is Obama the "most liberal" senator?

In response to the National Journal's ranking Barack Obama as the "most liberal senator in 2007," Eric Alterman wrote in "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" at The Nation that:

Had the magazine used the far more respected ranking system devised by political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, Obama would have ranked around number eleven this year and number twenty-one in the previous Senate.

The reason behind the NJ's bogus ranking is that same one that motivated their 2004 claim that John Kerry was the "most liberal"--to scare the electorate away from voting for Democrats. In our era, the tail end of four decades of conservatism's caricatures of liberalism, Alterman points out that:

...if you look at issue after issue, whether economic, social or foreign-policy related, the majority position is actually the "liberal" position. One needs to add caveats when it comes to abortion and perhaps national security, but even here the conservatives cannot claim credit for anything more than scaremongering among the American majority.

But therein lies the catch. Scaremongering--as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have so convincingly demonstrated--is perhaps the only remaining area of conservative competence, thanks largely to media cowed by its transparent tactics.

Alterman is absolutely correct that we liberals need to reclaim the reality of liberalism from under the decades of slime thrown at it by the GOP:

Say it, Barack. Say it loud, and say it proud...

Take that liberal pride right into the Oval Office.


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That Democracy Now! piece was interesting, and--as usual--a far cry from the usual soundbite-driven media commentary. People can reasonably disagree over the relative merits of a single-payer system, an employer mandate, or a foreclosure moratorium, but one thing is certain: we can't afford four more years of the same miserable failures.

I'm supporting Obama as well. There's a great historical opportunity here for us.

Democracy Now's edition today, though, presented convincing arguments that both Clinton's and Obama's economic stance as it relates to their versions of national health care are probably more free market oriented than many would like. The commentator noted, though, that his analysis comes as a result of what Obama may be told by his campaign advisors. I simply hope that we don't get a president who feels that the market can solve social problems. My gut tells me we won't w/ Obama. But I think we'd get a moderate dose of that with Clinton.

I was born in '68 and until now I've always wondered what political opportunity must have felt like. I can feel it though, cautiously, but I can sense it.

Let's go Obama!

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