Just How Leftist Has the Democratic Party Become?

Glenn Beck posed the following question during his Fox News program last week:

Who will win the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party?

Truth be known, that battle has already been won, and the proof that liberals (or progressives, statists, etc.) have been victorious goes well beyond their assault on liberty under Obama. The “liberalization” of the Democratic Party -- a party which in the last three decades has nominated Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama for president -- actually occurred well before Chicago on the Potomac began playing.

In 1996 Stephen Moore and Jeremy Hildreth wrote an article for National Review titled "Endangered Species: As the Political Parties Polarize, Conservatives Have All but Disappeared from Democratic Ranks." In their article they reveal findings showing the change in ideological makeup of Democrats in Congress between 1974 and 1995. Here are some of the results of their analysis:

Employing statistics from the Americans for Democratic Action, a self-defined liberal activist group, we analyzed House and Senate voting records dating back to 1974. Using as a definition of “liberal” someone who votes with the ADA recommendation at least two-thirds of the time, we found that in 1995 nearly four out of five Democrats in the House (78 percent) qualified as liberal. That is more than double the 34 percent of 1974.

They go on to say about the Senate:

In the Senate, the statistics are equally grim. In 1974, only 55 percent of Democrats were classified as liberal; by 1995, the figure had risen to 93.5 percent.

Well, unfortunately the situation has gotten even more grim. According to the ADA statistics (based on 20 votes), 97 percent of the Democrats in the House and 98 percent of the Democrats in the Senate voted with the ADA recommendation at least two-thirds of the time in 2008. The only Senate Democrat voting against the ADA position more than a third of the time was Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu.

The congressional Democrats were so liberal in 2008 that nine out of ten members of the “party of Jefferson” voted with the ADA at least four-fifths of the time. By voting just once against the ADA recommendation, Dennis Kucinich was unable to match the liberal voting perfection attained by 86 of his Democratic colleagues. And a quick look at the performance of the Massachusetts congressional contingent makes Scott Brown’s victory look all the much more astounding: the 12 Democrats representing the Bay State managed a grand total of 4 votes against the ADA position.