Diary

Sabermetrics, the vote for Speaker, and why we're going to need a new party

Sabermetrics is the empirical analysis of baseball, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity. Bill James, who pioneered sabermetrics, defined it as “the search for objective knowledge about baseball.” It gained  great acceptance with the general public after the publication of “Moneyball.”

About the closest thing we have to sabermetrics in politics are the various scorecards that different organizations use to track how members vote.  Usually, these are of questionable value, as they tend to skew towards one particular issue. The NRA is a prime example of this.

Others are more broadly based, and reflective of a solid conservative ideology. One of these is run by Heritage Action for America. Indeed, Red State has adopted it to the extent that every time the name of a member of Congress appears in a diary, their Heritage score pops up.

So let’s delve into an analysis of today’s vote for Speaker, shall we.

The last Heritage scorecard, a/o Dec. 19, 2014, listed 59 House Republicans with a score above 75%. I chose 75% as a reasonable benchmark for defining a solid conservative.

I should note here that two of the individuals who ran against Boehner –  Yoho and Webster, failed to meet my initial criteria of a 75% Heritage score.

Of those 59, 6 could not vote for Speaker today, because, they were no longer in the House, either due to retirement, defeat, or running for the Senate.

So, that drops our sample to 53.

Included in Heritage’s rankings are two Representatives, David Bratt, and [mc_name name=’Rep. Curt Clawson (R-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001102′ ], who, having just taken their seats a short while ago, have no  meaningful Heritage score.

So, to be fair, let’s remove them. That gives us a sample of 51.

Let’s also, for the integrity of our analysis,  remove the three individuals on our list, who either openly ran for Speaker ( Goehmert) or who received votes ( Jordan and Gowdy).

That reduces our voting sample to 48.

Of the 24 House Republicans who voted for someone other than Boehner, removing those listed above, AND those who had a Heritage score below 75%, yields the following list:

Amash (MI), Bridenstine (OK), Duncan (SC), Gosar (AZ), Garrett (NJ), Huelskamp (KS), Massie (KY), Meadows (NC), Stutzman (IND), and Weber (TX).

That folks, is a really short list. It’s just TEN Republican members of the House who are both conservative and honorable.

And we won’t even go into all the new House Republicans just elected two months ago, many of whom led the voters to believe they would be willing to vote for a new Speaker.

So, then, to summarize what our analysis has revealed:

Out of a pool of 48 House Republicans, who would meet our criteria of being categorized as “solid conservatives”,  those we would expect to be true to their principles; only 10, or just about 20% were willing to stand up for their beliefs and do the right thing. Boehner could easily have been defeated, had they all voted their conscience.

So, what conclusion can we draw? Easy:

Either we need a new scorecard, because this one doesn’t accurately measure conservatism, or we need a new party.

And the same people who just foisted Boehner on us are preparing to cram Jeb down our throats.

Not again. No more. Never. We give them our time, our treasure, and our votes. They turn around and  tell us to go and pound sand.

It’s time to go.