Researching an article a week or so ago, I came across this old Dana Milbank column. Milbank was miffed that conservatives were beating Republican incumbents in primaries, so he started Googling their American Conservative Union ratings.
President Gerald Ford, Republican leader in the House from 1965 to 1973? You’re outta here! He rated 67 percent in 1973 — failing both the Murkowski and the Bennett tests.
Bob Dole, the 1996 GOP nominee and longtime Senate Republican leader? Gone! He rated only 82 percent, flunking the Bennett test.
Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, Senate Republican leader from 1977 to 1985, would also be excommunicated with a score identical to Dole’s. And check out Baker’s predecessor as Senate Republican leader, Pennsylvania’s Hugh Scott. ACU rating in 1976: 29 percent, failing both the Murkowski and Bennett standards by a mile.
The three men who between 1969 and 1995 served as Republican whips in the Senate, the number two leadership position, would all be purged under the Bennett test: Alan Simpson (Wyoming) had a 78 percent lifetime rating, Ted Stevens (Alaska) rated 64 percent lifetime, and Robert Griffin (Michigan) scored 83 percent in his last year.
In today’s House, where 95 percent and above is the new normal, longtime Republican leader Bob Michel (84 percent) and his predecessor, John Rhodes of Arizona (53 percent) would have reason to worry.
How many of you would have actually missed these people?
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://thespectator.com/world.