Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The 2008 Presidential Election Longshots: Chuck B, Public Piety

I thought it might be fun to look at the non-McBama candidates for this year's presidential race. As usual, there are quite a few third party candidates with varying degrees of ballot access.

First up: Meet Charles “Chuck” Baldwin, your 2008 nominee for the Constitution Party! He beat out perennial wingnut hang-on Alan Keyes in what was surely an exciting, action-packed convention in Kansas City in April.

The Constitution Party’s website claims to be the “largest third party based on voter registration” (though they fail to mention that in the 2004 Presidential election, the Constitution Party’s ticket garnered only 143,630 votes, which is significantly fewer than the 465,650 votes for Nader or the 397,265 received by the Libertarian party). The party has a lot of ideological sympathy for tenets of libertarian political philosophy, only infused with a kind of far-right social policy that libertarians often reject. Basically, it the takes the worst aspects of the libertarians (the asinine economic and tax systems) and marries them with theocratic notions of Christian supremacy.

A few fun items from the CP’s website:

Baldwin takes a cue from Ron Paul on issues like the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, and other kinds of federal oversteps of power. He is an ardent isolationist, it seems (even citing President Jefferson's handling of Barbary pirates as a good example of how to handle terrorists).

Baldwin opposes the estate tax. And the federal income tax. And value-added taxes (national sales taxes that are usually touted as alternatives to the federal income tax). And property taxes. Apparently, the only income the government will have will be from tariffs.

He proposes using the “bully pit” of the presidency to force an end to all abortion, even vowing the following if Congress will not cooperate with him:

“I will use the constitutional power of the Presidency to deny funds to protect abortion clinics. Either way, legalized abortion ends when I take office.”

A not-so-subtle "wink, wink" to would-be domestic terrorists that it would now be open
season on abortion clinics.

The word "globalist" appears not quite as frequently as the phrase “New World Order” on the site.

He would not only abolish the Department of Education, but the Food and Drug Administration as well. I'll be ready for a gin and Vioxx cocktail!

Here is my favorite part: The Constitution Party, the party with the word Constitution in its name, espouses the end of “birthright citizenship”. This is in direct opposition to the 14th
Amendment of the Constitution, which begins with the following:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction
thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

The granting of citizenship to those born on American soil has been upheld in numerous
Supreme Court decisions over the years. But apparently the Constitution doesn't really
matter to the eponymous political party. At least when it conflicts with an ardent desire to
punish people who are here "illegally".

Oh yeah, and he's a right wing radio talk show host who is pretty keen on Jesus.

Wingnutty goodness.