Sunday, December 22, 2019

According to the Heritage Action Scorecard, Just How Conservative are your Congressmen and Senators?

Heritage Action is the activist wing of  The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think-tank, that has been around since 1973, and if it is not the most influential conservative organizations, it is certainly one of the most influential. Their mission statement is "to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."

While the Foundation does policy, Heritage Action does politics.  Heritage Action has chapters all across America, including one here in Nashville. If interested in affiliating with the Nashville Chapter, follow this link. Heritage Foundation is one of those organizations I support financially.

Every year, Heritage Action produces a "scorecard" rating each member of the House and Senate.  The higher the score the more often the legislature voted in agreement with positions taken my Heritage. Below is the results for Tennessee's delegation:

Scores are a good way to quickly label a person's politics. One should note however that it is a shortcut and may not tell you all you need to know about a person to determine if they are worthy of your support. Keep in mind that a score is for the most recent session of Congress.  Sometimes a member may score higher one year than another year.  Also scores are often based on just a few votes. You may not agree with every position taken by the scoring organization. To see the issues that went into the Heritage Action Score, follow this link.

Sometimes a legislator must vote smart or strategically and well as vote for the correct policy.  As an example, while I agree we need to address massive spending, in the short run this may not be the right time to vote against a spending bill and shut down the governments.  Also, if the choice is between a liberal Republican and a conservative Democrat (which it hardly ever is) I would rather have the Republican because who controls the legislature may be more important that how that particular legislator votes. Scores are a good reference but they don't tell you everything. Skill, intellect, statecraft, integrity, work ethic,  and seniority are important factors in evaluating a politician also.

You will notice above that Senator Alexander scored 56%. That is one of the lower Republican scores and is the same score as Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Lindsey Graham.  There were ten other Republican senators who scored the same or lower than Senator Alexander.

Representative Jim Cooper who scored only 6%, sometimes likes to posture as a conservative Democrat and while his score is higher than most Democrats, it is still low.  Most Democrats scored a zero. Some member of Congress, who one may think of as very liberal, actually got a score higher than Jim cooper.  Rep. Rashida Tlaib scored a 7%,  Rep. Ilhan Omar scored a 13% and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored a 13%.

There actually was a time when there were some conservative Democrats and some liberal Republican. Now it is very rare.  In the House the more conservative Democrat is more liberal than the most liberal Republican according to the scores. In the Senate, there is only one Republican who is less conservative than several Democrats and that is Susan Collins.  And, there is only one Democrat who is more conservative than several Republicans and that is Joe Manchin.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment