In Sunday article "McCain sees right-of-center nation as he moves against Obama" syndicated to newspapers all over the county, the Associated Press political reporter Liz Sidoti let's the Republican spokesperson label Obama in the following way:
"There is an overwhelming difference between the right-of-center John McCain and the most liberal member of the Senate, Barack Obama"
Obviously this is the Republican-McCain spin, derived from the phony baloney partisan National Journal rankings, and we need to push the Media from accepting it at face value.
Personally I wish that it was true that Obama was so liberal. But alas, based on the impartial academic analysis of VoteView, while McCain really is an extreme right winger from the 4th to 2nd most conservative senator, Obama's true ranking is in the range of 10th to 21st most liberal. Truth is, McCain is more of an an extremist conservative, and (for better or worse) Obama is a moderate-liberal
The National Journal's ranking are not merely ridiculous (Obam and Biden were ranked more liberal than Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders), but it is re-run from when they just happened to rank John Kerry as the most liberal in 2004. It is pre-scripted phony ranking done to help Republican talking points. And as noted, there are alternate ranking from reputable non-partisan academic political scientists.
We need to get some net activism going on the AP's stenographic reporting of these Republican lying talking points (remember the AP's record of biased reporting with John Solomon). You can act today by sending and email to the AP at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The request should be for a retraction and a correction. Remind them what stakes they're playing with by helping a the Republicans again obscure who is really the extremist.
You can call their offices directly, but please don't attack the people on the phone. Be firm, but not nasty. The AP New York phone number is 212-621-1500 (ask for the comment line and then ask for a supervisor). The DC Bureau is 2020-641-9400. Let them hear from you!
Also, there is an easy to use web tool at Firedoglake to contact all your local media outlets:
Vote View Analysis:
For the incomplete 110th Senate through 2007, Obama is tied for 10th (with Biden) and Clinton is tied for 20th (with Schumer). McCain is 94th (between Cornyn and Allard).
By the way, there is complete separation between Dems and Repugs, making this, and the 109th, the most partisan congress since Reconstruction! The most conservative voting Democrat Ben Nelson being more liberal in voting then the most liberal Repuglican Snowe
For the 109th Senate ending in 2006: Obama is 21st (between Menendez and Mikulski) and Clinton is 25th (between Schumer and Kerry); McCain was 99th (between Sununu and Kyl).
Back in the 108th Senate which is before Obama was there, Clinton was 21st (tied with Kerry, and interestingly just ahead of John Edwards who was 20th). McCain was tied for 96th (with Ensign). Then Repuglican Senator from Illinois Fitzgerald was 69th (between Talent and Grassley).
Conclusions:- These are just one analysis, based solely on Senate roll call votes, not overall philosophy, committee and subcommittee work, agenda setting and leadership, etc. - Obama has been consistently and significantly more liberal in his voting pattern then Clinton. - Comparing the data for the 110th to the 109th senate, Obama was possibly less liberal and similar to Clinton in his voting record when that record was more complete and further away from the primaries. - Clinton has been pretty consistent in her relative ranking. - Obama is much more liberal in his voting record then Fitzgerald was. Duh. Elections have consequences. - During this head-to-head period, McCain is much more extemely conservative (i.e. among the 4 or more most conservative Senators; at least by his voting record), then either Obama (10 to 20 Senators more liberal in their voting pattern then himh) or Clinton (20 to 25 more liberal then her) are liberal. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thng is up to you (as for me, hey, I wish Paul Wellstone was president). - Will the press report that McCain's voting record ovreall is more extremist conservative then Obama is liberal? We can help them do so!
There was one brief period, back in the 107th Senate McCain was "only" ranked at 46th most conservative (between Collins and Smith). Clinton was, in line with her consistency, at 22nd most liberal, between Schumer and Hollings. I am not sure what the votes were in that Senate which moved McCain up, but it was probably his brief true Maverick period when he was for perhaps McCain-Feingold and against the unpaid for Bush tax cuts. It is worth remembering that in his long congressional history, McCain has been a hardcore conservative and this brief Maverick period was the exception.