Read Blogs – Now More Than Ever

I heard about the website My Election Choices over at Ezra Klein’s blog. You select random candidate statements (and some are very random) that you agree with in various topic areas, and the site informs you who you are in most agreement with. My results were interesting:

Kucinich in a landslide!!! (Groans)

I shouldn’t be surprised, since he is the furthest left. Unfortunately for him, I find his New Agey-schtick annoying and his pro-choice conversion unbelievable. And there’s a reason I vote Democrat instead of Green or Peace & Freedom: I care about electability. Sorry Dennis.

Clinton, Edwards, Obama, and Richardson all tie for second, and there’s not really that much separation between them and Dodd, Biden, and Gravel. Surprise: all the Democratic candidates have fairly similar policy positions, and I like what they’re selling. Meanwhile, the Republicans hardly appear on my list, though Tancredo did break through (I was shocked to see his name) with this statement:

“Energy production and environmental conservation are not mutually exclusive goals.”

Very Enlightening Tom. Now be quiet.

The partisan clumping points to the problem with this sort of candidate analysis. Within each party, the speech paragraphs all sound the same, as the candidates are pursuing the same voters, engaging in the same kind of dog-whistle politics. Teasing out the substantive differences requires a look at their policy proposals. Which are inaccessible for most people.

Which is to say, I’m not sure how one is supposed to choose a candidate, except to…read political blogs obsessively. Which I strongly suggest.

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