Every conservative who cares about the unholy mess known as Congress should visit conservativereview.com (CR) and examine the “Liberty Score.” Every liberal who wonders how conservatives view their elected leaders should examine it as well.
The “Liberty Score” is refreshingly (and painfully) honest, as opposed to other scorecards that have been known to be compromised. It separates the wheat from the chaff and the frauds from the champions. It tells you who the real conservative heroes are, who comes close, and who doesn’t deserve to be in the same sentence with that word.
It also blows the whistle on the charlatans who campaign for re-election as red-hot conservatives, having deceived their constituency by covering up a voting record that is anything but; after being rewarded with another term, they cynically proceed to betray voters yet again by returning to their liberal ways.
The voting analysis here is no meatball surgery. You cannot be more comprehensive than when you analyze 6,382 votes, selecting the top 50 for incumbents over a six-year period.
Let’s look at the Republicans in the Senate. “Liberty Score” tells you everything you need to know about the GOP majority – and what to expect from a body that almost universally champions itself as “conservative.” But the scores, pulled in June 2015, tell a different tale.
Start with the “A” grades, those with voting records between 90% and 100%. There is only one Republican – Sen. Mike Lee of Utah – who registers a perfect 100%. (Two others, Ben Sasse and David Perdue, also score perfectly, but they are brand-new and have cast only a handful of major votes.) There are only two other Republicans in the entire body who receive an “A” — Cruz (96%) and Paul (93%).
Three veterans and two rookies. That’s it for the conservative GOP “A” team.
Surely, then, the lengthy list of “B” grade conservatives will at least alleviate concerns, correct?
There are only four Republicans who merit a “B.” Tim Scott (88%) is the best, followed by Marco Rubio at a surprisingly weak 81%, Jeff Sessions at an equally head-scratching 80% and Jim Risch, also at 80%.
For me, that’s it. No one below this grade can qualify as a conservative. So there are seven veteran conservatives and two rookies – period.
The remaining are moderates or liberals. Their records do not lie. They do.
We drop to the “C”s and there are no fewer than 10 Republicans here. Some are real surprises: Jim Inhofe (79%), James Lankford (75%), and rookies Joni Ernst and Tom Cotton (both also at a worrisome 75%). The rest long ago deserted their conservative bona fides (Chuck Grassley, David Vitter, Mike Crapo) or never had them to begin with (Bill Cassidy, Dan Sullivan, Steve Daines).
Now to the charlatans—those who will tell the media, their constituents and their friends what committed conservatives they are and then do the opposite, over and over, when it comes time to vote.
They are the ones who despise the idea of the “Liberty Score.” It is the flashlight that found them cowering in the corner and has exposed them for all to see. These incumbents do not deserve re-election. They should be primaried and thrown out of Washington.
First, the seven who have compiled horrific “D” scores.
Jerry Moran (64%) and Richard Shelby (66%) are perhaps the ones who least claim conservative allegiances, so give them that. Mike Enzi (66%) has done a terrific job pulling the wool over the eyes of conservative Wyoming voters. John Cornyn (61%) has betrayed conservatives so many times I’m surprised they even let him return to Texas.
Then there are the two shockers. I wish they weren’t here because they are such monumental disappointments. Conservatives expected them not only to vote right but also to lead conservatives in the Senate. They excited the conservative movement when they arrived in Washington. Happy days were here again.
Ron Johnson at 69% must stop calling himself a conservative.
Pat Toomey is the man who brought the Club for Growth to national prominence as the one group that vowed not just to support only conservative Republicans, but also to aggressively challenge impostors. Sadly, the Club needs to consider challenging its former boss. At 64%, Toomey is a conservative in name only.
Finally, to the GOP disgraces, the men and women who may as well be Democrats, except Democrats are more intellectually honest.
In the “F” category you’ll find the rogues. Every single one, with the possible exception of Thom Tillis (50%) and Mike Rounds (25%), both freshmen, needs to go.
Deb Fischer (58%) and Jeff Flake (40%) owe their elections to the Tea Party. Theirs was blatant false advertising.
Some have been here so long, utterly violating the spirit of the Founders, they’ve long forgotten – or stopped caring about – what their constituents want. John McCain has been in Congress 32 years, Pat Roberts 34 years, Orrin Hatch 38 years, and Thad Cochran 43 years. That is truly obnoxious. Their conservative voting records – 45%, 57%, 54%, and 33% respectively – are even worse.
Then there are the blatant hypocrites, those who so predictably and cynically wrap themselves with the conservative flag when facing the voters only to laugh and rip it to shreds the moment they succeed at what can be described only as a political con.
We know who we’re talking about. It’s the same story, one election cycle after the next. It’s Hatch and McCain. It’s Richard Burr (51%). It’s Dan Coats (49%). It’s Lindsey Graham (49%). It’s Johnny Isakson (42%). It’s Roy Blunt (39%). It’s Roger Wicker (32%).
The rest – Portman, Heller, Thune, Corker, Boozman, Ayotte, Kirk, Hoeven, Gardner, Rounds, Capito, Alexander, Murkowski, Collins – might as well be Democrats. Someone tell me of a single conservative cause any one of them has ever championed in the United States Senate.
To put things in their proper perspective: There are eight Republicans whose voting records are, at best, only 15 points higher than Bernie Sanders (14%), the body’s only Socialist.
And there are more Republicans with an “F” rating – 28 of them — than all other grades combined.
And leading this charge? Mitch McConnell (54%). The Republican Majority Leader ranks an “F.”
How many times do you think these scoundrels have promised to defund Obamacare, stop executive amnesty, cut the size of government, balance the budget, secure the border, cut taxes, end the funding of Planned Parenthood, PBS, the NEA and God knows what else, honor the Constitution, rebuild our national defenses, end abortion, restore prayer in school, and blah, blah, blah. How many TV ads? Radio ads? Speeches? Press releases? Facebook and Twitter posts?
It is fashionable to say that these Republicans have surrendered their conservative principles. Not so. As the record – not the rhetoric, the record – shows, the overwhelming majority aren’t conservatives, and many were never conservatives.