid than it used to be for the GOP.


#19

“Moderate purity” is a contradiction in terms. Whatever the definition of a moderate party, a necessary (but not sufficient) condition of such a party is that it doesn’t operate by way of litmus test politics.

But I don’t think there is really such a thing. Parties organize around principles, and “being moderate” is more a function of behavior rather than belief.


#20

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