Measuring Laws By the Ton


Salon's longtime support of the Democrats has turned increasingly toward National Review-esque shilling this election season, and I'm tempted to start pitching them headline ideas:

"Swift boat vets McHale and Jonas Grundy are quietly supporting Kerry. So why isn't the mainstream media paying attention to them?"

"Think Barack Obama's too good to be true? Wrong! He's even better!"

"A dream-sequence/sex romp with Alexis Carrington, Pamela Harriman, and THK, in the latest installment of Dave Eggers' online novel."

Anyway, today Tim Grieve offers a detailed defense (ad serve req.) of Kerry against the two popular charges that he is the "most liberal senator" and that he has no big legislative achievements. In the case of the former, Grieve provides plenty of numbers and ratings, though proving that Kerry is really only the eleventh or twelfth most liberal senator is pretty underwhelming. As for the latter, why should Kerry have to be defended from this charge at all?

The Kerryites should be all over the country applauding their guy for not having a "major piece of legislation with his name on it." Would that every senator could make that claim. Since conservatives allegedly want less government and fewer laws, why not play up the uneventful legislative record as proof that Kerry is more conservative, in practice if not in theory, than he's getting credit for? And while we're at it why not retire the cockeyed practice of using named legislation as a yardstick of political performance?