The American Conservative Union's Embarrassing Scorecard

I had to look twice. Then I looked one more time.The American Conservative Union (“ACU”) has released its annual scorecard. It is supposed to be a scorecard for a measure of conservatism on Capitol Hill.So you will be as surprised as I was to find that Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader with a history of undermining conservatives in the Senate, has a 100% score for 2012 — higher, in fact, that either Jim DeMint or Tom Coburn.I had to laugh.I have to hope someone on the ACU’s Board has some sense of shame. Chairman Al Cardenas, in his letter introducing the 2012 scorecard, writes, “our ratings have become the most important conservative measuring stick in American politics.”Not after this.I guess if ACU wants to ignore that Mitch McConnell

  • voted to keep the Essential Air Service program that conservatives annually ridicule as a waste;
  • voted to continue federal student loan subsidization at a ridiculously low rate;
  • voted for a massive highway increase;
  • voted several times in favor of parliamentary changes in the Senate that undermine conservatives' abilities to stop bad legislation;
  • voted for the debt ceiling increase;
  • voted to keep market distorting energy tax credits and subsidies;
  • voted to let a $41 billion bailout of the post office go to the floor of the Senate; and
  • voted for a host of temporary spending measures designed to kick the can down the road to no end

then I guess you might could possibly consider Mitch McConnell more of a conservative than either Jim DeMint or even Tom Coburn.But you have to ignore all the ways Mitch McConnell collaborated with Harry Reid to change Senate parliamentary procedure to work against conservatives; ignore a significant portion of fiscal bills in the Senate; and ignore a host of bills designed to keep subsidizing failing enterprises with tax dollars.This is another reminder of why Heritage Action for America’s scorecard has become the gold standard for measures of conservatism in Congress. They, by the way, give McConnell a 75% rating.As long as conservative groups continue to entangle themselves with the Republican Party and give Republican leaders undeserved passes, conservatives will keep yanking their own footballs away.The fact is too many conservative groups and Republicans in Congress think the problem in Washington is Democrats in charge of government and not government itself. Scorecards like this contribute to that problem and keep propping up a status quo that deserves to crumble. I sure hope someone at ACU is at least a bit embarrassed to pass Mitch McConnell off as a 100% conservative member of Congress.



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