On the Ricochet member feed, Mothership_Greg asks me "What is Paul Ryan's PQ?".

That places him about a step more liberal than Mitch McConnell (9.0), while a step more conservative than John McCain (15.9) or Lindsey Graham (15.1).  It places him about two steps more liberal than Michele Bachmann (-4.1) or Jim DeMint (5.1).  It places him about equal to Newt Gingrich's PQ (11.4).  It also places him about equal to my PQ (13).

In my book and on my web site I describe how I compute political quotients.  You can compute your own by taking this quiz.

The questions on which PQ scores are based come from roll call votes in Congress selected by the Americans for Democratic Action.  Each year the ADA selects 20 important votes for the liberal agenda and designates whether the "yea" or "nay" side is how a liberal should vote.  In 2009 and 2010 Ryan voted against the liberal side in every case.  However, in 2008 he voted three times (out of 20) on the liberal side.  Two of these were votes on extending unemployment benefits.  One involved voting with unions on a "prevailing wage" issue.  In 2007 he voted twice (out of 20) on the liberal side.  One was to reauthorize Head Start (only 48 House members were conservative enough to vote no on this).  The other case was to vote in favor of giving the District of Columbia representation in Congress.

The Washington Times has a good analysis of Ryan's voting record, which it calls "conservatism tinged with a maverick streak."  I think that's a good description as long as one adds the caveat, "not quite as maverick as John McCain."

Joined
Jun '10

### Re: Paul Ryan's Political Quotient

In simpler terms, Ryan is the honest car mechanic. The American car's running rough, because it has a bent intake valve, and the Dems are trying to tell us it just needs a \$3 gas filter. No, it needs top end overhaul. The only thing that makes Ryan "radical" is that he tells the truth. And even Ryan is giving us the best case. The final tally will probably be much worse. It's only radical to tell the truth when everyone else is lying.

Joined
Jun '10

### Re: Paul Ryan's Political Quotient

You mean he's not the "push granny off the cliff" caricature that will soon be foisted on us by Obama?

I remain pretty confident that he'll be able to define himself.

Mel's description sounds just right.

Joined
Jun '12

### Re: Paul Ryan's Political Quotient

For another gauge, Paul Ryan has an American Conservative Union (ACU) rating of 80 for 2011, 96 for 2010, and lifetime of 91.69. Interestingly, the two votes he voted with the lefties on were both labor-related, the "Protect Labor Agreements" bill which would have forced companies seeking government contracts to accept union demands, and the Davis-Bacon "prevailing wage" requirements, which are frequently inflated by union wages.

For comparison (using most of the same comparators that Tim did):

• Mitch McConnell scored 85 in 2011, 96 in 2010, and 89.73 lifetime
• McCain matches Ryan's 80 score in 2011, had 100 in 2010, and 82.52 lifetime
• Lindsey Graham scores 75 in 2011, 92 in 2010, and 88.95 lifetime.
• Bachmann's 2011 score is 95.45, 100 for 2010, and 99.09 lifetime.
• Jim DeMint scores 100 for both 2011 and 2010, and 98.77 lifetime.

Joined
Jan '11

### Re: Paul Ryan's Political Quotient

Every politician has a tension between his personal commitment to a philosophy (at least, we hope, they have one) versus representing a district  with multiple constituencies and multiple interests. A politician does have to represent his district, after all. And we know that Ryan represents a district that, if I'm not mistaken, is actually more Democrat than Republican.

In Ryan's record, I don't see a lot of "caving," certainly not on core, vital principles.

The one question mark I have is about TARP and the auto bailout, but even there I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt. My willingness is based on the fact that those programs were proposed during a time of enormous uncertainty. Those Republicans who voted for it were like George Bush himself; it went against their principles, but they were being told that a collapse was imminent unless they did something immediately.

Joined
Jun '11

### Re: Paul Ryan's Political Quotient

 ConservativeWanderer: For another gauge, Paul Ryan has an American Conservative Union (ACU) rating of 80 for 2011, 96 for 2010, and lifetime of 91.69. Interestingly, the two votes he voted with the lefties on were both labor-related, the "Protect Labor Agreements" bill which would have forced companies seeking government contracts to accept union demands, and the Davis-Bacon "prevailing wage" requirements, which are frequently inflated by union wages.For comparison (using most of the same comparators that Tim did): Mitch McConnell scored 85 in 2011, 96 in 2010, and 89.73 lifetime McCain matches Ryan's 80 score in 2011, had 100 in 2010, and 82.52 lifetime Lindsey Graham scores 75 in 2011, 92 in 2010, and 88.95 lifetime. Bachmann's 2011 score is 95.45, 100 for 2010, and 99.09 lifetime. Jim DeMint scores 100 for both 2011 and 2010, and 98.77 lifetime. Draw your own conclusions. ยท 2 hours ago

Along those lines... the Club For Growth Scorecard for 2011 ranks Ryan
in 101st place with a score of 73%.  His lifetime score is better at 88%.

Joined
Nov '11

### Re: Paul Ryan's Political Quotient

Thank you.  I'm curious what his score looks like if you factor in 2009-2011.  Also curious how things like Medicare Part D and TARP are scored.

Michelle Bachmann -8.1

Paul Ryan 11.3

Barack Obama 81.9

Bernie Sanders 101.9

Fascinating.

Joined
May '11

### Re: Paul Ryan's Political Quotient

I think that was a terrible quiz.  I couldn't figure out any point to it at all.

Joined
Nov '10

### Re: Paul Ryan's Political Quotient

Honestly, I think these "Just a step above McCain" scores actually work in Ryan's favor, at least as far as the general election goes. It proves that at heart he's not a conservative firebreather; he's not Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck, but he's been forced into a "radical" position because he really believes what he's saying. He really does believe that his budget plan, or one similar to it, is the only thing standing between us and Greece.

It would be like if John McCain came out and said, "I just can't work with these people." A right-wing message means more if a (relative) moderate embraces it whole heartedly.

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