Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Club for Growth is not amused

Here's something that gave me a chuckle. The hyper-conservative, tax hating, limited government loving, economic libertarianism promoting Club for Growth put out a press release recently touting a report based on its 2011 Congressional Scorecard "focusing on the voting records of the so-called "Tea Party" freshman Republican class of 2010. And, guess what? They are not at all happy.

From the leading paragraph of the release:

After a careful review to see if their records match their rhetoric, the Club for Growth has found that for many of the freshmen Republicans, promises of fiscal responsibility have proven to be empty.

Oh, my. It seems those Tea Party rascals talked a big game, but when it came time to deliver, well, they apparently allowed themselves to be trod upon.

Here are a few highlights: 

  • In 2011, freshmen Republicans received an average score of 71% on the Club for Growth's Congressional Scorecard. The average veteran received a 69%. This means the freshmen Republicans voted, on average, about the same as the Republicans who were already in Congress. 
  • A majority of freshmen Republicans voted against the conservative Republican Study Committee budget (the Ryan Budget). 
  • Only 14 freshmen Republicans signed a pledge promising never to raise the debt ceiling until "Cut, Cap, and Balance" had passed. 
  • "Tea Party star" Rep. Allen West received an anemic 64% for voting to raise the debt ceiling and by repeatedly voting against spending cuts. (Oh, Allen. And you act so crazy).

The release concluded with this:

"The Club for Growth holds members of Congress accountable for their actions, not their rhetoric," said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. "The liberal media likes to pretend that these Republicans have fought for fiscally conservative policies, but the facts don't support their thesis. Just because the Republicans have a majority does not mean that more pro-growth policies have been passed."

Interesting thing. From the perspective of the Club for Growth, the new Tea Party radicals didn't act, on average, like they hated government any more than the older school Republicans. You see. You go to Washington and you forget why you were sent. Or, maybe, you go to Washington and you get a damned wake-up call about how hard it is to govern and how much more important it is to get things done than be a narrow minded ideological whackjob.

In a strange way, I see hope in these numbers. Maybe not much, but some.

If you are at all inclined, you can read the entire report here.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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