Chicago Tribune Labels Very Liberal Congressman 'Mainstream Democrat'

In today's front page story on Bobby Rush, "Pastor Rush stirs hope, skeptics in Englewood," the Chicago Tribune describes the Illinois Democrat as a "former militant Black Panther turned mainstream Democratic congressman." One wonders what the Tribune considers mainstream.

Rush's voting record in Congress, as measured by assorted special interest groups, reflects little in the way of moderation. In their most recent evaluations, for example, the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League awarded him a 100 percent rating. The National Taxpayers Union gave him a puny 11 percent while Americans for Tax Reform ranked him at 10 percent. Getting a 100 percent rating from the American Civil Liberties Union, the AFL-CIO, Americans for Democratic Action, and the National Education Association, Rush received a zero percent rating from the American Conservative Union and the National Rifle Association, and 10 percent rankings from both the American Security Council and Citizens Against Government Waste.

All in all, Bobby Rush can hardly be designated mainstream. Then again, among Democrats and the Chicago Tribune, perhaps his record is considered fairly moderate.