"The Senate's 88 to 5 vote" on a one-year reprieve for middle class taxpayers on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) "blew a $50 billion hole in the Democrats' promise not to pass any spending or tax measure that would add to the deficit," Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Jeffrey Birnbaum reported today. The staff writers then rounded up three "conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats" from the House of Representatives to rail against the Senate for lacking the courage to "take a tough vote," in the words of Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.).
But just how conservative are these "conservative" Blue Dogs? Try slightly left of dead-center.
According to the American Conservative Union, Ross has a lifetime score of 44.0, while colleagues Reps. John Tanner (D-Tenn) and Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), also quoted in the story, earned a 44.2 and 40.2 out of 100 possible points in ACU's congressional scorecard. A score of 100 is considered a perfect conservative, 0 a perfect liberal. The average for the three congressmen is 42.8, a score more apt to merit the label moderate-liberal than "conservative."