We lit a fire under the conservative Clark Durant, and now he appears to be surging with a number of prominent endorsements.
Last week, National Journal published their annual legislative scorecard, which ranks members of both the House and Senate by ideology, according to selected votes. Everyone was shocked to find that the most stalwart conservatives like Jim DeMint and Mike Lee, who score as the most conservative senators on Heritage Action’s scorecard, were way down on the list of conservative members, according to the National Journal’s scorecard. You can see the comparison here.
I conducted a lengthy analysis below the fold that details why the National Journal scorecard actually penalizes members for voting as pure conservatives. They simply took a vote in which the majority of Republicans voted one way and the majority of Democrats voted the opposite way, calling the Republican vote conservative and the Democrat vote liberal. But, all too often, many stalwart conservatives opposed Republican budget and debt proposals because they cut too little and failed to live up to their pledge to America.
Here is my analysis:
Many liberal Republicans who vote with the Democrats in Washington are careful to feign conservatism to their Republican constituents when seeking reelection. Indiana Senator Dick Lugar has such antipathy for conservatives that he feels no compunction in attacking the Tea Party in his latest email blast, even as he is embroiled in a tough primary battle. Here’s what Lugar’s campaign wrote about the Tea Party earlier today:
A group of people who believe nothing about President Obama somehow trust him implicitly when he says that Richard Lugar is his favorite Republican. The Tea Party should be attacking the president for that, not Lugar. But it’s no surprise that the Tea Party fell for yet another of the Obama campaign’s political tactics. Why can’t we win the Senate back again?
It’s hard to understate just how much debt this president has accrued relative to his predecessors. By the end of his first term, Obama will have racked up $5.8 trillion in debt, topping off our gross national debt at $16.4 trillion. To put that in perspective, it took from our nation’s founding until 2001 to accumulate that much debt. So in just one term, Obama will incur more debt than the first 42 presidents combined.
Perhaps the most salient debt milestone Obama will be remembered for is that our debt surpassed the size of our economy on his watch. Here is a chart courtesy of Zero Hedge that illustrates the sort of unsustainable trajectory that the president has stimulated.
Remember all that talk about a permanent Democrat majority in the House from leading political consultants? Well, it turns out that they might fail to win a majority of the congressional delegation in solid blue New Jersey. Roll Call has a full run down of all the races there.
Just how liberal is Texas Senate candidate David Dewhurst? He is so liberal that he won’t even hide his associations with Democrat operatives in middle of a heated primary in a conservative state! Ben Shapiro of Big Government reports that Dewhurst was in Washington this week meeting with Democrat bigwigs, including lobbyist and strategist Tony Podesta:
Chalk another one up to “bipartisanship.” David Dewhurst, the lieutenant governor of Texas, spent time in November hanging out with his left-wing friends in Washington D.C. to raise a little scratch for his run for the Senate. One of those friends was Tony Podesta, a major fundraiser for the Democratic Party, who held a fundraiser at his townhouse for Dewhurst.
The hosts of the party were all typically fundraisers for Democrats. Podesta himself heads up the Podesta Group, which earned a whopping $27.4 million in lobbying fees last year. Salon.com, no right-wing outlet, labeled the Podesta Group a firm with “close ties to the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.” Tony and his brother John are frequent visitors to the White House. Podesta has worked for political campaigns for Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, George McGovern, and Michael Dukakis. He was a founding member of the radical liberal group People for the American Way.
We’re happy to announce the late breaking news that John Boehner has agreed to scuttle the 5-year House highway bill (H.R. 7). It had been postponed until next week, but CQ is reporting that Boehner is permanently killing HR 7 and will formulate a shorter reauthorization bill.
According to a senior House GOP aide, the House bill will be shorter than the bill (HR 7) that was supposed to move to the House floor next week. How much shorter is unclear; the aide said it would still “provide plenty of time for a new Congress and new president to enact a long-term reauthorization.”
The aide also said the changes to transit funding that the bill had originally contained — primarily, getting rid of its funding link to the Highway Trust Fund — will be “postponed.”
Additionally, since the bill’s duration will be shorter, funding may be reduced below current levels. This could potentially help the GOP deal with the fact that $15.5 billion worth of the bulk of the pension changes they had planned to use to offset the bill’s spending are now gone.
The revamped bill will retain such provisions as project expediting and environmental streamlining. Additionally, the bill is expected to continue to link infrastructure funding to an expansion of energy production. Procedurally, the aide said the truncated surface transportation bill is expected to be attached to the energy production bill the House passed last week (HR 3408).
Despite the media narrative, more people still oppose the auto bailouts, according to a new Gallup poll.
There are multiple reasons to block grant welfare programs back to the states. Aside for the obvious reasons of balancing budgets and encouraging more efficiency, devolving these programs to the states will preclude overzealous federal administrations from promulgating onerous mandates on the states. The Obama administration is mandating that all states must use Medicaid funds to help provide coverage for abortions. Texas is leading the way and rebelling against this mandate. Today, the Texas Health and Human Resources Commissioner signed a rule banning Medicaid funds from being used for Planned Parenthood grants or for other abortion providers.
For the most part, last night’s debate was refreshing in the sense that the candidates were honest about their lack of conservatism. Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul affirmed their support for some aspect of earmarking (although some parsed words), Rick Santorum owned up to his support of No Child Left Behind, Ron Paul unabashedly enunciated his support for Iran’s nuclear program, and Newt Gingrich also confirmed his support for Obama’s federal intervention in education via the “Race to the Top” program.
Nevertheless, there was one man who refused to own up to his lack of conservatism; Mitt Romney. Romney consistently criticized Rick Santorum for his support for things that he undoubtedly would have voted for had he been in the Senate. Some of the items, including NCLB, Planned Parenthood, and bailouts, he did support even without a voting record in the Senate.
Let’s face it; had Romney won the Massachusetts Senate seat in ’94, he would have voted for earmarks, No Child Left Behind, every bailout under the sun, funding for Planned Parenthood, and yes – he would have supported Arlen Specter. After all, he ran to the left of Ted Kennedy in ’94. We all know that Romney would have made Olympia Snowe look like Jim DeMint had he been more successful at electoral politics. So don’t try to use your time out of Congress to your advantage, Mr. Romney. Own up to your liberalism.