Skip to comments.Ron Paul Leaves Congress as One of the Most Conservative Members Since 1976
Posted on 12/29/2012 12:40:59 PM PST by mangonc2
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), libertarian hero and constitutionalist congressman, will end the last term of his political career as the number two conservative in the House of Representatives behind Jeff Flake (R-AZ), according to a ranking system of all members of congress created by two political science professors.
The "DW-Nominate" ranking system, created by University of Georgia political science professor Keith Poole and New York University professor Howard Rosenthal, ranks all 636 legislators in the House and the Senate and is available on Voteview.com.
According to the rankings, Paul held the number one spot for multiple years, despite being behind Flake in recent ones.
When he first won a special election in 1976 to the 94th Congress, Congressman Paul immediately became the most conservative member in the House, according to the ranking system.
While Paul lost re-election to the House in the next Congress, by the 96th Congress Paul won his House seat back and was ranked the number one conservative for three consecutive congresses, which lasted from January 3, 1979 to January 3, 1985.
No later than 1987, Paul, at odds with the Reagan administration's and the Republican Party's profligate spending ways, wrote a letter of resignation to the then-RNC Chair Frank Fahrenkopf expressing his reasons for leaving the Grand Old Party, before going on to join the Libertarian Party and eventually becoming its nominee for president in 1988.
The letter displayed his commitment to conservative, limited government ideals, even at the expense of leaving the Republican Party to advance them.
In the letter, he began by expressing his high hopes for the Reagan administration-but then sharply criticized Reagan. He told a story of how Republicans, far from critiquing Ronald Reagan for his un-conservative spending ways, actually began in some ways to defend big government.
"In 1976 I was impressed with Ronald Reagan's program and was one of the four members of Congress who endorsed his candidacy," he wrote.
"Since 1981, however, I have gradually and steadily grown weary of the Republican Party's efforts to reduce the size of the federal government," he continued.
"Since then Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. How is it that the party of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate, accumulated red ink greater than all previous administrations put together? Tip O'Neill, although part of the problem, cannot alone be blamed," Paul wrote.
Paul said of Republicans at the time that although they "rightly chastised Carter for his $38 billion deficit...they ignore or even defend deficits of $220 billion, as government spending has grown 10.4 percent per year since Reagan took office."
In the letter, Paul did not call Reagan's economic plan "conservative," as Reagan is claimed to be and is remembered as, but instead called "Reaganomics" "warmed-over Keynesianism," referring to the economic philosophy inspired by the 20th century economist John Maynard Keynes which basically maintains that budget deficits and publicly-directed spending are the way to economic recovery, and that it's the government's job to smooth out the business cycle.
He blasted Reagan's famous 1986 tax reform as giving more power to the IRS, and called Reagan out for raising taxes. He ended the letter by saying that Republicans have expanded the "worst aspects" of the "Democratic agenda" and called them their own, and suggested that the Republican party had zero credibility "as a force to reduce the size of government."
By the late 1990s, Paul re-entered politics as a Republican after his first presidential run for the Libertarian Party and has been in Congress ever since.
Just as he entered politics as the number one conservative (according to the ranking system), he re-entered politics as the most conservative politician in the House of Representatives and maintained that position from the 105th Congress (beginning January 1997) to the 106th Congress (ending on January 3, 2001).
From the 107th Congress onward, Paul ranked as the second most conservative House member, according to the list, behind Jeff Flake.
His son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a possible entrant into the 2016 presidential races, is currently ranked as the most conservative politician in the United States Senate.
So, all 57 states now have Senators and Reps?
Depends on your defininition of conservative
In reality He is a libertarian. And he blames the US for 9/11.
No thanks. I won’t support either Paul.
As a US Representative, what did he accomplish in congress?
“conservative” only in the sense of consistently being and voting in favor of limited, constitutional government, and being pro-life, and in favor of securing our borders. Apart from that, he’s a total leftist.
Omits the Speaker of the House!
Good for him. I wish Ron Paul a long and happy life
“...consistently being and voting in favor of limited, constitutional government, and being pro-life, and in favor of securing our borders”: That’s enough for me! I wish we had more like him!
Nice how two liberal professors tell us who is Conservative.
On the other hand, the American Conservative Union ranks Paul as one of the least Conservative congressmen. He is also one of the least accomplished congressmen only having 4 bills pass including a bill on commemorative coins, giving a congressional medal to a baseball player in his district, and his only real accomplishment, the audit bill. He is also one of the bigger porkers, constantly earmarking tens of millions.
If only we had a few hundred more like him, they could really accomplish something!
LOL, you are kidding right. Pro life in that he doesn't think the federal government has the role of protecting life so he votes against pro-life bills. Securing borders in the sense that he compared the border fence to the Berlin Wall and voted against using military assets on the border. Constitutional in the way that he picks and chooses what he likes and proclaims himself some sort of Constitutional hero when he is nothing but a joke.
Blamed America, conspiracy truther loon, drug pusher, racist, isolationist, wants to close ALL US foreign military bases, teamed up with RINO Romney to attack the conservatives running. To call that nutcase a conservative is an insult to conservatism.
Good riddance nutjob Paul.
100 x 0 is still ZERO.
You can stop right there. Rand Paul is exactly what we need right now. The people who are against him generally want more federal involvement in their pet areas (while proclaiming to be against government expansion).
From his website: I believe that the primary Constitutional function of the federal government is national defense, bar none. I believe that when we must go to war, we must have a Congressional declaration of war as the Constitution mandates, and we fight to win. And we must fight only under US Command and not the UN.
Rand is not Ron. From most indications, Rand is not an insane Liberaltarian like his father.
He co-sponsored H.R. 645 in the 108th Congress to amend United States Code Title 36, to designate the square dance as the national folk dance.
Because as all Constitutionalists know: Square Dance = Commerce Clause.
That is the one I keep forgetting.
Paul’s four successful bills.
Congressional medal to a baseball player
Audit the fed
Well hey, ZERO would be far better than the monumental damage Congress has been doing to us every year! How about ZERO Obamacare, ZERO TSA, ZERO income taxes, etc.?
You say that like it's a bad thing, but we haven't had isolationism since WWI. Is it better that we install Muslim governments in Balkans and a Caliphate in the Middle East?
Libertarian maybe... but he is in no way a Conservative.
I LOVE reading Ron Paul threads!
I’ve never been able to figure out why Michael Jackson is looking daggers at Jar-jar Binks.
Good riddance to this traitor
...this one time at band camp...
As a legislator, he authored approximately 620 pieces of legislation, but only one was passed, the sale of the old U.S. customs house to the Galveston Historical Foundation.
Let's not even get into the method he used to put millions of dollars of pork into every spending bill.
A little taste of the LRon circus ...
Paul will give his seal of approval to four candidates: Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney, Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr, independent candidate Ralph Nader and Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin.
Even more idiotic is that these two liberals ranked Jeff Flake #1. Flake was pushing Illegal Alien Amnesty with liberal Democrat Luis Guitteriez...and Flake is also pro open borders....that is not conservative
Ron Paul is 100% correct on the Federal Reserve and a few other things. His foreign policy is fantasy and surrender
I don't disagree, but Rep. Paul had decades to persuade the US Congress and the voters of the US to make the necessary changes, didn't he?
Ron Paul, Conservative? Fiscally, yes. On foreign policy though, he doesn’t understand Islam.
I believe that when we must go to war, we must have a Congressional declaration of war as the Constitution mandates,
It’s amazing how few in the federal government actually support the US Constitution.
Audit the fed
That would be the most important bill passed in my lifetime if it would actually be done.
this has to be some kind of joke article.
The Constitution gives three methods for going to war. Formal declaration (and it doesn't say how it has to be worded), punishing 'piracy and offenses against the laws of nations', and putting down rebellions. We did have Congressional authorization for both Iraq and Afghanistan. Funny thing is Paul says that Iraq wasn't legal because the 'authorization for the use of force' in his mind isn't a declaration of war but he voted for a similarly worded authorization for Afghanistan.
Like most things Paul writes, it was written without any teeth or enforcement methods.
But, then there’s his voting record and floor speeches. And the meaning of is becomes the meaning of was.
Didn’t Congress give authority to Bush to declare war? It seems to me that such an act would have to be done by an amendment to the Constitution to be legal.
This actually came up in the Lincoln movie. There was a very close vote on the amendment that outlawed slavery so the Speaker cast a vote.
Except in ties or exceptionally important matters the speaker usually doesn't register a vote.
LOL! As you point out, Ron Paul understands what conservatives are supposed to be conserving. As a result, Paul is an eminent conservative...just not a very good Republican. :)
Do you want the government to have the power to legislate on moral issues? Think same-sex marriage.
Not sure I ever knew that.
Yeah....I wondered about that too....surely there has been greater turnover than 201 legislators in 36 years?
Maybe those with say less than x years are not counted, maybe x = 6?
Yeah....I wondered about that too....surely there has been greater turnover than 101 legislators in 36 years?
Maybe those with say less than x years are not counted, maybe x = 6?