this section on CNN that gives a thumb nail view of each of the major candidates stances on several issues and thought it would make a good thread for an open discussion. I’m going to list each category and the thumb nail stance of the major candidates (I’m not going to bother with the Huckster as I don’t consider Huckabee to still be a serious candidate at this point). Feel free to discuss the issues, comment about the various stances or expand on them with cites from the Candidates web sites or other sources. It’s an open discussion to just talk about the issues and the candidates…I’m hoping the thread will be resurrected during the long slog to November.
Will sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law. Would overturn the “global gag rule,” which prohibits Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from talking about abortion in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. Voted against the Prohibit Partial Birth Abortion bill in 2003. Did not cast a vote on Prohibiting Funds for Groups that Perform Abortions amendment in 2007. Disagreed with Supreme Court ruling to uphold the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.”
Would pump $75 billion into the economy via tax cuts and direct spending targeted to working families, seniors, homeowners and the unemployed. The plan also includes $45 billion in reserves that can be injected into the economy quickly in the future if the economy continues to deteriorate. Would provide an immediate $250 tax cut for workers and their families and an immediate, temporary $250 bonus to seniors in their Social Security checks. Would provide an additional $250 tax cut to workers and an additional $250 to seniors if the economy continues to worsen. Would extend and expand unemployment insurance.
Proposes a national energy strategy that will rely on the technological prowess of American industry and science. Would not support subsidizing every alternative or tariffs that restrict the competition that stimulates innovation and lower cost. Believes barriers to nuclear energy are political not technological. Would provide for safe storage of spent nuclear fuel and give host states or localities a proprietary interest so when advanced recycling technologies turn used fuel into a valuable commodity, the public will share in its economic benefits. Proposed a bipartisan plan to address the problem of climate change and stimulate the development and use of advanced technologies. It is a market-based approach that would set reasonable caps on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, and provide industries with tradable credits.
Proposes reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 by using a market-based cap-and-trade system. Would invest $150 billion over 10 years in clean energy. Supports next generation biofuels. Proposes increasing fuel economy standards and would require that 25 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources by 2025. Would create a Global Energy Forum and re-engage with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Would freeze the monthly rate on subprime adjustable rate mortgages, with the freeze lasting at least five years until the mortgages have been converted into affordable, fixed-rate loans. Would call on mortgage industry to provide status reports on the number of mortgages it is modifying.
Proposes creating a $10 billion fund to help prevent foreclosures, eliminate some taxes and fees for families who must sell and offer counseling to homeowners. Announced a “credit card bill of rights” to provide disclosure of hidden credit costs. Would provide tax credits to 10 million middle class homeowners who struggle with mortgage costs.
Iran says it is enriching uranium as part of a burgeoning nuclear energy program, while the United States and other countries have called on Tehran to halt the enrichment program, which could also be used to build centrifuges for nuclear bombs.
Voted for a September 2007 Senate resolution calling on the administration to declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Advocates diplomatic engagement with Iran but would not meet with leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea in first year of presidency. Has stated on Senate floor “no option can be taken off the table…No action can or should be taken without explicit congressional authorization.”
Did not vote on a September 2007 Senate resolution calling on the administration to declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Believes in using diplomatic efforts and would meet with leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea during first year of presidency. Would leave military option on the table.
The Iraq war looms as, perhaps, the most important foreign policy issue during the 2008 election. With thousands of U.S. troops stationed there and sectarian violence always threatening to engulf the country, candidates will have to grapple with the day-to-day events taking place more than 6,000 miles away.
Voted for use of military force in Iraq, but now says she would have voted differently “if we knew then what we know now.” Supports de-authorizing the war. Voted for war spending bill that would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March 2008. Opposed Bush plan to increase the number of American troops in Iraq. Supports a phased redeployment
Supports definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but opposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Says individual states should decide the issue. Says a federal marriage ban might be appropriate if courts overturned state marriage laws. Supports legal benefits for same-sex partners.
Voted against 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cut laws, but later voted in favor of extending tax cuts through 2010. Says he opposes a proposal supporters call the “Fair Tax,” which would repeal income taxes and other taxes and abolish the Internal Revenue, but has previously said he would sign it into law as president.
I realize that all of these positions are pretty sketchy (especially for McCain for some reason), so feel free to fill them out in more depth from cites from either the candidates web page or from speeches or other sources. Discuss whatever you like about the various positions including what you’d like to see, whether you agree or disagree with the candidates stances and why, etc etc.
Here’s an interesting piece from
The New Republic:
A lot has been made of the claim that electing Barack Obama, a black man raised overseas, would be enough to change the world’s perception of America. Clinton supporters justifiably dismiss this as a flimsy argument. But Marc Lynch does a great job of analyzing the two candidates’ positions on public diplomacy to the Arab world–a crucial component in improving our image abroad. Contrary to Obama’s stereotype of being full of meaningless rhetoric, Lynch highlights his substantive and on-target policies in this arena, such as his commitment to hold a summit with leaders of the Muslim world in the first 100 days of his administration and launching an “America’s Voice Initiative” modeled after the Peace Corps. Lynch turned up empty-handed when searching for similar public diplomacy initiatives on Clinton’s platform, a surprise for the self-proclaimed super-wonk:
Her Foreign Affairs essay says not a single word about public diplomacy or the war of ideas, or even hints at the notion that there might be a vast, complicated Muslim world out there beyond al-Qaeda impatient for real dialogue with a post-Bush America. When she talks about engagement, she seems to mean either talking to friendly leaders or working within institutions. I searched her campaign web site in vain for her ideas on the subject: the term “public diplomacy” turns up only one, unrelated hit on her campaign site, “war of ideas” none, “dialogue and Islam” none. Even her big foreign policy address last week at GWU - right across the street from where I was teaching at the time - began by proposing to restore America’s moral authority but never offered a single word about public diplomacy or international dialogue or the internal debates in the Muslim world. Even when the address closed by reciting all the “tools” which she would use, public diplomacy didn’t make the laundry list. In a foreign policy community saturated with recommendations on public diplomacy and the war of ideas, this absence has to be intentional. Combine the silence on public diplomacy with her decision to highlight at every opportunity her Bush-like refusal to talk to problematic foreign leaders as her main point of disagreement with Obama, and you get something which looks… well, all too familiar (no wonder those bastions of liberal foreign policy Powerline and Commentary have got her back).
So while Hillary may be ready to man the “red phone” at 3 a.m. while your children are sleeping, what is she going to be doing the 99.9% rest of the time to heal our relationship with the Muslim world?
Don’t know exactly where McCain stands, but it’s an interesting question.