Number One Liberal

According to the National Journal, Barack Obama is the most liberal Senator in the United States Senate.  Quite the coincidence, as four years ago that honor went to John Kerry.

A better examination revealed that John Kerry was actually the number Eleven Liberal in the United States Senate.  Even so, George Bush got off that line about Kerry being “the Liberal Senator from Massachusetts”, as opposed to Teddy Kennedy — the, um, Conservative Senator from Massachusetts.  Hardy Har Har.

Parsing out the votes, the difference between the voting records between Hillary Clinton — Number 16 — is… two votes.  Parse these votes out on the left-right meter as you would like.  Also of some modest interest, the Paul Krugman diagnosis in examining domestic proposals — chief among them Health Care, and I note that one because it is the easiest one to get a grip on in terms of proposals — has Obama ever so slightly to the right of Clinton.  Ever so slightly key operative phrase.

I think we need some new criteria.  Perhaps what we could do is give the following Senators a 100 rating in terms of “Liberalism”, ergo defining that term as them: Bernie Sanders, Russ Feingold, and Ted Kennedy.  From them, you rank them by percentages.  This also allows arenas of disagreement of the word, meaning that if Sanders is against, say, the Kitten Extermination Act and Kennedy is for it — meaning who can tell which is the “Liberal” or “Conservative” position for this bi-partisan bill — no alignment comes up.

But then again, Obama ends up nowhere, what with a slew of “Present” votes and a presidential run started before he really slid into the Senate.

Anyway, words change meaning.  I should dredge up a chart I never saved which I found interesting but only flicked past me and show how bizarre these things can get — ie: everyone considered themselves a Liberal in the 1950s, and we all know how Liberal society was in the 1950s.

And, whatever you do, define yourself as one of these two groups and never allow a deviant thought to enter your cranium.

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