Diary

Objective candidate comparison: More input needed

Help! I need more information in an attempt to achieve something close to an objective comparison between the candidates in the 2012 Republican primary.

This race started with no obvious decision on the best candidate, and despite the field narrowing to 4, things don’t look much better. Maybe if we get appropriate voting data, quotes, and stated positions written down all in one place, we could make this decision easier.

Let’s try to fit the information into the categories below. I consider these the main criteria on deciding which candidate to choose:

  1. Understanding of the Constitution, and willingness to uphold it. This has to be in the list of top criteria, since it is the president’s main job, and failure in this area is the main reason for the nation’s recent decline. It is even in the oath of the president. Scores in this area include both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. For example, the letter of the Constitution allows tariffs, but if a tariff bill limits liberty by choosing one group of US citizens as winners over another, then someone supporting the bill fails in supporting the spirit of the Constitution.

    Scoring:

    10= a perfect record in upholding the constitution in votes the candidates have made, and/or bills they have signed. Also a perfect record in statements made. The candidate must show consistency in the spirit of the constitution as well as the letter of it.

    0= the candidate would not cause our nation to get any closer to, or further from where it currently stands with the constitution. To get a 0, the candidate would have to be better than our current president, who continues to take us further from the constitution.

    -10=The candidate undermines the constitution at every opportunity.

  2. Ability as commander in chief and diplomat. Read article 2 of the Constitution. There are really only two jobs of the president, and this is the second one. Even if the government follows the letter and spirit of the constitution perfectly, the nation could still fail from a weak defense.

    Scoring:

    10 = The military experience, strategy, and intuition of Patton, combined with the ability to encourage other nations to be our real allies.

    0 = the candidate would not improve or deteriorate the current state of national defense.

    -10= The candidate would dismantle national security at the maximum rate.

  3. Implementation ability. Even if the president is perfect in the first two categories, if he does not have the ability to implement basic principles, he will be limited in what he can do for the nation. This extreme case of a president would still veto new bills, but he would not be able to repeal existing unconstitutional laws. A president with good implementation ability has to be a good communicator.

    Scoring:

    10= The Candidate finds a way to implement all important policies without compromise.

    0=The candidate can’t implement anything. Implementation ability will be multiplied by the total of the two previous ratings to get one version of an overall score.

  4. Resistance to Gollum Effect. The above three criteria have to do with past evidence on basic principles. The problem is, once some people get a taste of power or popularity, they betray principles. The Gollum effect tries to predict how much the candidate might betray principles when tempted with power, based on what he has done in the past when “seeing the ring”.

    Scoring:

    Rating a 10 in resistance to Gollum Effect would mean the candidate has no change in his principles when tempted with power. An example of someone who would get a low score in this area is John McCain, who did things like sponsoring legislation against free speech once he started getting media attention.

What is not in the primary criteria list:

  • Personal issues. What we should really care about is the health and survival of the nation. If we had a list of candidates that scored near 10 in all of the primary criteria, then we would probably want to look at some sort of “moral” comparison, since this would give us some differentiation that we couldn’t get from their stellar policy comparison. None of the candidates come close to scoring near the top in all criteria. Also, if we get the nation back to the Constitution, then we will have more freedom to practice what each of us believes is moral in spite of what personal mistakes an elected official might be making.
  • Poll results. We want to make poll results here, not follow them.

Issues in the list, but not obvious to all:

  • The Economy: This is included in #1, since the current violation of the limited powers is sucking the blood out of the economy. The combination of taxes and regulations is like the economy trying to drive with it’s parking brake on.
  • Health care: Also included in #1. If the government gets out of the way, people will fix the high health care cost problem. We also need to realize that people who “save for a rainy day” will have advantages over those who don’t if something goes wrong. This is a fact that violations of the constitution won’t change. The state governments need to get out of the way also to really fix the problem.

Candidate active scores

Each of the candidates will be scored on the four main criteria. Evidence supporting each rating will be given. The initial ratings/evidence are only a starting point. As more information comes in from readers, it will be added to the list, and ratings will be changed. The idea is to consolidate what we know so people can get an accurate summary.

Candidates in alphabetical order:


Newt Gingrich

Willingness to uphold the US Constitution

Total score: somewhere -2 to 4 (out of a -10 to 10 range)
Increasing score:

  • Net reduction in government intervention in his energy policy

(http://newtgingrich360.com/american-energy-plan)

  • Net reduction in government intervention in his jobs policy

(http://newtgingrich360.com/jobs-and-economy)
Decreasing score:

  • Supports ethanol subsidies

(http://www.cagw.org/newsroom/waste-watcher/2011/march/a-maize-ing-waste.html)

  • Backed health care individual mandate in 2005

(http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-11-29/politics/30453523_1_individual-mandate-mandate-for-health-insurance-single-payer-system)

  • Favored “No child left behind”
  • Favored TARP

(http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/12/why-a-newt-gingrich-candidacy-would-doom-the-tea-party/249534/)

  • Global warming advertisement with Pelosi

(http://www.therightperspective.org/2011/11/16/gingrich-renounces-pelosi-global-warming-ad/)

Ability as commander in chief and diplomat

Total score: somewhere 3 to 6 (out of -10 to 10 range)
Increasing score:

  • Understands we have real enemies that want to kill us no matter how nice we are

(http://newtgingrich360.com/truth-about-national-security)

  • Understands who our allies are

(http://2012.republican-candidates.org/Gingrich/Israel.php)
Decreasing score:

  • Input needed

Implementation ability

Total score: somewhere in 5-8 range (out of 10)
Increasing score:

  • Success in contract with America

(http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/the-contract-with-america-implementing-new-ideas-in-the-us)
Decreasing score:

  • Input needed

Resistance to Gollum effect

Total score: 5 out of 10
Increasing score:

  • Followed through on Contract with America without compromise, by bringing all major components to a vote.

(http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/the-contract-with-america-implementing-new-ideas-in-the-us)
Decreasing score:

  • Attacks Romney from the
    left

(http://spectator.org/blog/2011/12/12/gingrich-attacks-romney-from-t)

  • Global warming advertisement with Pelosi

(http://www.therightperspective.org/2011/11/16/gingrich-renounces-pelosi-global-warming-ad/)

Ron Paul

Willingness to uphold the US Constitution

score: 9 in range of -10 to 10
Increasing score:

  • scored 61%-98% in CAGW ratings since `97. Scored in the 80’s in most of the years. Most of the time, votes against waste reflect upholding the constitution, and limiting waste is consistent with the limited government aspect of the spirit of the constitution. A spot check of where he didn’t vote the same way as the CAGW recommendation showed different fiscal strategy, not anti-constitutional voting.

(http://www.ccagwratings.org/?mode=member&member=329)

  • Against “no child left behind”

(http://glassbooth.org/explore/index/ron-paul/12/education/14/)

  • Against ethanol subsidies

(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/02/ethanol-subsidies-gop-candidates_n_1072376.html)

  • Voted against TARP

(http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/House/Texas/Ron_Paul/Views/TARP/)
Decreasing score:

  • Input needed

Ability as commander in chief and diplomat

score: -1 in -10 to 10 range
Increasing score:

  • Served in the Air Force

(http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/national-defense/)

  • Understands the current weakness in defending our border

(http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/national-defense/)
Decreasing score:

  • Says Iran having a nuke is no national security issue

(http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/ron-paul-iran-does-not-threaten-our-national-security/)

  • Stretched confused thinking of terrorists to a legitimate justification for their attack on 911.

(http://www.therightscoop.com/just-days-after-911-ron-paul-blames-america/)

Implementation ability

score: 1-3 out of 10
Increasing score:

  • Sponsored numerous bills

(http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/House/Texas/Ron_Paul/Bills/112/)
Decreasing score:

  • Failure to get many sponsored bills passed

(http://www.oneangryman.com/ken/2012/01/ron-pauls-legislative-bills-left-in-committee/)

  • Poor management of the news letters that carry his name. Ron Paul has attempted to separate himself from some extreme statements made in his news letters by claiming he didn’t know what they were printing. Even if this is true, what does it say about his leadership and management skills?

(http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/House/Texas/Ron_Paul/scandals/Inappropriate_News_Letters/)

Resistance to Gollum effect

score: 3 out of 10
Increasing score

  • Input needed

Decreasing score

  • Claimed Bachmann “Hates Muslims”

(http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/17/paul-claims-bachmann-hates-muslims/)

  • Called Santorum one of the “top corrupt individuals…”, and Gingrich a “chicken hawk” during a debate after getting a bump in the polls

(http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/202917-ron-paul-goes-on-the-attack-steps-back-into-spotlight)

Mitt Romney

Willingness to uphold the US Constitution

Total score: somewhere -2 to 4(out of a -10 to 10 range)
Increasing score:

  • Evangelism on Free enterprise, reducing taxes, spending, and regulation

(http://mittromney.com/jobs)

  • Public remarks on state rights

(http://mittromney.com/jobs)

  • Pledge to repeal Obamacare

(http://mittromney.com/issues/health-care)
Decreasing score:

  • Implemented socialized medicine as Gov. of Mass. This is a “spirit of the law” issue, since the letter of the US Constitution does not affect legislation. If he really understood the idea of limited powers, he would have vetoed all of this.

(http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2011/10/13/romney_advisor_admits_romneycare_was_blueprint_for_obamacare)

  • Supported “No Child Left Behind”

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eo6LhuDSfQ&feature=player_embedded)

  • Supported ethanol subsidies

(http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/05/27/romney-hearts-ethanol-subsidies/)

  • Supported TARP at the time of TARP

(http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/Governor/Massachusetts/Mitt_Romney/views/TARP/)

  • Said he will increase the minimum wage

(http://www.boston.com/news/politics/articles/2012/02/01/romney_supports_automatic_hikes_in_minimum_wage/)

  • Argued with Perry about calling social security a Ponzi scheme

(http://www.theblaze.com/stories/romney-perry-spar-over-perrys-comment-that-social-security-is-a-ponzi-scheme/)

Ability as commander in chief and diplomat

Score: 3-6 in the -10 to 10 range (better than Gingrich in diplomacy, worse in commander in chief)
Increasing score:

  • Statements suggest concern about defense spending cuts

(http://2012.republican-candidates.org/Romney/National-Security.php)

  • Denounced “political correctness” with respect to national security

(http://www.americansformitt.com/mittissues.html)
Decreasing score:

  • Input needed

Implementation ability

Score: 3-5 out of 10
Increasing score:

  • Leadership success with allies shown in the Olympic turnaround

(http://www.newsmax.com/RonaldKessler/Olympics-Romney-Turnaround-Utah/2012/02/01/id/426250)
Decreasing Score:

  • Leadership failure when “hanging with the wrong crowd” shown in socializing health care in Massachusetts

(http://www.issues2000.org/2012/Mitt_Romney_Health_Care.htm)

Resistance to Gollum effect

Hard to judge on someone with questionable principles Starting guess: 5 out of 10
Increasing score:

  • Input needed

Decreasing score:

  • Input needed

Rick Santorum

Willingness to uphold the US Constitution

Score: 4 to 6 in a -10 to 10 range
Increasing score:

  • Scored 68%-94% in 1996-2005 CAGW rating

(http://www.votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/27054/rick-santorum/36)

  • Voted for, but then admitted error in “no child left behind”
  • wants to phase out ethanol subsidies

(http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/06/21/santorum-tells-iowa-farmers-he-would-end-ethanol-subsidies/)

  • Position against TARP, but this is not nearly as strong as someone in congress at the time actually voting against it

(http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/Senate/Pennsylvania/Rick_Santorum/Views/TARP_and_GM/)
Decreasing score:

  • Vote against NAFTA
  • Voted for funds supporting foreign energy programs

(http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=104&session=2&vote=00247)

Ability as commander in chief and diplomat

Score: 4 to 6 in a -10 to 10 range
Increasing score:

  • Understands threat from Iran, and plans to work with real allies

(http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/01/02/396306/santorum-iran-attack-plan/?mobile=nc)

  • Supported military pay raises over other programs

(http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=1&vote=00226)

  • Supported pressure in Iran through India

(http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00269)
Decreasing score
:

  • Input needed

Implementation ability

Score: 2-4 out of 10
Increasing score:

  • Sponsored 349 bills, 26 made it out of committee, and 9 were enacted

(http://www.govtrack.us/congress/person.xpd?id=300085)

  • Co-sponsored 1218 bills

(http://www.govtrack.us/congress/person.xpd?id=300085)
Decreasing score
:

  • Input needed

Gollum effect

Score: ~8 out of 10
Increasing score:

  • Input needed

Decreasing score:

  • Input needed

Very early Totals

Newt Gingrich

Ron Paul

Mitt Romney

Rick Santorum

Constitution

-2 to 4 (~1)

~9

2 to 4 (~1)

4 to 6 (~5)

Commander in chief/diplomat

3 to 6 (~4.5)

~-1

3 to 6 (~4.5)

4 to 6 (~5)

subtotal:

1 to 10 (~5.5)

8

1 to 10(~5.5)

8 to 12 (~10)

Implementation

5 to 8 (~6.5)

1 to 3 (~2)

3 to 5 (~4)

2 to 4 (~3)

subtotal * Implementation (SI)

5 to 80

8 to 24

3 to 50

16 to 48

Resistance to Gollum Effect (RGE)

~5

~3

~5

~8

Gollum shift on SI (GSI)

-4 to 10 (~3)

3 to 8 (~5.5)

-4 to 10(~3)

6 to 12 (~8)

Total with gollum effect: GSI* Implementation

-20 to 80

3 to 24

-12 to 50

12 to 48

**Note this is with lots of missing data. So I need to fix the scores with others’ input on items that would move each category score up or down. As more data comes in, I hope to tighten the ranges as well.

I apologize for the formatting of this document. This is the first time I have tried using WordPress.