This Just In - Obama Most Liberal Member of Congress

Well, I guess we know who the Righties are afraid of this cycle.

Yes, ladies and gents, Barack Obama is the most liberal person in Congress.

Just like John Kerry was in 2004. Strangely enough, they didn’t list Kerry in this particular article. I wonder why?

Oh, well, nobody could possibly have predicted this one.

Fortunately for the GOPers, they can afford to whip this one out early, since their base won’t remember it when anyone else is The Most Liberal Politician In Politics.


Yeah, except that your source (your first one) doesn’t say he’s the most liberal member of Congress. It says he’s the most liberal member of Congress who’s running for president. Thus it isn’t strange after all that Kerry isn’t on the list. The pitting is a cool idea, especially given your second link. The only problem with it is that it’s wrong. :wink:

Even then, it’s a dubious assertion:

And for those who don’t remember, the Kerry assertion was bogus, too.

Here’s the chart, btw, in PDF…

and for the Republicans running:

Kucinich gets more liberal ratings than Obama now…it’s just that he didn’t get particularly liberal ratings from 97-2000, and that’s dragging down his score.

For 2006 , according to National Journal, Obama’s liberal rating was 86, which makes him the 10th most liberal senator in 2006. The most liberal was Richard Durbin, and the most conservative was Jim DeMint.

I think it represents the greatest victory of the GOP, really.

“Liberal” is a dirty word. “Conservative” is a badge of honor.


In your view, who is the most liberal person in Congress running for President, then, if not Senator Obama?

Dennis Kucinich was already mentioned and how does Edwards compare to Obama?


In my view, “liberal” isn’t a dirty word and being branded as the bestest liberal - however dubious the quantifications and calculations arriving at said conclusions are - is (or should be) completely meaningless.

To put it in simpler terms: who cares?

As of right now, Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate I know of who is advocating immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, marijuana decriminalization, raising taxes to extend Medicare benefits to all to nationalize health care service, withdrawal from NAFTA, nationalization of gun laws, and the creation of a Department of Peace to ‘balance’ the Defense Department.

In other words, he’s looking to become the Straight Dope Great Debate Forum’s nominee for 2008.
As I don’t think any of the other announced candidates hold any one of those views, I think he wins hands down as “most liberal”.


Well, as others have said…Kucinich is certainly more liberal now, but there was a time where he expressed more conservative views than he currently does, and that is pulling down his rating.

This is simply an analysis of voting records, with “liberal” and “conservative” rankings of Democrats and Republicans. I don’t see where the National Journal (the source of the rankings) is trying to smear anybody, and it appears that the OP is pitting a factual report. And, as the article notes, Kucinich is the most liberal (as would be expected) if we look at more recent voting trends.

Its’ bad analysis of bad data. You can compare Obama to Kucinich as their data is being generating from different pools. Its’ like trying to compare the league leader in asissts in hockey to the leader in basketball. Not to mention that their measurement system leaves something to be desired. If I’m reading it correctly they decide whether is bill is “liberal” or “conservative” by if it passed or not. Huh? Not to mention that some issues can’t be neatly cleaved into liberal or conservative. Add in the riders attached to bills (ie money for roads imbedded in a bill for the Iraq War) and you’ve got some messed up data.

Obama’s the most liberal candidate?

Well, I guess I won’t be voting for his ass then.


I wish Russ Feingold would run. :frowning:

That’s not a good summary of what your link says, and it does not say that a bill was considered conservative or liberal based on whether or not it passed. Seems like they did a reasonable job with the data they had. Do you dispute the results? They seem about right to me.

Me, too. I’d vote for him over Hillary or Obama any day.

The factual part is that the National Journal ranked candidates on a “liberal” and “conservative” scale that I can’t find on their website or in the OP cite.

It would be helpful to know what the scale is. After all “liberal” probably means one thing to the Hoover Institute and something different to the Daily Worker. What does it mean to the National Journal?

Liberal used to be a respectable word until it was tainted by the actions of certain liberals.

Conservative used to be a respectable word until it was tainted by the actions of certain conservatives.

I agree with you.