Brief of the Week August 21-28 2008

RIDGE’S OTHER APOSTACIES:  With Ridge reportedly on McCain’s short list for Vice President (along with Lieberman, Mitt Romney, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty), conservatives last week recalled that, in addition to the life issue, they have long had a string of major disagreements with the former Pennsylvania governor and Bush Cabinet member.  As HUMAN EVENTS noted when George W. Bush considered him as a running mate (see “No to Ridge,” H.E., May 26, 2000), “Ridge’s ‘moderation’ extends beyond abortion. He opposed the Strategic Defense Initiative, he opposed Contra aid, he opposed defunding the National Endowment for the Arts, he opposed excluding gays from the military, and he supported the Equal Rights Amendment." At the time, we also noted that as a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania from 1982-94, “in nine out of 11 years, the National Taxpayers Union rated him to the left of the average Republican on tax-and-spending issues.  The American Conservative Union gave him a lifetime rating of 51% and many times during his 12-year tenure in Congress, his ACU rating dipped into the 30s, territory normally reserved for liberal Democrats.”  Supporters of Ridge would offer the excuse that he needed to vote more to the middle to survive politically in the Erie, Pa., district he represented in those years.  However, his successor and fellow Republican Phil English has a lifetime ACU rating of 77% and scored 80% in ’06 and 88% in ’05.