The failure/ineptness/unwillingness (take your pick, or “all of the above”) of GOP leadership to move forward aggressively on key issues, such as shutting down Planned Parenthood, or halting the Iran nuclear deal, has brought conservative frustrations with Congress to a head. Eric has a diary today, Shut Down The Government. Now. and Steve Berman tells us that 140 House Members are Ready to #DefundPlannedParenthood
So why isn’t anything significant, other than political kabuki theater, happening?
One of the nice little features of Red State is the inclusion of the Heritage Action For America scoreboard, which tells you how just how conservative ( or not) members of Congress actually are. Every time a congressman’s name appears in a dairy, ( but NOT the comments) the latest number pops up next to it.
I just realized ( thanks to another RS’er)..that if you move your mouse over the number, it gives you the composite score for the House and the Senate..so you get a sense of where that particular individual stands..
Given that yes, there are indeed , as Disraeli ( or perhaps Mark Twain) said..“lies, damn lies, and statistics,” it’s informative to say the least. I mean, just look at those poor Tennessee Republicans, whose two senators have a composite 39.5 rating. Heck, they might as well have elected a pair of Democrats.
I was curious to see how the GOP leadership compared with the Congress as a whole. It took a few minutes, plugging numbers into a spreadsheet, but the results are interesting.
Let’s take the Senate first. The HAFA Senate GOP composite is 65%. There are FIVE members of leadership: McConnell, Cornyn, Thune, Barrasso, and Blunt. Their average is 65%, so that seems consistent. However, if we look at the top two, McConnell and Cornyn, who really run the show in the Senate, their composite is 58%, which is significantly behind the Senate as a whole.
I then decided to look at the 18 committee chairs. I excluded Ethics, Intelligence, and did not count the scores for Thune and Blunt, as they are already counted as part of leadership. That composite score is 60%.
So the top 21 Republicans in the Senate lag behind the GOP conference as a whole in their commitment to conservative issues. Now, I am no statistician ( I haven’t even stayed at a Holiday Inn Express) but that tells us that the rest of the GOP senators are way AHEAD of their colleagues.
And since the Republican majority in the Senate has 54 members, that also suggests that if leadership doesn’t get its act together, and fast, there is definite potential for a successful insurrection .
[mc_name name=’Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’L000577′ ] for Majority Leader, anyone?
Now, let’s turn to the House. The House average score is 68%
Boehner doesn’t get a HAFA rating, because, as Speaker, he rarely votes. The other four members of leadership, McCarthy,Scalise, Rogers,and Messer, have a composite score of 64%. That’s slightly behind the pack.
I then looked at the 18 House committees (omitting Ethics, Administration, Intelligence and any Special committees). Their composite is 71%. The figure for the top 22 House Republicans is 69%.
It would appear that the problem, the bottleneck in the House, is Boehner, and to a lesser extent, the Majority Leader, McCarthy. They’re the ones who won’t act decisively.
Realistically, one expects the GOP to hold the House, and even increase its majority slightly. The pressure has to increase on Boehner not to seek reelection, or else face a significant challenge. And McCarthy must be made to understand that he won’t have the votes to be elected Speaker. He doesn’t reflect the House as a whole, and we can’t afford any more of that ineffective leadership.
Note: I apologize that two of my links, to Berman’s diary, and to Heritage, don’t work. I’ve tried to troubleshoot, with no success. I’m stumped. (fixed– streiff)