Lately John and I have been gnashing our collective teeth every time we see one of the Republican shills on TV repeating, mantra-like, the #1 GOP Big Lie of the campaign: "Barack Obama is the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate."
If only! Actually there are 39 Democrats with more liberal voting records, although Obama does at least beat perennial Bush rubber stamps Holy Joe Lieberman (CT), Ben Nelson (NE) and Mary Landrieu (LA). His voting record-- however you slice it, however you dice it-- points to a solidly mainstream centrist-- and, to be honest, considerably less liberal than... sssshhhhhhh... Hillary.
So how do CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC all allow the paid GOP shills to get away with their Big Lie? Good question. There's one cooked up National Journal "study" that these clowns keep referring to-- yes the same cloddish National Journal that criticized its own ranking of John Kerry as "the most liberal senator" in 2004.
This year, their utterly meaningless ranking system, ready-made for Republican smear attacks, defined "liberal" as members who voted, on January 18, to establish a Senate Office of Public Integrity to handle ethics complaints against senators. Given the Republican Culture of Corruption that still rules the Beltway, that may be anti-Republican, but what makes it "liberal?" Similarly anyone who agreed in mid-March to the final passage of a bill implementing the 9/11 Commission's Homeland Security recommendations, is suddenly "liberal?" And on May 9, Obama joined many other senators in voting to block individuals from serving on Food and Drug Administration drug advisory panels if they have conflicts of interest.
Let's hope more Americans start defining liberal this way. Because to me this all sounds very mainstream, even if John "W" McCain was on the wrong side of each vote.
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