The most liberal AND a flip-flopper?

I guess the title says it all.

Kerry is claimed to be the most liberal senator, based on his voting record, and an inveterate flip-flopper, also based, according to Dick Cheney, on his voting record.

Does everybody get my confusion? How could the other members of the senate be voting so that none are left of him, but that he’s voted both sides of most issues? Can anybody reconcile it for me?

That’s pretty funny, bup

I’m just mad I didn’t think of it myself!

A true believer does not suffer from such cognitive dissonance.

Kerry has no convictions, but if he did, they’d all be liberal.

This is making my brain hurt.

Maybe he starts out with a really conservative position on every bill and then changes his mind, 180 degrees, every time to a super liberal position?

Or maybe the right is so busy bad-mouthing the guy they don’t realize that what they’re saying contradicts itself???

Nah. They don’t care that they’re contradicting themselves; all that matters is that you (the potential swing voter) don’t notice the holes in their arguments.

Kind of like Bush is an evil mastermind and a retarded puppet at once.

No, no, no. Karl Rove is the evil mastermind, Dubya is the retarded puppet.

Perhaps that is exactly what the right is saying about the left: they are so loathe to stand as men upon principle — so adamant not to offend the sensibilities of other endangered invertebrates — that their votes are like water trickling down a window pane, following the path of least resistance until they fall to the ground and disappear into an undistinguished clod of mud.

Thank you Master Po, it is all very clear to me now! :wink:

Their votes? I’m talking about one guy. How, if he’s following the path of least resistance, could he be the most liberal?

You need to make up your own mind about the flip-flopper issue, since that’s very hard if not impossible to define objectively.

As for “most liberal”, I don’t recall the cite, but I do remember that it went down something like this: That rating was based only on his votes in the last year. Since Kerry was out campaigning much of the time, he missed a lot of votes and the organization, which usually ranks votes in several different categories only had enough Kerry votes to rank him in one of the categories. In that category, he ended up “the most liberal”.

When Kerry is rated throughout his Senate career, he doesn’t end up “most liberal”.

Fear Itself, I called Lib my “Master Po” in another thread as an acknowledgement that, if he thinks me wise, this is partly a reflection of his wisdom informing and strengthening my own position when we have debated here (even, and indeed particularly, when our positions have been fundamentally opposed). I would politely ask you not to use it as a term of ridicule, no matter how graciously Lib might accept it as simple lighthearted banter.

bup, I love it. Unfortunately, it’s a subtle point that might be awkward to get across to large numbers of people. We need a short pithy 1 or 2 liner that gets the point across clearly and cleanly. Anyone have any ideas?

bup: A good point, although to be fair in attribution, elucidator has been pointing this little bit of cognitive dissonance out for months.

John Mace: The story is something like that. The way I heard it, those Presidential candidates out on the campaign trail last year necessarily missed a lot of votes. The votes that they did come back for tended to be ones where they were called back by their party because it was going to be a really tight vote and thus this introduced a large bias in their voting record for last year. So this is why both Kerry and Edwards ended up being ranked among the most liberal even though they hadn’t been in past years. I didn’t hear anything about the categories you refer to although maybe that is true too.

For anyone with a lot of patience, This article (in PDF format) from a few Standford and Princeton professors makes some interesting reading. They do a good job of discussing margins of error in making these types of claims.

And that, obviously, was supposed to be “Stanford”…

Wow, thank you, Sentient! Although Fear Itself might have taken it some other way, I merely intended to voice what a conservative might mean, and not what I myself might think.

You may change the pronoun. I am using variants of “they” as third-person number-neutral. It seems to be the new grammar, as in: “Everybody who participates shall have their recognition”. It would apply to one as well as to one hundred.

Settle down guys, I have no sinister motive, nor am I ridiculing anyone, I just thought the similarity between **Liberal’s ** prose and the wisdom of Master Po was amusing enough to share. Hence the :wink: