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The internet: taking the personality out of politics
August 9, 2007 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Don't know which candidate to support in the 2008 election? Let a web script match a candidate to your views!
posted by nthdegx (181 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this the other day, and it told me I should support Kucinich, which is weird, because I'm pretty "meh" on elf rights.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:29 AM on August 9, 2007 [15 favorites]


I fucking knew it would be Kucinich. Dammit, why can't I share views with someone who has a chance of winning?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 6:30 AM on August 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


Kucinich 39, then Gravel (who I had to look up) with 29 points. "Wouldn't this be great? Sorry, you can't have it."
posted by Wolfdog at 6:33 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


It was Kucinich, by far.
posted by WyoWhy at 6:33 AM on August 9, 2007


Not to start a flamewar, but I'm really agog that there could be people smart enough to be able to log onto the Internet who would vote for a Republican in 2008.

Heh, I got Kucinich 57 and Gravel 48. Moving down the real candidates, Clinton got a 41 and Edwards a 40. (They must have incorrect Iraq War views coded for Clinton, which would be understandable since she hides them.) Obama down around 34.

Interesting that I got better (i.e. less negative) matches with Huckabee and Brownback than with the supposedly liberal Giuliani.
posted by DU at 6:34 AM on August 9, 2007


(Also, I'm depressed that we actually have a "Oppose" option for freaking torture. What the hell happened to my country?)
posted by DU at 6:36 AM on August 9, 2007 [8 favorites]


I think part of this script must be to place Kucinich as everyone's number one.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:36 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


From Kucinich at 62 to Romney at -61.

That I have Romney at -61 is actually quite a comfort...
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:37 AM on August 9, 2007


Maybe if the presidential thing doesn't work out we could elect Dennis to be the 4th mefi mod.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:37 AM on August 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


Kucinich - 58
Gravel - 43

The big surprise was Edwards as my #3...though, with him, I had a few key disagreements.

Looks like I'm on the loser's side yet again. I guess it doesn't really matter, though. Newt's gonna win, anyway.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:37 AM on August 9, 2007


Lovely that those are the only criteria for selecting a candidate.
posted by Durin's Bane at 6:38 AM on August 9, 2007


Giuliani (who I find somewhat appealing) was the only republican in positive territory for me.

But some of the "issues" are a little terse - "No Child Left Behind" for example. As in, something I might support or oppose in theory, but differ strongly on execution.

The thing is, I think I'm much more conservative than many of my friends. I guess that's what I get for living in New York and hanging out with pinkos.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:39 AM on August 9, 2007


You can look at the code. Candidate Clinton on "Iraq Withdrawal" is set to 4. Sha, as though.

Another depressing thing: ultra-librul Clinton would probably be a center-right candidate in any European country.
posted by DU at 6:42 AM on August 9, 2007


I got Kucinich 67 then Gravel 47. Now to someone who might actually stand a chance: Obama 39. Not that I can vote as I'm only a resident, but still this is interesting...
posted by ob at 6:43 AM on August 9, 2007


And my losers were:

Romney -51
Hunter -63
Tancredo -63
posted by ob at 6:44 AM on August 9, 2007


Interestingly enough, when you leave everything at Unknown/Other and Meh, Obama always comes first. With a 0 like everyone else, but still Obama. Followed by McCain.
posted by brownpau at 6:47 AM on August 9, 2007


ultra-librul Clinton

Teh lolz, sir. Teh lolz.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:47 AM on August 9, 2007


Interestingly enough, when you leave everything at Unknown/Other and Meh, Obama always comes first. With a 0 like everyone else, but still Obama. Followed by McCain.

Probably the order in which the creator added the candidates.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:48 AM on August 9, 2007


So far, looking at the stats, Kucinich is the best guy for everybody (scroll down for breakdown on the issues).
The author of the script mentions that he too is surprised that everyone's input spits out Kucinich, but I don't know... looking at the site of the guy who writes this, he seems to be a Kucinich supporter....(scroll all the way to the bottom of his post). But I could be just blowing smoke, as he seems surprised by the results too.
posted by barchan at 6:51 AM on August 9, 2007


Dammit, why can't I share views with someone who has a chance of winning?

Yeah, "polls over 2%" is kind of a key factor for me.

I think part of this script must be to place Kucinich as everyone's number one.

It's easy to espouse positions that everyone likes when you don't have to worry about actually implementing them.
posted by scottreynen at 6:55 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Kucinich, and then Edwards.
posted by zeoslap at 6:59 AM on August 9, 2007


Once upon a time, I was a libertarian, but now I've got Kucinich at 69, Gravel at 63, and the Clinton-Edwards-Richardson-Obama crowd in the 53-49 range.

As for Ron Paul - well, well, well. I enjoy him very much as a person, and I respect his honest idealism, and according to the Laws Of The Internet I'm supposed to adore him, but...he got a 12. Even Huckabee got a 47.

That said, I'd rather live in the hilarious madness of Ron Paul's America. If a Bush-style Republican takes the White House, I'll ditch the nation to become a bartender in Phnom Penh.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:02 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Kucinich again.
GOD DAMN IT.
posted by seanyboy at 7:02 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich, Gravel, etc.
posted by Arturus at 7:02 AM on August 9, 2007


It's easy to espouse positions that everyone likes when you don't have to worry about actually implementing them.

Indeed. While I may agree with Kucinich more on his issue positions, I have no faith that he could get elected, let alone implement those positions, so in the end my "support" for him is meaningless. It just wouldn't fly in Washington. Sad, but there you go.

Oh, and you Ron Paul fans should see this for a larf.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:04 AM on August 9, 2007


As for Ron Paul - well, well, well. I enjoy him very much as a person, and I respect his honest idealism...

How are you on his white supremacism?
posted by DU at 7:05 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich 42, Gravel 30, Obama 21

Romney -32, Hunter -34, Tancredo -37

Now, if only I could actually vote in this country...
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:09 AM on August 9, 2007


How are you on his white supremacism?

Oh, I'm aware. Luckily, since he has no real power - and even if he did, he'd choose not to exercise any positive power - he's just a crank.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:10 AM on August 9, 2007


This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota

Uh, oh, they've been MeFi'd
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:11 AM on August 9, 2007


I left lots of meh's but expressed liberal opinions about most things, except opposed minimum wage increase and supported Iran sanctions, and few unknowns. So I got : Kucinich, Obama, then Gravel.

Obama apparently has stupid positions on spame-sex marriage, the patriot act, and the fence. lol But he's just sooo much better than Clinton.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:12 AM on August 9, 2007


Yes! I got a - 82 with Duncan Hunter! Negative 82! (God, I hate that asshole.)
posted by R. Mutt at 7:18 AM on August 9, 2007


"Hell, if it came down to a battle of position papers, Dennis Kucinich might win!"

"Give me a presidential candidate who speaks the truth as he sees it, and I'll show you a candidate whose campaign, win or lose, will be good for the nation" -- George McGovern.

It's still too damn soon for me to care, but the apathy seems to be working for us. To get out attention, the candidates actually have to talk about riskier things. They jump on each other like lobsters in a cage, but it's entertaining.

And we might actually get some policy going on.

Pass the popcorn.
posted by lysdexic at 7:18 AM on August 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


argh. "to get our attention"
posted by lysdexic at 7:19 AM on August 9, 2007


Clearly, this script was written by Kucinich.
posted by caddis at 7:23 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


So far, looking at the stats, Kucinich is the best guy for everybody. --barchan

I'll bet a good part of that has to do with the Patriot Act. Sadly, it seems to me this is/was only a big issue for the online crowd. Kucinich, Paul, and Gravel are the only ones that oppose/opposed it according to this script. I guess that doesn't surprise me too much, but hell... that doesn't make me feel any better about the coming election.

Also, I had a hard time calling any of the other issues even important, when 'freaking torture' and wiretapping are on the list. I hear you DU. Wow.
posted by Bugg at 7:26 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich 39, Gravel 34, Obama 31
posted by candyland at 7:33 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich actually has more of a coherent platform than a coherent ad campaign, which is why he scores high with people who care about things.

it's fucked up that ad campaigns are supposedly what "win" "elections" nationally in the US.

As for people, especially "libertarians," who say that kucinich wouldn't be able to govern--wouldn't it be worth it to have the fed apparat, the media and the public forced to deal with the issues? Bush has done enough "governing" for me, thanks.

i'm posting more of the link posted earlier
Reporter Matt Taibbi (the Nation, Oct. 6) posed this very question to reporters with the Dean campaign. Jackson Baker of the Memphis Flyer laughed, "Hell, if it came down to a battle of position papers, Dennis Kucinich might win!"

In essence, the reporters like to decide for themselves who's electable. It makes their job easier. Much more fun to report on Dean's "scream" or Kerry's wife's millions or Edwards' sex appeal than it is to report on issues


why not have a 'battle of the position papers"? isn't that called democracy?
posted by eustatic at 7:40 AM on August 9, 2007


I had some "mehs" and my views are far from any party line so I had the interesting results of:

Giuliani 13
Obama 12
posted by probablysteve at 7:43 AM on August 9, 2007


Rudy 23; Fred 20; The Mormon came in third. I can't believe the Mormon made my list. Sigh.

Dennis? -20!
posted by gsh at 7:45 AM on August 9, 2007


Yes! I got a - 82 with Duncan Hunter! Negative 82! (God, I hate that asshole.)

Something must be broken in this system: I only got a -37 against Tancredo.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:52 AM on August 9, 2007


Let a web script match a candidate to your views!

Why on earth would you bother? You're not "taking the personality out of politics," as your title claims; you're flattening every issue into ridiculous "support/oppose" dichotomies. I can't think of a worse way to select a candidate for yourself.

God, we're gonna see a lot more of this kind of simplistic post, aren't we?
posted by mediareport at 7:59 AM on August 9, 2007


Don't forget that the guy cites his data source. He merely wrote a script that uses it.
posted by nthdegx at 8:01 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich 58, Gravel 47 then Clinton somewhere in the 30s. I actully like Gravel better; I mean, Kucinich is too out there even for me. But. Why is it that we're all so sure Kucinich - or Gravel, for that matter - is unelectable? Why did we let Dean get away last time because he was theoretically unelectable? Nominating people that nobody likes on the theory that they are "electable" has not worked out so well in the past 8 years, has it? Just once, I'd like to be able to support a candidate I actually agreed with instead of going sadly with the vague lesser of two evils.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:03 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


As for people, especially "libertarians," who say that kucinich wouldn't be able to govern--wouldn't it be worth it to have the fed apparat, the media and the public forced to deal with the issues? Bush has done enough "governing" for me, thanks.

It would be worth it to deal with those issues, yes, but as far as implementing them goes...well, Washington is so corrupt, and that corruption is so entrenched, that you may very well wind up with Carter-but-worse, especially with the US as precariously-positioned as it is just now.

I realize I'm a "sell-out" for saying it, but someone like Clinton or Obama should come in and nurse the country back to sanity before we can start doing the really awesome things.

Also? Kucinich? Not so much an administrator. His mayoral term was noble but not very successful. It's one thing to be right on the issues, but that means nothing unless you can make those issues a reality. That so many of his problems stemmed from the corruption of others is not necessarily his fault, but it is a reality you have to face.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:03 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why did we let Dean get away last time because he was theoretically unelectable?

Now THAT pissed me off. I hearted Dean, and he could actually run things. To this day, I'm baffled that his "scream" even made the news, let alone worked against him.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:05 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]




Paul 39

Gravel 31
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 8:10 AM on August 9, 2007


90% of finding an answer is asking the right question. Here, let me show you:

To this day, I'm baffled that his "scream" even made the fiscal-conservative, status-quo, corporate news, let alone worked against him.
posted by DU at 8:11 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


My favorite among the leaders (Romney) came highest among the leaders in at plus 17. Gravel scored only minus 17, better than Clinton -- how can it be I dislike off-the-rails Gravel less than darling-of-the-establishment Clinton? Kucinich -- Minus 26!
posted by MattD at 8:13 AM on August 9, 2007


Remember that the scream came after his catastrophic loss in Iowa. The media picked up on it not to beat him (he was already beat) but to congratulate themselves -- and Iowa voters by extension -- for having beaten him.

Absent the scream, Kerry still would have won in New Hampshire and gone on to mop up the rest of the states, just as he in fact did.
posted by MattD at 8:16 AM on August 9, 2007


While I may agree with Kucinich more on his issue positions, I have no faith that he could get elected, let alone implement those positions, so in the end my "support" for him is meaningless.

The nomination has never been decided by one vote, and the chances of it ever happening are almost zero. Your support for any candidate is equally meaningless.

If the ten or so percent of people who would like to vote for Kucinich actually voted for him, then the other candidates would be forced to adopt some of his views to attract those voters. But when the Kucinich voters just cave in and vote for someone else, then nothing is gained and there is no reason for the major candidates to move to the left.
posted by flarbuse at 8:19 AM on August 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


It seems I support This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota.

Long name. Won't help him with recognition factor. And why hasn't Mr. Quota been included in any of the debates? Damn MSM.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:25 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I got Kucinich. This must be broken.
posted by klangklangston at 8:26 AM on August 9, 2007


Paul, Gravel, Kucinich.
posted by chlorus at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich, Gravel, Obama.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2007


"Why on earth would you bother? You're not "taking the personality out of politics," as your title claims; you're flattening every issue into ridiculous "support/oppose" dichotomies. I can't think of a worse way to select a candidate for yourself. God, we're gonna see a lot more of this kind of simplistic post, aren't we?"

mediareport, I can only apologise that the sarcasm in both my excalamation mark and the post title wasn't clear enough. Of course this isn't a sufficient method for choosing a candidate.
posted by nthdegx at 8:31 AM on August 9, 2007


Of real candidates, Clinton then Edwards. Helpful, but personal evaluation of platforms is of course required.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:36 AM on August 9, 2007


These all or none choices support or oppose the extreme candidates. Bad way to figure out who you really support. I like my candidates with a reasoned viewpoint - not an option here.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:38 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich 65
(you have no disagreements with this candidate)


Then Gravel, Obama, Clinton, Edwards.

Interesting. Doesn't matter at all though as I'm not a US citizen.
posted by knapah at 8:43 AM on August 9, 2007


Hmm... Really? I have to vote for the K?

No--I'm going with my gut on this one. I'm writing in Tony Chor.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2007


From Kucinich at 74 to Hunter at -71.
Of real candidates, Obama ranked highest.
AIs anyone surprised by the results they're getting? Mine mostly just confirmed who I thought I liked anyway.
posted by naoko at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2007


I have Obama tied for 6th. I wish I was as excited for Kucinich as I am for his positions.
posted by eddydamascene at 8:46 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich came out on top for me. Metafilter: what a bunch of 'droids we are.

I've actually been taking a harder look at Edwards lately, as it's becoming increasingly unlikely that Gore will get involved. Clinton just seems too disingenuous to me. Too much mealy-mouthed trying-to-say-what-you-want-me-to-say going on there. Edwards seems to be able to plant his feet and tell it like he sees it. So where I'm not 100% aligned with him on all the issues, at least I feel like I can have some hope of knowing what his stance actually is.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:47 AM on August 9, 2007


Ah, at long last another post about which I can say: The Dutch have been doing this for years. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:47 AM on August 9, 2007


My scale only went from 22 to -24. Apparently I am "meh" about far too many issues.
posted by camcgee at 8:51 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich 82, Gravel 68 (ranked lower even though "you have no disagreements with this candidate"). Romney -73, Hunter -75.

There's not a lot of room for nuance. For example, I said I support both same-sex marriage and same-sex civil unions, when I'm actually opposed to civil unions as a watered-down, less-than-equal marriage replacement.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:53 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich 72
Gravel 66
Richardson 47
Dodd 46
Clinton 44
Biden 41
Edwards 41
Obama 40
Paul 13
McCain -19
Thompson -22
Giuliani -37
Cox -40
Brownback -49
Huckabee -53
Tancredo -59
Hunter -77
Romney -78

No wonder I hate Romney so much. Sadly, I did not even know Kucinich was running.
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:56 AM on August 9, 2007


interesting stats

needs an 'electability' category. then it would be the obama show.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:56 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich on top, Gravel second. Then Obama, Edwards and Clinton.

It would actually be nice of people could vote directly on "positions" and then pick some person to implement those positions. That's sort of how congress is supposed to work but that's based on geography, rather then ideology.

The reason Dean did so poorly in Iowa was that Gephardt basically went kamikaze on him in a desperate attempt to win, attacking him constantly... then came in 5th and retired from politics. Fucker. The "Scream" just reinforced this "angry" meme that the media had going. It was really ridiculous. The absolutely vapid media coverage of that race really pissed me off. It was all about image and it was insane. I saw the scream live and I didn't really care that much about it, I mean I thought he looked silly but yeah.

And then democrats in other states (I'm from Iowa, and caucused for Dean) went and picked Kerry who preformed terribly against bush. It's hard to imagine Dean doing worse then Kerry.
posted by delmoi at 8:57 AM on August 9, 2007


Lots of mehs for me, and I'll leave out most of the (R)'s, but:

Gravel -3
Richardson -11
Kucinich -15
Obama -18
Biden -19
Edwards -21
Dodd -22
Clinton -23

And here I was, loathing Hillary but thinking that the DLC would be better than many of the alternatives. Guess I was wrong. Go, Gravel, go!
posted by Kwantsar at 8:57 AM on August 9, 2007


I got Gravel as #1 yesterday with "No Serious Disagreements" or something like that. Not surprised, as I'm absolutely mesmerized by his staring contest video.
posted by yeti at 9:00 AM on August 9, 2007


Kodos? And I thought I was a Kang man...
posted by Mister_A at 9:01 AM on August 9, 2007


NADER NADER NADER KUCINICH KUCINICH KUCINICH
posted by turaho at 9:03 AM on August 9, 2007


Why do people base their vote on who they think can win? What is the point? If even a small segment says that, and they do, that changes an election. It's one thing to be a partisan DEM/REPUB. It's another to say "I like (insert candidate) but he has no chance, so I'll vote for the popular guy." The former is okay, that is politics. The latter is simply groupthink.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 9:09 AM on August 9, 2007


I used to like Biden, but he's only in the race to get a cabinet position at this point. No chance he can win after calling Alberto Gonzalez "the real deal" on the Senate floor during confirmation questioning/pole-smoking. I propose that he eat a flaming bag of crap, but that's just me.
posted by Mister_A at 9:10 AM on August 9, 2007


My goodness. Am I only the second person to get Gravel #1? Though I think he's a nutball, I was already aware that he holds pretty much the same positions as me.

Overall I was:

Gravel - 61
Kucinich - 60
Obama, Richardson, Paul, Edwards... field.

The questionnaire completely skips economics, is the main problem with it. It's Gays, Guns, and war, for the most part. I have big problems with Kucinich's economic ideas, and probably Gravel's as well although I don't know as much about where he stands. But basically there are huge policy gaps that this survey doesn't cover at all.
posted by rusty at 9:13 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow. I agree more with the guy who just said we should nuke Mecca than with Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney officially fucking scares me.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:13 AM on August 9, 2007


Also: what's very weird is of the top three Democrats (HRC, BO, JE), their point spread on my list is four points. That's it. So apparently, I'll be happy with whoever the Democratic nominee is as long as it's not Joe Biden.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:14 AM on August 9, 2007


Tancredo. That's because I decided to answer it as a crazed gun-nut-mexican-hatin'-bible-thumpin'-wingnut.
posted by jefbla at 9:18 AM on August 9, 2007


Gnostic Novelist: If I'm a huge Kucinich fan, but I am also a sane person (I know, but it's a hypothetical, so stay with me here...) and I therefore know that Kucinich has no shot, I would vote for the candidate who I can best tolerate and who has a realistic chance of winning. Otherwise I might as well not vote and let everyone else pick someone I would loathe.

The idea that "if we all voted for the person we wanted regardless of 'electability' that person would win" is an oft-believed absurdity. When a candidate is polling in single digits, the fact is they will not win. Even if you vote for them. Even if everyone who really wants to votes for them. The best they'll do is siphon off enough votes to torpedo your second-favorite candidate.

Politics is about compromise and mostly about not getting everything you want, and voting is politics.
posted by rusty at 9:22 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't know who I'll support in the 2008 election, cos we don't even have candidates yet. But, this might help someone determine who to support in the primaries. < />/pedant>
posted by absalom at 9:24 AM on August 9, 2007


"The questionnaire completely skips economics, is the main problem with it. It's Gays, Guns, and war, for the most part. I have big problems with Kucinich's economic ideas, and probably Gravel's as well although I don't know as much about where he stands. But basically there are huge policy gaps that this survey doesn't cover at all."

I'm surprised it took this long for someone here to catch this. The survey's a fun idea, but with a complete absence of economics issues it's pretty worthless.
posted by ChestnutMonkey at 9:30 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich here too. It seems to me that the only people who don't end up with him are pretty nutty...
posted by MythMaker at 9:36 AM on August 9, 2007


Why on earth would you bother? You're not "taking the personality out of politics," as your title claims; you're flattening every issue into ridiculous "support/oppose" dichotomies. I can't think of a worse way to select a candidate for yourself.

True, but I think its still an extremely worthwhile exercise to do, for the following reasons:

(1) It forces you to crystallize your position on important issues, and their relative worth to you. Is it oversimplified? Yes. Is it incomplete? Sure. But its still worthwhile to have to stop for a moment and think "Do I support or oppose sanctions on Iran? And how important is it to me?"

(2) It also forces you to think about issues themselves, divorced from particular personalities. No more, "well, I really do disagree with Obama on the border fence, but I think he's a really great guy so I'll just ignore that and/or moderate my position." This is a nice (incomplete, oversimplified) correction to the politics of personality that we all think we are sooooo far above, but is very difficult to escape.

(3) The fact that so many folks here are surprised by the result indicates that something counterintuitive is going on - and, again, I think that is useful. I took the test, and it was mildly surprising to me (full disclosure: I got the generic MeFi line of Kucinich/Gravel/Obama) - mostly because the cadidate that I thought I supported (Hillary) came in 7th. That alone is going to force me to rethink my selection.

To be honest, I can't think of a worse way to select a candidate than the way we do now.
posted by googly at 9:37 AM on August 9, 2007


To be honest, I can't think of a worse way to select a candidate than the way we do now.

Fox News?
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:42 AM on August 9, 2007


Gravel (you have no disagreements with this candidate). Kucinich. Obama.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:55 AM on August 9, 2007


kucinich and gravel for me, but the test is missing all kinds of important issues-- like Gravel's flat tax, and the fact that Obama is one hell of an inspirational speaker and can, like, actually win.
posted by empath at 10:00 AM on August 9, 2007


Site Faborked. But I'm gonna go ahead and guess what I would have gotten...

Dennis Kucinich, I choose YOU!
posted by shmegegge at 10:04 AM on August 9, 2007


To be honest, I can't think of a worse way to select a candidate than the way we do now.

Fox News?


Is that meant to be a joke?
posted by googly at 10:06 AM on August 9, 2007


Is that meant to be a joke?

Yes.
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:08 AM on August 9, 2007


I thought Hillary Rodham Clinton dropped out of the race back in April. Now Hillary Clinton, that's the candidate for me!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:08 AM on August 9, 2007


Why do people base their vote on who they think can win? What is the point? If even a small segment says that, and they do, that changes an election. It's one thing to be a partisan DEM/REPUB. It's another to say "I like (insert candidate) but he has no chance, so I'll vote for the popular guy." The former is okay, that is politics. The latter is simply groupthink.

That's a nice thought, and I really would like to agree with you...but I wish there were less people like you in Florida during the 2000 election.
posted by crashlanding at 10:08 AM on August 9, 2007


Devils Rancher, you aren't the only one rethinking Edwards.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:16 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich, Gravel, Richardson (I like Richardson and wish he had a shot, but he'll make a good Sec of State), Clinton (oy), Obama. Romney is my #1 loser at -70.

Forget electability. Kucinich, even if I am with him on the issues, doesn't strike me as a leader.

It's interesting but unsurprising that for so many of us, the best-fit candidates on the issues are the ones with no chance of winning. The longshot candidates have nothing to lose in articulating a consistent platform. The mainstream candidates feel they need to equivocate and obfuscate in order to stay electable.
posted by adamrice at 10:20 AM on August 9, 2007


The only thing that makes me sad about seeing Romney at the bottom (-67) is that he's not tied with Tancredo (-65).
posted by boo_radley at 10:25 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich 59
Gravel 49 (you have no disagreements with this candidate)

Hunter at the bottom (-58)

Firstly, who is this Gravel guy? Can we get him a mefi account?

Secondly, if Kucinich ever got within 10 light-years of the dem nomination, you would experience a Right-Wing-Noise-Machine Hate Orgy such as the world has never seen. The term "moonbat" was invented for Kucinich and anyone who agrees with him on anything.
posted by Avenger at 10:25 AM on August 9, 2007


I think this web script has it in for Mormons.
posted by Mister_A at 10:27 AM on August 9, 2007


pffft... like I'm actually going to support Kucinich.

Funny that electability wasn't one of the issues that I could mark as being "important" or "key."
posted by Afroblanco at 10:30 AM on August 9, 2007


McCain 44, Giuliani 28, Hunter 21
Biden -13, Kucinich -13, Obama -17

I'm resigned to a Democratic President in 2008, so guess I have to really hope Obama doesn't get the Democratic nomination...
posted by gyc at 10:32 AM on August 9, 2007


I can picture a whole nation saying, "we all would have voted for X, but he was unelectable."
posted by McLir at 10:33 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Color me not shocked that so many here think like Kucinich.
posted by rockhopper at 10:34 AM on August 9, 2007


The term "moonbat" was invented for Kucinich and anyone who agrees with him on anything.

I always thought that term dated back to the Jerry Brown campaigns.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:35 AM on August 9, 2007


I'm resigned to a Democratic President in 2008, so guess I have to really hope Obama doesn't get the Democratic nomination...

Hmmm, most Republicans I know would take Obama over HRC in a heartbeat.
posted by jmd82 at 10:59 AM on August 9, 2007


Huh, how the hell did I score 100 with Paul Wellstone? He's not even in the code!
posted by shmegegge at 11:03 AM on August 9, 2007


This makes a pretty good case for a better voting system than first-past-the-post. Instant run-off or ranked pairs (if the latter weren't too complex to be practical) would let you all (and me too: Kucinich 59) vote for Kucinich without wasting the vote.
posted by bigschmoove at 11:07 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich. Dang.
posted by everichon at 11:13 AM on August 9, 2007


Hmmm, most Republicans I know would take Obama over HRC in a heartbeat.

That's true, but that's more due to personality and the demonization of the Clintons by the right-wing media as far-left socialists. Policy-wise, HRC would be much more palatable to me than Obama.
posted by gyc at 11:17 AM on August 9, 2007


Metafilter: Gays, Guns, and War, for the most part.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:25 AM on August 9, 2007


After trying to answer the questions in the most right-wing neocon-fascist nutcase way I possible could I got this:

Tancredo 102
Hunter 97
Romney 87

Not surprising really but when it comes to the good old gut feeling I'm actually somehow more afraid of Giuliani. Everytime I see him I think "Putin" and "Berlusconi". I might be totally wrong but I just can't help wondering what he'd be capable of.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:33 AM on August 9, 2007


I am nthing the sentiment that this is pretty ludicrous without economic issues on the table. And the foreign policy questions are narrowly focused on Iraq, and the torture of Iraqis. What about China? Russia? India? Should we be torturing people from those countries too? These are the real questions.
posted by Mister_A at 11:41 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich 55
Gravel 42
Edwards 30
Dodd 29
Clinton 29
Richardson 26
Obama 25
Biden 25
Paul 1
McCain -7
Thompson -16
Giuliani -21
Cox -26
Brownback -30
Huckabee -35
Romney -48
Tancredo -51
Hunter -52

I'm just another commie pinko MeFi droid. Nothing to see here. Move along.
posted by cmyk at 11:57 AM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich-Gravel-Hillary-Obama-Edwards. I guess that means I get to keep my MeFi account!

The electable candidates are all clustered together, so it doesn't matter to me who wins the primaries. Unless Gore announces. Then I start rooting for the unbeatable Gore-Obama ticket.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:03 PM on August 9, 2007


I was at one of my daughter's softball tournaments a couple of months ago, and happened to park next to an SUV festooned with all sorts of right-wing decals. Among the usual "W" stickers were the first anti-Obama decals I had seen. The one that really stuck in my mind was circular and had a pic of Obama's face with devil horns drawn on his head. The text read "Don't believe the hype". I actually had to appreciate the Public Enemy drop.

And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record...the SUV had a couple of "Gingrich for President" Bumper stickers, too. Not cheap homemade ones, either.

posted by Thorzdad at 12:03 PM on August 9, 2007


Policy-wise, HRC would be much more palatable to me than Obama.

Obama has policies? All I've ever seen of him is book titles and charming handsomeness.

(Of course, even with just those two qualities he flattens the current GOP field...)
posted by DU at 12:05 PM on August 9, 2007


I got Kucinich like everybody else.

Mister A is right. That was a very narrow and obviously simplistic mechanism. But most people have no understanding of economic issues.

Funny thing. I oppose the federal minimum wage but support strong labor and labor safety laws. I oppose assault weapons bans but very much in favor of gun background checks.

Now if was possible to parse the subtly of that out I don't think there exists a candidate anywhere for me (Most MeFites don't even get it). The system produces "simple" issue sound bite candidates. So for our system I guess this type thing is "revealing."

Now. What it needs is a few of those critical "charachter" issues on there.
    "Blow job from intern."
  1. SUPPORT
  2. OPPOSE
  3. YES, PLEASE
  4. WHAT DOES HE/SHE LOOK LIKE?
    "Chicken Hawks."
  1. SUPPORT
  2. OPPOSE
  3. DELICIOUS

posted by tkchrist at 12:07 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The idea that "if we all voted for the person we wanted regardless of 'electability' that person would win" is an oft-believed absurdity.

Well, yes. However, I think there's merit in the idea that "if we all voted for the person we wanted regardless of 'electability', then 'electability' might no longer be the only issue considered". If Kucinich and Gravel combined got 20% or so of the vote this time around, solely on issues, you can bet that some of those issues would turn up in the platforms of the "electable" candidates next time around.

At any rate, it's the primary. There's no harm in voting for anybody you damn well please -- what's it going to do, move the nomination from one corporate, milquetoast democrat to another?
posted by vorfeed at 12:10 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Kirth Gerson: That was perhaps the most shameless hack job I've ever seen. "John Edwards was late, tired, and worn out from campaigning and put on a good show anyway. Waaah! What a phony! We in the media would have ever so kind to him if he'd come out grouchy. No way we would have then flipped to the "too angry" script like Dean."

Articles like that are why I hate the media.

Brad Warthen, Editorial Page Editor, you are a mental lightweight, a feckless chattering-class toady, and a tool.
posted by rusty at 12:18 PM on August 9, 2007


vorfeed: Another personal theory I have about the idea of "electability" as it's commonly used today is that it has little to do directly with "can get votes" and is more of a shorthand for a lot of nebulous apparent-character and personal presentation stuff. It would probably be a lot clearer, although less acceptable to talk about, if we used some other term like "acting talent," or "televisual blandness." It's a sort of catchall term for the ability to not offend or upset anyone ever.

I think the whole modern concept of electability is entirely a result of television being the main (and for the vast majority of people only) campaign tool. It's about surfaces and appearance.
posted by rusty at 12:25 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Like someone above, I, a former right-leaning libertarian (and Ayn Rand reader!) had Kucinich at 80 (!!), Gravel at 68, then Clinton (42), Obama (41), and Edwards (38). A little surprised about that order, because my general sense is that of the 3 realistic candidates, I prefer them in the opposite order: I'll probably vote for Edwards in the primaries.

Ron Paul was the only Republican nominee to come in with a positive score, at 24, which is odd because I think the guy is a total loon and would never vote for him. My bottom 3 are Tancredo (-67), Romney (-74), and Hunter (-79).

I really think that the *idea* behind this script is a good one, but the execution is far too simplistic. For example, there's almost nothing directly related to religion here besides abortion and same-sex marriages. What about abstinence only education? Government funding for religious charities? Belief in evolution and global warming? What about broader issues like transparency in government, maintenance of checks and balances, campaign finance corruption, voting rights? I guess those are all too complicated, plus where are you going to get the data on them? I doubt that many presidential candidates want to talk about such matters, because it's harder to boil it down to a pro/con position.

The sad thing, really, is that the over-simplified nature of the test is actually a fairly accurate representation of the political discourse in this country. Take a few hot-button issues, put a plus or minus next to them, and you've got a campaign.
posted by papakwanz at 12:36 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think the whole modern concept of electability is entirely a result of television being the main (and for the vast majority of people only) campaign tool. It's about surfaces and appearance.

Well, that and the fact that a firm majority of Americans are apparently dumb as box of fucking hammers.
posted by nanojath at 12:43 PM on August 9, 2007


Color me not shocked that so many here think like Kucinich.

Banjo Playing Kid From Deliverance — 87
Attila The Hun — 55
Giulliani — 38
Random Hominid — 4

--Rockhopper

posted by tkchrist at 12:50 PM on August 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


rust: You put that very well. But I would add that "electability" also represents a kind of self-imposed jujitsu at which progressives excel: "I agree with that candidate too much. There's no way they'll get traction with the whole country." It's second-guessing one's own better judgment. Also, its jockeying one's own vote based on "the rest of the country" (which is based largely on the image of Americans we get through the media).

Why is Kucinich considered "way out?" Apparently because he's progressive and populist. Go figure.

I'm with vorfeed. I think I'm going to vote for Kucinich and see what happens.
posted by McLir at 12:50 PM on August 9, 2007


I got Kucinich, Gravel, Clinton, Obama. The spread between the "mainstream" candidates was about five points, which is somewhat heartening, since I haven't decided what to do when I'm caucusing up in Iowa.

I wish there were more economic issues, more foreign policy issues, and more shit related to, like, science. Kyoto is not the only thing that has to do with global warming and alternative energy. Iran and Iraq aren't the only two countries in the world what about Pakistan? Or China, for chrissakes? Free trade? Pre-emptive military action? Development? The global gag rule? The list goes on and on, and while some Americans probably don't care about AIDS in Africa, i'd hazard a guess that most probably have an opinion about China, both from a "they be takin' our jobs/bukkit" standpoint and a "OMG my pet food" standpoint.

While I'm frustrated with the fact that the candidates whom I agree with aren't "electable," I don't know that it says something truly awful about the American system. I wish that substance were more highly valued relative to style, but the President's job isn't just to come up with good ideas. They have to deal with foreign leaders, be an advocate for issues, negotiate with Congress, and manage the Federal bureaucracy, all the while herding the cats that make up the Cabinet, military, etc. Leadership and likeability are key to getting anything done. If Ron Paul or Kucinich or Jesus or whoever got elected, it would be four years of infighting and no actual policymaking taking place. Kucinich may have some good ideas, but I'm not convinced he's a good executive.

Okay, if Jesus got elected president, it might be pretty interesting
posted by dismas at 12:56 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


nanojath, Americans are not stupid. We are poorly educated. There's a difference.
posted by McLir at 12:56 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree with those who said it's sad "torture" is now a political issue, but I think it's sadder that those torture supporters have FOUR candidates to vote for.
posted by Defenestrator at 12:57 PM on August 9, 2007


Why do people base their vote on who they think can win? What is the point?

Because we are fucked by basic mathematics, that's why. The voting paradox and Arrow's impossibility theorem show that it is impossible to create a voting system that will satisfy all of our preferences all of the time. For example, a voter's preferences might be 1. Nader 2. Gore 3. Bush, but if the voter allocates his vote to Ralph Nader, he'll be stuck with Bush, his least favorite choice. A refusal to vote for the lesser of two evils might leave you with an even greater evil.
posted by jonp72 at 1:01 PM on August 9, 2007


In thinking about how I managed to get a score of +24 with Ron Paul, I realize that the main problem with this script (and probably w/ the political system it reflects) is that in reducing everything to a simple pro/con position on a limited and specific set of issues it ignores the underlying philosophical stances that determine those positions.

For example, I said that I oppose No Child Left Behind, and that it was an important issue for me. Well, Ron Paul opposes it too, so that gave me a positive score with him, but for different reasons. I believe very much in rehabilitating the public education system, increasing funding, and making sure that no child really *is* left behind. I hate NCLB because it punishes struggling schools and focuses on standardized testing to the detriment of real education. Paul opposes it because he wants to eliminate the Department of Education (although on the Colbert Report he said it would be one of the last things he'd cut). It's ridiculous to put me and Ron Paul on the same side (even with a low score) when my core values are so different from his.

And then with putting someone like Kucinich so high, it ignores the fact that while I do agree a great deal with his policies, I don't know if his personality or temperament are such that he would be good in a high-pressure executive position. It reminds me of an episode of Frasier where he and Niles are supporting this great, erudite, sophisticated, and humane liberal candidate, while their father is supporting a fear-mongering, tough-talking fascist right winger. Until, that is, Frasier finds out his candidate believes that he was abducted by aliens a few years before.

It would be great if someone could come up with something like this that took all the various complexities of core values and personality and leadership style along with addressing real policy issues and could map it to candidates (a MeFi project, someone?). I think that would be a lot more accurate and interesting, but of course the problem would be actually getting all the requisite information on the candidates, and considering how tight-lipped, vague, and soundbite oriented all politicians are, that would be pretty difficult.
posted by papakwanz at 1:02 PM on August 9, 2007



I'm with vorfeed. I think I'm going to vote for Kucinich and see what happens.


Hellooooo President Mitt!
posted by tkchrist at 1:03 PM on August 9, 2007


We are poorly educated. There's a difference.

Not in practice. I should note I am an American.
posted by nanojath at 1:05 PM on August 9, 2007


4. WHAT DOES HE/SHE LOOK LIKE?

5. ANY PORT IN A STORM
posted by kirkaracha at 1:06 PM on August 9, 2007


I think the whole modern concept of electability is entirely a result of television being the main (and for the vast majority of people only) campaign tool. It's about surfaces and appearance.

Yeah, 'cause Nixon really was such a better candidate than Kennedy. Come on folks, the simple ability to get yourself elected has overshadowed substance since Peisistratos (and the Karl Rove of his time Megacles) defeated the Solon constitution by dazzling people by riding in a chariot with an Athena impersonatrix.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:11 PM on August 9, 2007


I think I'm going to vote for Kucinich and see what happens.

I was going to warn you to be prepared for all the blame when *the correct* candidate loses, but it looks like that's already started.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:14 PM on August 9, 2007


bigschmoove, I’ll see your instant runoff voting and raise you a publicly funded campaign.
posted by Huplescat at 1:17 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


tkchrist, heh!

Yep, here's my banjo player.
posted by rockhopper at 1:20 PM on August 9, 2007


Yep, here's my banjo player.

HAWT!!!
posted by tkchrist at 1:27 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


For example, a voter's preferences might be 1. Nader 2. Gore 3. Bush, but if the voter allocates his vote to Ralph Nader, he'll be stuck with Bush, his least favorite choice. A refusal to vote for the lesser of two evils might leave you with an even greater evil.

We're not even into the primary. There is no "greater evil" to choose from, at this point -- the choice is either "someone with actual opinions on the issues" or "one of three or four largely identical, largely equally electable moderates".

XQUZYPHYR pointed out above that the difference between the three mainstream Democratic candidates, over all the issues selected, was no more than 4 points. Given the similarity in the platforms of the major candidates for each party, it does not matter much which one actually gets selected -- no matter where your vote goes, the selected nominee will be Democrat Blue or Republican Red, and thus mainstream and corporate. So, unless you really like mainstream and corporate, it makes more sense to vote during the primary on the issues, hoping that the resulting publicity will get those issues into the mainstream debate.
posted by vorfeed at 1:29 PM on August 9, 2007


I was going to warn you to be prepared for all the blame when *the correct* candidate loses, but it looks like that's already started.

I was thinking more of taking the blame when ANOTHER nightmarish Neocon war mongering nut job wins.

But do what you will in the Primary.
posted by tkchrist at 1:30 PM on August 9, 2007


Kucinich is a civil service president; it's not surprising that so many people agree with him, because his policies reflect the proper civil service mindset: do the right thing for the most people.

It is that same quality that keeps him from being electable.
posted by davejay at 1:33 PM on August 9, 2007


vorfeed: Nader made exactly that argument in 2000 re: Bush vs Gore.

I have a very hard time imagining the past 7 years wouldn't have gone very differently under a Gore administration. The argument doesn't work for me.
posted by adamrice at 1:35 PM on August 9, 2007


It is that same quality that keeps him from being electable.

It's the quality that gets him derided by the power elites. But it's probably his haircut that keeps him from being electable. Sadly.
posted by tkchrist at 1:35 PM on August 9, 2007


I think I'm going to vote for Kucinich and see what happens.

What do you think will happen? The machine will go "ca-chunk" or perhaps "beep." It's not like a giant pnumatic foot will kick you in the balls for voting for Kucinich. I mean, it should, but it won't.

vorfeed- that misses my point entirely. What I like about that is that while, yes, Kucinich "shares my ideals" versus the Big Three by 20 more points or so, this test doesn't factor so many other elements, like, for example, the legitimate practicality of a candidate's positions. Hillary's stance on, say, labor, is far more likely to actually come to fruition if she's President than Kucinich's if he becomes President. The test doesn't factor realism, which is kind of important.

I'm happy that, of the three candidates that actually have a chance of being president, they all roughly share the same core values, and that I happen to agree with them at about a 70-80% level. While that means they all equally will disappoint me on certain issues when they are president, I'm going to take the glass as half full on this one.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:53 PM on August 9, 2007


Also, I'm depressed that we actually have a "Oppose" option for freaking torture

I oppose torture, but if someone wants to freak a confession out of me, I'll take it.
posted by ORthey at 1:59 PM on August 9, 2007


Think anyone got Chris Dodd as their best match?
posted by picea at 2:01 PM on August 9, 2007


I have a very hard time imagining the past 7 years wouldn't have gone very differently under a Gore administration. The argument doesn't work for me.

You think it would have been similar under a Nader administration? Democrats need to quit assuming they are entitled to votes. Same goes for Republicans. A Dem loss was written before the election. Since 1944, a Democrat has gotten 50%+ TWICE (1944, FDR 53%) (1976, Carter 50.1%). All blowouts have went to Republicans. It isn't as if Gore was magically deprived due to Nader voters. Using that argument, one could say Perot got Clinton in power in the first place.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 2:10 PM on August 9, 2007


If the ten or so percent of people who would like to vote for Kucinich actually voted for him, then the other candidates would be forced to adopt some of his views to attract those voters. But when the Kucinich voters just cave in and vote for someone else, then nothing is gained and there is no reason for the major candidates to move to the left.

First off, I am not simply criticizing Kucinich's electability - I honestly have little faith that he would be able to implement his policies once in Washington, due to the culture already out there and his own weakness as an executive leader. Even assuming that he's grown since his mayorship, it's still not gonna happen - the results will either be gridlock or compromises which would look like what Obama/Clinton/Edwards would have done anyhow.

When Hillary Clinton tried to implement her health care plan way back when - even with her OWN HUSBAND as the President and a Democratic Congress - she was not able to make it happen. Chicanery ensued. Any real reform of politics is going to have to begin at a local level and bleed its way upward if we want real change.

Furthermore, the Democratic party is not fighting for the left-wing of the American electorate - they are fighting for borderline Republicans. After the primaries you've got maybe - maybe - MAYBE a 2% sliver who may have one point wished to vote for Nader, but now probably would not vote for someone comparable in a national election, due to how much Bush has horrified us all. If Kucinich garners 10% in the Democratic primary, then he will not get the candidacy, but almost all of those voters will vote for the Democratic candidate anyhow.

And it gets worse: if that candidate wins the national election, then no sweat - the DNC doesn't need to change anything, so they won't. If that candidate loses, then there's a problem - which the DNC will address by picking someone more "moderate" or whatever the term is. It is not going to occur to them to try to re-lure in those like us, with left-wing views, by offering a leftier candidate. Even if you think that is a bad strategy, it's still what they're going to do.

And it's not like the Democratic Party became more aggressively Naderesque after Nader's sizeable take in the 2000 election. I realize that Nader didn't score 10% of the vote, but still. Kerry was pitched as "Bush but without the Iraq War, sorta" and that was hardly Naderesque.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:13 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


vorfeed: Nader made exactly that argument in 2000 re: Bush vs Gore.

Yes, except that Bush, Gore, and Nader were not in a primary. I'll say that again, since many people seem not to get it: primary, primary, primary, as in not the presidential election, as in Obillardwards will win no matter what, so there's nothing to lose by voting the issues. There's simply no equivalent to Bush amongst the Democratic primary candidates, so there's no chance that a terrible candidate might win because votes were split amongst the good ones. When the choice is between "good" and "OK", as one might say it is here, it's perfectly safe to vote however you like. That is to say, unless Dodd turns out to be Karl Rove in a rubber mask or something.

I understand very well why "the argument doesn't work for you" with regards to the national election -- it didn't work for me in 2000, either -- but can we please talk about what's actually going on in the current case, rather than a different election that happened under entirely different circumstances?

XQUZYPHYR: yes, if Kucinich actually became president, he might not be able to get things done as he'd like to. However, if you want to talk about "realism", you ought to know that, realistically, Kucinich has about the same chance of becoming the Democratic nominee (much less the President of the United States) as a green-and-blue-polka-dotted leprechaun does. And that's only if everybody who ever liked him votes his way. Thus, you can vote for him without worrying over the realism of this-and-that during his presidential term, because he is not going to be president. Ever. However, another president might pick up some of his ideas, if he gets enough popular support.

Or, I guess we could go in for yet more of the status quo. I just never get tired of that!

Note that I'm not even much of a Kucinich supporter -- I disagree with a lot of his ideas, probably even most of them. But at least he has ideas. I'm sick and tired of this "ooo let's not rock the boat with actual issues, everybody vote for who everybody else is voting for based on how their hair looks on Larry King" crap. If the dems had the guts to make an actual stand on the issues, Gore might have won despite Nader.
posted by vorfeed at 2:16 PM on August 9, 2007


That said, I may very well vote for Kucinich in the New York Primary, but it's not going to do anything. To be perfectly honest, I feel more passionately about choosing Obama over Clinton, and voting for Kucinich because I think he's a nice guy who shares my opinions will rob me of the ability to make that preference known.

Hell, I'M a nice guy who shares my own opinions, but I wouldn't want myself for a President. It's not just about ideas - it's an executive position.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:17 PM on August 9, 2007


I saw this the other day, and it told me I should support Kucinich, which is weird, because I'm pretty "meh" on elf rights.

I know this is a joke, but it's the thousand-and-first time I've heard it, and it's pretty fucking lame that *male height* is considered vital to electability. That six-foot used-Pontiac salesman we have as a president is working out real swell, ain't he? After all, focus groups show significantly more desire to "share a cold one" with him.
posted by kid ichorous at 2:23 PM on August 9, 2007


I guess I just don't give shit. My range was from +9 for Gravel to -5 for Cox.
posted by Carbolic at 2:35 PM on August 9, 2007


"no matter where your vote goes, the selected nominee will be Democrat Blue or Republican Red, and thus mainstream and corporate"

While I agree with some of your argument, I was flat wrong when I used it to vote for Nader in 2000. Among the three Dem front-runners, Edwards is probably the best bet for steering away from our corporatist trend. He's pretty outspoken on limiting the power of industrial lobbies. (I don't expect Clinton to take such a line. I've not yet heard Obama on the subject.)
posted by McLir at 2:48 PM on August 9, 2007


A question about your tags, nthdegx. Does "tool" refer to the linked website or the general American voter?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 2:48 PM on August 9, 2007


Thus, you can vote for him without worrying over the realism of this-and-that during his presidential term, because he is not going to be president. Ever. However, another president might pick up some of his ideas, if he gets enough popular support.

That's a spectacularly awful pitch, you realize that? "Vote Kucinich: because there's no chance he'll be President anyway!"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:02 PM on August 9, 2007


"Think anyone got Chris Dodd as their best match?"

Not even Chris Dodd got Chris Dodd ("Kucinich? Weird.")
posted by klangklangston at 3:10 PM on August 9, 2007


I've not yet heard Obama on the subject.

Obama == Big Corn.

XQUZYPHYR: Sure, it's an awful pitch if you're trying to convince someone to elect Kucinich as President... but again, Kucinich is not running for President. He is running for the Democratic nomination, an entirely different race, and one in which issues might be as important as "realism" in terms of getting votes. That is, if we stop with the bedtime stories about Nasty Nader and actually look at what's going on in the current election.

Besides, I don't care whether or not it's a good pitch. A "good pitch" is for an "electable" candidate. I care about the issues, and those pitch for themselves.
posted by vorfeed at 3:15 PM on August 9, 2007


Why do people base their vote on who they think can win? What is the point? If even a small segment says that, and they do, that changes an election. It's one thing to be a partisan DEM/REPUB. It's another to say "I like (insert candidate) but he has no chance, so I'll vote for the popular guy." The former is okay, that is politics. The latter is simply groupthink.

The point is that democracy is "groupthink" in the sense that a very large group is making a compromised decision about their leadership. If you want to stick to your absolutist principles and insist on voting for someone who is only popular among a very small portion of the population, then you are only going to have a symbolic impact. It's not that americans are actually secretly much more liberal than they vote, or something. If you're in a downtown area or on a campus or just have a lot of hippie friends, you may think these candidates have a chance, but the truth is, the views of this country are pretty well represented by the guys in office, and Kucinich is a crazy commie to the vast majority of americans.

If you want to be part of the discussion, you have to accept that you're making a choice with a huge group of people, many of whom have radically different views from you. If your office is ordering one dinner for all 500 employees, and the options are liver, lasagna, and fish, and you love liver, hate fish, and like lasagna ok, what's the smart thing to vote for? especially if you've seen the polling data and you know liver just ain't got the numbers...

I came up:
Kucinich 39 (you have no disagreements with this candidate)
Gravel 32 (you have no disagreements with this candidate)
Obama 23
Dodd 23
Clinton 23
Edwards 22
which seemed misleading because the quiz covered so little & so poorly - as someone said above, there were no econ questions, no real policy questions - just very general pro/con opinion stuff. that doesn't really tell you anything about how a candidate is going to deal with actual issues of governing.

And even on top of that, I felt like it was skewed, because, for instance, I tried it with "support abortion rights" as my only "key" thing & it still gave me kucinich, and he was against abortion rights until quite recently. I know he's running on a pro-choice platform now, but stuff like that seems like it's not filling in all the blanks...

Hellooooo President Mitt!

Which candidate do you think he'd be taking votes away from in the primary that would lead to president mitt? I think if you don't care / aren't sure between the obama - clinton - edwards batch who's got a better chance, there's no harm in showing support for who you really like in the primary, if you really think you like them.

I am just very much not sure kucinich has any clue about policy and governing. Having liberal opinions is nice, but I am more concerned about a real capability to work things out, negotiate, come up with options, etc. In a way, it seems like the "personality" is almost the most important aspect of a candidate, not as a hand-shaking baby-kissing thing, but as a real policy wonk, hard working lawyer type who's gonna figure out a way to get that bill through, or whatever.

"principles" are great, but they don't mean much if they aren't enacted, and to be enacted, they will have to be compromised, because everyone else has got their set of principles, too, and either we a- fight to the death (might makes right), b-logically convince the other side (a hahahaha.... no, seriously, the problem is we start from different assumptions, so of course we continue discussions, but plenty of questions remain in grey areas where we deal with give & take for the moment) or c-negotiate. Of course, you need someone who knows when to compromise and when to stand their ground, so it's not like this is a simple question, but choosing someone simply because they've never compromised doesn't tell you much. It might just be because they've never really had to play ball.
posted by mdn at 3:31 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Vorfeed: I was responding to this "no matter where your vote goes, the selected nominee will be Democrat Blue or Republican Red, and thus mainstream and corporate." Didn't sound like you

Gnostic Novelist: "You think it would have been similar under a Nader administration?" Uh, what? I'd love to see a viable third (and fourth, whatever) party in this country. But derailing my point with talk of a hypothetical Nader presidency is only slightly more relevant than talking about a hypothetical LaRouche presidency.
posted by adamrice at 3:34 PM on August 9, 2007


Oh, things WOULD be different under a LaRouche presidency.

(MAG LEV!)
posted by klangklangston at 4:00 PM on August 9, 2007


Hey, rockhopper's back! How's that sweet tat coming along, man?
posted by boo_radley at 4:24 PM on August 9, 2007


Sure, it's an awful pitch if you're trying to convince someone to elect Kucinich as President... but again, Kucinich is not running for President.

And as I've said in other threads, that's why I have no intention of voting for him for such.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:31 PM on August 9, 2007


And as I've said in other threads, that's why I have no intention of voting for him for such.

Well, it'll be very easy for you not to vote Kucinich for president, considering that that's not the position he's running for. How exciting it must be to place your vote, for the US Presidency, in the Democratic primary! The rest of us will be so jealous that you get to do it early!
posted by vorfeed at 4:40 PM on August 9, 2007


Since 1944, a Democrat has gotten 50%+ TWICE (1944, FDR 53%) (1976, Carter 50.1%). All blowouts have went to Republicans.

Three times. LBJ got 61.1% of the popular vote in 1964 (largely due to nostalgia for Kennedy).

Kennedy won with 49.7% in 1960. Truman won with 49.6% in 1948; the Dixiecrats took 2.4%. Clinton won with 49.2% in 1996, possibly losing some votes to Perot, who took 8.4%. Gore lost (or "lost") with 48.4% and Kerry lost with 48.3%.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:49 PM on August 9, 2007


Sometimes I'll bare my idealism (as posted earlier). And if I end up looking like a Pollyanna, I'll take my medicine. There are some very good arguments here. (Tip to mdn and Sticherbeast, in particular.) So maybe I will ditch Kucinich for an Edwards vote which might have more leverage.

One strong argument against Kucinich is that a president must be able to gather coalitions. (LBJ was probably the most effective modern president because he knew how to work those levers. The same goes to Cheney, undoubtedly the most effective VP in history.)

Kucinich has a very poor record of coalition-building because he tends to buck trends. He was against the Patriot Act and against handing Bush the power to start a war with Iraq. But he had no traction. For all the good ideas he supports, I've not seen him out in front.

But here's the problem. Kucinich lacks the kind of coalition that would give him big campaign dollars and meaningful media exposure. But big campaign contributors and national media are a huge part of the problem in the first place -- and everybody knows this. Kucinich (despite popular perception) is neither a Hippie nor a Commie. He has great ideas, but the forces we all complain about ignore him and misrepresent him.

National media and large corporations have too much influence on elections and politics. How does that change if we keep following suit?
posted by McLir at 5:06 PM on August 9, 2007


Maybe, McLir.
Geez... Kucinich looked like he was actually enjoying the last debate, and he’s right about almost everything - especially healthcare. But there’s No way he can beat a worn down msm slug like Hillary Clinton, who is altogether too conservative and too liberal.

Then there’s Obama, who manages to be simultaneously too white and too black. I loved his tour de force performance at the convention as much as anyone. But lately he’s just full of himself, for too little reason. Let’s give him some time to actually do something... or not.

That leaves us with Edwards, who would trounce whatever nightmare candidate the Republicans puke up.
posted by Huplescat at 5:25 PM on August 9, 2007


Three times. LBJ got 61.1% of the popular vote in 1964 (largely due to nostalgia for Kennedy).

Thanx for the correction. I tend to forget 1964 for obvious reasons. I have to get out of that habit.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:32 PM on August 9, 2007


Hunter 98
(you have no disagreements with this candidate)


That was me pretending to be an ultraconservative zealot.

My normal vote was Kucinich 64, Gravel 57, Obama 32, Edwards 28, Biden 28. I think that's fair, though I don't know who Gravel is. And I'll probably vote for Edwards or Obama. (But would rather vote for Gore.)
posted by effwerd at 5:41 PM on August 9, 2007


Huplescat: Public financing of elections is a great idea -- supported convincingly by both Kucinich and Edwards. The way Clinton spoke at the debate, she sounded outright opposed to public financing. Yeesh.

McCain was a big proponent too before he had his Sammy Davis Jr. Moment.
posted by McLir at 5:48 PM on August 9, 2007


[BTW, the Sammy Davis Jr. remark refers to this cultural touchstone.]
posted by McLir at 5:57 PM on August 9, 2007


Thanks, McLir... that's awful.
posted by Huplescat at 6:01 PM on August 9, 2007


and aweful... simultaneously....
posted by Huplescat at 6:14 PM on August 9, 2007


If anyone wants to improve upon Pick Your Candidate, the site offers the script: "I don't care if you improve upon it and/or repost it somewhere else," says the site.

Although issues like the economy and trade agreements might be difficult to quantify across the board because Republicans are largely silent and avoid being pressed on the subjects.
posted by McLir at 6:42 PM on August 9, 2007


the options are liver, lasagna, and fish, and you love liver, hate fish, and like lasagna ok, what's the smart thing to vote for?

If everyone keeps voting lasagna, regardless of taste, sooner or later lasagna is the only thing on the menu.
posted by eddydamascene at 6:50 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Instant Runoff Voting
posted by Huplescat at 7:26 PM on August 9, 2007


I went through and chose strong support for the most draconian police-state views I could and got a 100% hit rate with Romney. That man is frightening.
posted by cj_ at 9:43 PM on August 9, 2007


If the ten or so percent of people who would like to vote for Kucinich actually voted for him, then the other candidates would be forced to adopt some of his views to attract those voters.

It would not be ten percent, and the democrats would not move further left. Obama & Clinton have adopted (some of) the positions they have precisely because they pay very close attention to the polling data. People don't have to vote safe in polls. The fact is, like it or not, you are on the left-wing fringe of the american political spectrum, and the democratic party is fighting for the votes in the center, because those are the ones that are truly at stake. They try at the same time to keep the liberal end of the party happy too, but they aren't going to worry about the fringiest 1% and risk losing the solid middle-roaders in the process. That's the path that's mathematically made the most sense. It hasn't actually worked in the last two elections, but it did work in the two preceding that, so, at this point it's still win some, lose some - more about the person than the strategy.

Kucinich (despite popular perception) is neither a Hippie nor a Commie.

To be clear, I wasn't suggesting above that these are accurate descriptives, but just trying to make the point that the reality is that our population has very conservative / capitalistic views, and his platform would largely be considered socialist by comparison. Even though this poll has me lined up with him, I personally am a little uncomfortable with the general sort of catholic worker's utopia feel of his campaign (and the fact that he was anti-choice until quite recently especially doesn't sit well with me)

If everyone keeps voting lasagna, regardless of taste, sooner or later lasagna is the only thing on the menu.

well, perhaps that because it's the only thing 500 people can all stomach.

In the end, the individual who represents the policies you want championed shouldn't be the most important thing, anyway. Spread the word about initiatives, bills, policies and issues which you are concerned about, and make it clear in polls & correspondence to your congressperson where you stand. Educate & raise awareness, because the candidates generally follow the polls, rather than the other way around. (Which I'm not sure is a bad thing - the public can lead the discussion, the candidates can serve our interests, rather than the candidates being the authority figures who provide answers... not that it really works that way, but ideally by this model)
posted by mdn at 9:49 PM on August 9, 2007


Gravel 56
Huh? What?

Kucinich 48
I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Paul 47
Meh. I suppose this is the guy who is supposed to best represent my libertarian views, but this list of disagreements is a bit long: Abortion Rights, Embryonic Stem Cells, ANWR Drilling, Kyoto, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Border Fence, Net Neutrality, Same-Sex Marriage.

Brownback -11
McCain -13
Thompson -18
Cox -18
Huckabee -36
Tancredo -37
Giuliani -45
Hunter -56
Romney -68
Ah, that warms my cockles.

I’ll see your instant runoff voting and raise you a publicly funded campaign.

Urge to kill ... RISING.
/derail
posted by oncogenesis at 11:48 PM on August 9, 2007


All the LOLKUCINICH here explains loads about why you guys get such shitty presidents.
posted by kmennie at 2:26 AM on August 10, 2007


Indeed.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:50 AM on August 10, 2007


If everyone keeps voting lasagna, regardless of taste, sooner or later lasagna is the only thing on the menu.

well, perhaps that because it's the only thing 500 people can all stomach.


They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little lasagna deserve to vomit.
posted by eddydamascene at 7:13 AM on August 10, 2007


They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little lasagna deserve to vomit.

mm... are you attempting to make an argument about federalism? That we shouldn't have to choose one president for all 300m of us? I'm really not sure what you're getting at here.

as I said earlier, if we do have to choose one president for the large group (and the president is not a dictator or king, so local & midterm elections should not be forgotten or dismissed) then we have to deal with the fact that we have a very wide range of beliefs represented in our population. That means electable candidates will be compromises for a lot of us. But that's just mathematical fact! Unless we all agree on everything, we are going to have to compromise if we accept a shared leader.

The way things have emerged in the US is the two party system, where we have the initial in-fighting / compromising of the primaries, and then the hard nosed winner takes all fighting of the actual election, which is sometimes argument and sometimes might (money) makes right.

This last part is the problem. Compromising about who the party candidate is, and fighting the battle for the leadership spot, is just the political system we have set by having one president for a huge country. We need to compromise to represent the people of the country, not just you or the people you think should be represented, but everyone out there who has an opinion, yes, even that fucking nutball who's waiting for the rapture - this is democracy (although, go ask plato how it works out :) ). But the problem is when it becomes a fight not about the issues but about the campaigns, who can make better commercials, fly around to more states, get better name recognition, and this is a problem on two levels - buying of elections, and sophistication of the voters.

We should be worried that there isn't a system of checks & balances to stop wealth from turning directly into power, and we should be worried that the public is so uneducated about the most basic of issues that sound bites are as essential as they are. But we should not be worried - unless we want to revamp everything and switch to a parliament or a federalist or some other system altogether - that we have to choose moderate candidates that don't represent our every ideological belief.
posted by mdn at 12:16 PM on August 10, 2007


Oppose Assault Weapons Ban as a key issue? Kucinich.

Don’t know why people go out of their way to bash Obama. Or Edwards. I couldn’t care less if someone is a “phony,” their personal interactions don’t mean dick in policy terms. Obama did piss me off with his statements on Pakistan tho. Not that he’s wrong, but that kind of telegraphing is a big mistake. Only reason I can see to do it is to talk tough to get elected. And, again, he’s right when he says it’s not his foreign policy mess, etc. But I’d’ve thought he was too good a poker player to tip his hand like that.
So I don’t care if a guy is a phony to get elected, but putting yourself before the good of the country is a real problem.
Of course, the Clintons (and Rumsfeld, and Bush the Elder) have been close to Musharraf since that thing with India (if you believe Zinni) and his denouncing Islamic extremism and the Clinton Foundation’s AIDS thing. So Pakistan citing Obama’s comments in declaring a state of emergency is a little too cute.
(Oh, but Smed, influencing another country through backdoor foreign policy manipulation to win an election is just paranoid )
The situation with Pakistan is just way way too volatile for this kind of crap though. From whatever side and/or whatever the real picture is. Although the soft soap from Hil and everyone else doesn’t seem to be doing much good either.
It’s just that, screw Iran, those people and the Indians scare the hell out of me.

“Any real reform of politics is going to have to begin at a local level and bleed its way upward if we want real change.”

Amen.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:11 PM on August 10, 2007


mm... are you attempting to make an argument about federalism? That we shouldn't have to choose one president for all 300m of us? I'm really not sure what you're getting at here.

I'm just talking about the primaries, in the context of the system we already have. And in the primaries, we have candidates firmly focused on the general election, and we have candidates holdly firmly to principles that likely would hurt their chances in the general election. I think it's important for voters to choose a primary candidate who best represents them, regardless of electability and before considering compromise. Compromise is built into the system, when you are faced with your party's choice vs. the other's in the general election.
posted by eddydamascene at 8:02 AM on August 11, 2007


I don't have a vote, but apparently I'm a Kucinich man. Never heard of him, so was surprised to find that most people on MeFi are of the same persuasion.

As a Communist, I have new hope for the USA.
posted by Shinkicker at 3:24 PM on August 14, 2007


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