Nothing is more uncomfortable for people, especially elected officials, than to be reminded of promises made that are quickly broken.
As Daniel pointed out last week on the heels of the North Carolina primaries, moderates never run in primaries as moderates. No, they run as conservatives, promising their constituents that they will “go change Washington.”
And then they never do.
Which is why we have so many Republicans who are not just part of the status quo in Washington, DC, they defend and advance the status quo (the growth and burden of the federal government).
A few months ago, Daniel called to discuss this very topic. As we riffed, I pointed out that what the conservative movement was missing was a Performance Index, an objective way for voters to answer the question, “Is my Member of Congress performing?”
I suggested the top number be an aggregate of the Heritage Action for America and Club for Growth scorecards, discussed in the Methodology link at the Madison Performance Index. Daniel suggested the Cook Partisan Voting Index as the bottom number and we decided that the number created by the above criteria would give us a performance index and answer the question: is my Member of Congress performing to the district or underperforming?
The response has been electric. Some have said, “This is what we have been waiting for!” Consultants of those in the Hall of Shame have complained that it is unfair and opens these incumbents to primary challenges.
That’s the point, folks.
We wanted to lay an objective foundation for conservatives to challenge incumbent Members of Congress and be able to do it in as concise a way possible: “You are not performing, therefore we will find someone who will.”
We know Members are checking out their MPIs. We know candidates who are using it and tweeting about it.
Our hope is that the movement as a whole will use it as an effective tool to enforce promises made. If that does not work, then we hope it will be used as a tool to replace those who have broken their promises.
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