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Here is a great refutation of the latest talking point of the Wingnut echo chamber. A letter to Andrew Sullivan disputes his repeating the GOP line that, according to the National Journal, Kerry and Edwards have the first and fourth most liberal voting records in the Senate:

"I'm growing a bit frustrated with the media, including you, running with this Kerry and Edwards being the first and fourth most liberal Senators. Everyone is citing the National Journal's ratings but they are doing it sloppily. I have seen no recent article that cites anything but the 2003 ratings where Kerry missed 37 and Edwards missed 22 of 62 votes and both were setting themselves up for primary battles where their base was essential. Think what you may about missing votes and pandering a bit (seems suicide to not do both when going for the nomination), but my larger point is the media should be looking at this much more historically and in years when Edwards and Kerry actually showed up to do their jobs. I'll do it for them. Following are rankings and liberal scores since 1999.

2003: Kerry - 1st (96.5) Edwards - 4th (94.5)

  1. : Kerry - 9th (87.3) Edwards - 31st (63.0) Edwards made the centrist list.
  2. : Kerry - 11th (87.7) Edwards - 35th (68.2) Edwards almost tied with Lieberman.
  3. : Kerry - 20th (77) Edwards - 19th (80.8) Rankings past 20 are not available nor are composite scores for all Senators, so Kerry is 21st or higher.
  4. : Kerry - 16th (80.8) Edwards - 31st (72.2)
Average: Kerry - 12th (85.9) Edwards - 24th (75.7)

Now this paints a different picture. Certainly Kerry is a stalwart liberal (although probably not or barely a top 10 liberal), but he does hail from and represent one of the most liberal states. But Edwards is definitely a moderate Democrat (if you define that as somewhere in the ideological middle of the Democratic platform).

Now, will this mean anything to the Stepford GOP? No. The chips implanted in the back of their necks have been programmed and unless we can find some way to hack into their metaphysical computer network, they will continue with this distortion. Nevertheless, I just thought you would all find it interesting to see how they twist facts and lie with glee. Nothing new here.

Originally posted to John Campanelli on Mon Jul 12, 2004 at 05:25 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent work John. (none)
    Using that same formula I came up with this

    Most incompetent presidents

    Bush II (100) 1st
    Bush I (88.667) 4th

    Just for comparison...
    Clinton (32.5) 28th

    So you can see, the Bushes are respectively the first and fourth most incompetent presidents in history...

    If you can't say f*ck, then you can't say f*ck the government - Lenny Bruce

    by PBJ Diddy on Mon Jul 12, 2004 at 05:36:41 PM PDT

    •  My Results (none)
      I'd like to see your formula. Mine, [amount of incompetence]/[number of presidents], shows W. to be the 1st through 42nd most incompetent president ever. All the rest have their ranking as a fraction of the remainder.
      •  Ah- there's the problem. (4.00)
        You have the equation set up incorrectly.

        Incompetence rating= [number of presidents]/[amount of competence].

        W. earns the dubious distinction of a divide by zero error, thus making his incompetence infinite.

        To put it differently, he couldn't do anything without Condi Rice reading him the news headlines or Dick Cheney's hand up his ass operating his mouth like a good ventriloquist's dummy.

        Especially when visions harden into dogmatic ideologies, they become inhuman, cruel and dangerous. - Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

        by wingedelf on Mon Jul 12, 2004 at 06:10:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  even better (none)
    I think this could be a big deal in the south.  First Read also commented on it this morning (see my diary here).

    Their ratings were even better than yours:

    Indeed, according to the magazine, in 1999, Kerry was the 16th most liberal Senator and Edwards was 31st.  In 2000, Kerry ranked 23rd and Edwards was 19th.  In 2001, Kerry was 11th and Edwards 35th.  And in 2002, Kerry was 8th and Edwards 40th.

    Discounting 2003 because of the non-votes, Kerry averages 14.5 the other years.  Edwards is 31.25.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Mon Jul 12, 2004 at 05:44:20 PM PDT

    •  Should have mentioned (none)
      that these rankings are from The National Journal, which is the same source Republicans use to get the high 2003 numbers.

      The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

      by mikepridmore on Mon Jul 12, 2004 at 05:46:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks ! (none)
    I knew in my gut when I heard that claim that it was likely wrong, and even guessed that it might have been based on the past years rating when both candidates would have missed all but the most "important" close partisan votes.

    I'm glad someone else finally actually took the time to research it and get the facts!

  •  btw (none)
    This is a GREAT debunking talking point.  Get this one out there, people.

    Another one that's worked for me is to point out the doublethink involved when people (as I've found they have been) simultaneously claim that Kerry is the most liberal man alive, and that he is an endless flip-flopper with no clear positions.  

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