This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Fun wonkitudinal chartification of the day (original source: is.R()): The DW-Nominate scores of every single Congress since the founding of our union, charted by party.

In short, DW-Nominate (not 'Dominate,' as this blog post erroneously calls
it) is a scoring method that looks at the voting records of legislators and ranks them on a liberal-conservative scale. The scoring method is designed be consistent over time, so that different legislators in different periods can theoretically be compared to one another.

Specifically, notice the hockey stick shaped turn in the red line at the 94th Congress (1975), whereas the blue line has not really budged since then.

What does this mean?

It means that the Republican party has sprinted very far to the right since that time, while the Democratic party has remained just a step or two to the left of center. In other words, the Democrats have not turned into raging 'socialists,' despite what Fox News might tell you. But the Republicans have become a party that governs from the far right, yet somehow has managed to carry about half of the American electorate along with them (most likely unbeknownst to some of those voters, whose party identification is stable, even if their party's ideology is not).

As far as I am aware, DW-Nominate is about as non-controversial a measurement technique as there is (i.e. it has not been accused of having some sort of pernicious liberal bias). And it can be used to tell us lots of other interesting things: for example, that Paul Ryan is the most extremist VP pick for either party (highest or lowest DW-Nominate score) since at least 1900.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

Your Email has been sent.