Thursday, May 24, 2012

Candidates and Position-Taking

I'm a little behind on my "elsewhere" posts, but in lieu of one of those I'll mention that I've started looking at Republican Senate candidate web sites now, and wrote a couple of posts yesterday -- I found that Paul Ryan only rated a mention by a single candidate (out of 16 I looked at) and that marriage showed up for about half of them. Oh, just in case you're wondering -- not a single one of the candidates I looked at said anything about the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Not exactly a surprise, but we shouldn't forget how successful the roll-out of that one has been. I mean, we're talking about quite a few very conservative candidates, many of whom are running in competitive Republican primaries, and none of them think they can get any traction with gays in the military -- and half don't want to speak publicly about any sexual orientation issue at all. The old language about "special" rights is fading fast, as is perhaps the whole conservative rhetoric of sexual orientation.

Anyway, the real reason for this post is to get some suggestions. I'm set up to go back through the Republicans, or I could look at the Democrats again -- are there any issues that would be of interest? I've looked at marriage, public option, torture/civil liberties, and Senate reform for Democrats, plus the two above ones for Republicans. I think I asked about this before, but I find this stuff interesting (and the underlying question of what policy promises the parties are making is an important one, even though it's not clear how useful the web pages are for that). So, what would you like to know about what Senate candidates are saying?

16 comments:

  1. Tax ... er ... revenue increases: Is there so much as a whisper, or even a pregnant silence, anywhere to be found on the Republican side?

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  2. How many GOP candidates either promise to protect particular government programs or are advertising their defense of particular government programs that would be on the chopping block in a Romney presidency?

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    1. Seconded. In addition, does the candidate also mention support for a "Ryan plan" with no sense of contradiction.

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    2. I like this one too. It would be interesting to compare to any anti-government program statements they've made elsewhere.

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    3. Similarly, cuts in the Defense budget.

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  3. In no particular order:

    Iran. Bowles-Simpson. Federal Reserve. Climate change/global warming. "activist judges."

    Those are just a few that come to mind.

    Oh, and one other, but it isn't so much a term, as their pictures: suit, casual, or both? I remember demonstrating presentation of self to students by showing them Richard Pombo's House website. The best part: on the older pages, made before his district became more suburban in 2002, he's wearing a bolo tie and cowboy hat. In the pages that had been updated since 2002, he was in a suit and tie.

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  4. I'm always curious about the death penalty. But I hardly expect any of them to be opposed to it.

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  5. For the gop do people use the Ryanesq "takers versus makers" type of language at all? That is the language that describes America as a nation of noble conservative "job creators" and evil liberal "takers". It's a common thread in the conservative movement, the WSJ famously called people too poor to pay income tax "lucky duckies" and it pops up to varying degrees among a variety of conservative public intellectuals, pundits and writers. I think it would be interesting to see if this type of language is common among candidates and is thus seen as an effective talking point and/or a important signal to send to party actors in gop politics or if its more of something you find in writers, talking heads and a few very prominent officials like Paul Ryan embracing, but not so much candidates.

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    1. I second your request. The growing disdain for workers expressed in conservative media, including and in some cases most especially for those who work in fields that provide immense social and economic value to the community and the country as a whole -- teaching, health care, public safety, etc. --without providing huge financial rewards to the individuals who have devoted their education, time and energy to providing these essential services to others, is, in my view, alarming and dangerous. Do politicians actually see this disdain -- and, often demonization -- as politically useful? And if so, what does it say about our social values and our ability to move forward as a decent society?

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  6. I would curious how many fail to say anything specific at all. We know the GOP is against Obama and against Obamacare.

    Which candidates indicate anything they support? Health care plans? Deficit reduction plans?

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  7. Medical marijuana and the war on drugs.

    Immigration.

    Financial/bank/derivative regulation.

    Raising the retirement age/ or the age to collect eligible for Medicare/Social SEcurity.

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  8. The specifics of the "replace" part of "repeal and replace". Are any Republicans against discriminating against people with preexisting conditions? Any support for any of the other popular provisions of Obamacare that Republicans are pretending aren't in the actual bill?

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  9. Afghanistan. It would be interesting to see whether they intend to run against the current withdrawal or if they think the politics of it has changed.

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  10. I'm curious if any of them are talking about patent or copyright reform.

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  11. National security state issues, like the PATRIOT act, surveillance, and Internet privacy.

    Also farm issues. The new requirement for a vet prescription for antibiotics for cows could kill a lot of very small family farms (< 200 head of cattle).

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