National Journal Rankings: Liberals And Conservatives In The Senate

A new rating of the Senate by National Journal reveals the following.

The most liberal senators are Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Roland Burris of Illinois, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of Rhode Island, with all of them in a five way tie. Interestingly, all are in their first term in the Senate, with the exception of Reed, and Burris will be leaving the Senate after a two year appointment.

The most conservative Senators are in order as follows: James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Bunning, thankfully, is leaving at the end of this year. Obviously, the name Jim is very much connected for now to the right wing! 🙂

So Oklahoma has the distinction of having two of the most conservative senators, and Rhode Island two of the most liberal senators.

The big problem revealed by this survey is that the moderate center in both parties is becoming more than ever an “endangered species”, which makes it likely that the future Senate will be as intransigent and uncooperative as it presently is. This is not good for the American system of government, when there is no give and take, no compromise spirit, that exists in the upper chamber.

The nation needs a new version of Henry Clay or Lyndon Johnson to promote compromise and action in the Senate, but sadly there is no one obvious on the horizon to fill the shoes of these two great senators of the 19th and 20th centuries in the 21st century! 🙁

One comment on “National Journal Rankings: Liberals And Conservatives In The Senate

  1. Michael March 8, 2010 11:20 am

    Johnson, the reputed “Master of the Senate”, used his prowess of Senate procedures and rules, both formal and informal, to take on major legislative initiatives. These days it seems that instead of using the traditions of the institution as a means of cooperation, senators rigidly use the system to obstruct the passage of the kinds of bills that the country needs. You are right in that there doesn’t appear to be anyone in the horizon to act as the great leader, which is a sad statement for such a vaunted institution.

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