comparing the candidates

For someone who spent several years living 5 miles from the White House, I am usually shamefully uninvolved in and unaware of national politics, except on the broadest level. This might prove useful for folks like me: The Washington Post has created an animated grid allowing you to compare the Democratic candidates for president.

On the literary blog front, Michael BÈrubÈ has endorsed offers an ironic endorsement of Lieberman , but and Geoffrey Schramm, who calls Lieberman a “Republicrat”, writes (scroll down)

I’m just hoping that once a clear contender emerges from the hog pile everyone will come together. Let’s face it–this election is about getting Bush out of the White House. And those feckless Naderites who whined that there was little difference between Bush and Gore should be forced to go door-to-door and apologize to the American people and then plead on their hands and knees that everyone vote for the democratic candidate.

Frankly, I agree with Geoffrey. Assuming Shrub is voted out of office, the next four-year presidential cycle will have to be devoted to repairing all the damage he’s done domestically and internationally. Just for starters, we’ve gone from a budget surplus to an enormous debt that promises to keep growing with the next several years of expenditures in Iraq and in space, and our standing internationally has plummeted at an alarming rate.

And I would personally contribute to a campaign that sent postcards to Nader supporters with the slogan, “Can you tell the difference now, sh*thead?” I’m all for a third (and fourth and fifth) political party in this country, but it seems to me that until you’ve built a strong local political base and put some congressmen and -women and senators in office, it’s irresponsible to throw your vote behind a third-party presidential candidate who, if elected, would have no natural allies in the legislative branch.

Finally, if you’re not reading Andy Cline’s blog, Rhetorica: Press-Politics Journal, you should be.

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8 thoughts on “comparing the candidates

  1. I don’t think that very many wanna-be-Greens are going to support Nader or any other third party candidate this time around.
    I *do* think that Gore could have done a better job of securing the Democratic base from Naderites, but in a way, I think Nader’s success in the last election spoke volumes about how effective Clinton actually was as President (Dems were so confident of a Gore success they felt comfortable making a statement vote).
    After four years of Bush, I don’t think that will happen in 2004. If Nader runs, he’ll get less than 1% of the vote, probably significantly less. Of note: a recent poll (NYTimes, I think) shows that more than half the voters plan to vote against Bush.

  2. Very interesting, Heidi. I was sort of surprised by my results, leading me to want to check out the candidates in more detail.
    Chuck, I remember Nader supporters expressing disappointment with the Clinton presidency. Their critique was that he had made too many compromises. And while I can believe that more than half the voters plan to vote against Bush… well, it didn’t help in 2000, did it?

  3. I’d spend less time bashing supporters of Nadar (you can bash Nadar himself all you want, as far as I care), and more time complaining about the 40% of eligible voters* who didn’t bother to voice an opinion at all.
    At least the folk who voted for Nadar … you know … voted.
    * number pulled from a recent US Census Press Release giving figures for the 2000 election in anticipation of the 2004 election:

  4. …so did the people who voted for Bush. That doesn’t mean I’m not going want to hold them accountable for the results of their actions.
    But, yes, more people need to take their responsibility to vote seriously.

  5. Sending postcards to possible 2004 Dem. voters and calling them shitheads isn’t exactly a great campaign strategy. Seems to me that the effort to shame Nadarites (“sh*theads”) could be better spent arguing why a particular Democratic candidate is the proper choice and sending postcards to that effect.
    I’m no supporter of Nadar, but claims that his campaign is the reason Gore “lost” by less than 2000 votes in Florida strike me as shortsighted. Would Nadar’s 96k votes have helped? Sure. So would’ve the 18k votes Libertarian Harry Browne won. There were 7 candidates on the Florida ticket* and every single one took votes that could’ve helped both Gore and Bush …
    There’s no certainty that all the votes Nadar garnered would’ve gone straight to Gore. And it’s not as though Gore ran a flawless campaign. *And* it’s not as though the whole situation wasn’t FUBAR’d from the closing of the polls to the ‘declaration’ of a president.
    As to telling a difference now – such is the benefit of hindsight. The question I have is: was the difference so readily evident in 1999? And I don’t mean for folks like us; I’m talking swing voters, non-voters, and voters who often support third-party candidates. And if the difference wasn’t apparent – why the hell not? And was that just Nadar’s fault, or Gore’s too?
    * total votes in Florida:

  6. Quite frankly, instead of needing to feel a false sense of superiority about who they voted for in the last campaign, those who initiate debates such as these might consider a more effective use of their time by treating the symptoms of a party with serious vision problems. In fact, the name-calling and party-bashing that this kind of argument results in amounts to nothing more than primate-level shit-slinging. Itís precisely this kind of tactic that Bush-supporters are hoping for out of the Democratic partyóthat Democrats will be so wrapped up in slinging feces at one another that theyíll forget about the monkey in the White House. And, as evidenced by this debate, itís working.

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