Times Minds Agree: Liberal Sen. Blanche Lincoln Is Actually 'Conservative'

Did you know that Arkansas's Democrat Sen. Blanche Lincoln is a conservative? The Times reminded us of that "fact" twice recently.

In his Monday "Caucus" analysis hyping Obama's drilling plan, "Drilling Plan May Buoy Efforts on Energy Policy," John Harwood argued:

Within the 59-member Senate Democratic caucus, the conservative Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska appear out of reach. But as Mr. Graham prods his party to respond to younger voters' environmental concerns, there is a chance of offsetting Democratic defections.

Reporter Jeff Zeleny also called Lincoln conservative in the paper's "Political Points" podcast of April 1, around seven minutes from the end, while discussing political prospects for the Democrats in 2010:

Look at a couple of races going on in Arkansas, for example. Senator Blanche Lincoln, a moderate, middle of the road, even a conservative Democrat, faces a challenge from her left.

But just how conservative is Lincoln? With a lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of 19 out of a possible 100, she's safely on the liberal end of the ideological spectrum.

The Times ideological spectrum is shifted well to the right, so that even safely left-of-center liberals like Sen. Joe Lieberman and Rep. Steny Hoyer are called centrist or even conservative Democrats in the Times.

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