The ACLU has put out a voter guide for all the 2012 presidential candidates, ranking them all on 7 issues: humane immigration policy, closing Gitmo and indefinite detention, gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, ending torture, ending the surveillance state, same-sex marriage, and reproductive rights. Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director, writes:
We may surprise some people in that the scores in the report card … don’t divide along party lines. In fact, the report card reveals a deep ideological rift in the GOP.
Our experts found that Republicans Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman earned solid scores, with four, three and two torches across most major categories, although both received one torch on marriage equality and none on reproductive rights.
President Obama also achieved solid scores or better across most categories, including four torches for ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. However, he received just one torch and none for keeping Guantanamo Bay open and continuing unconstitutional surveillance under the PATRIOT act, respectively.
Republican-turned-Libertarian Gary Johnson scored even better than Paul, Huntsman and Obama, earning four and three torches on most major issues. They stand in stark contrast to the other major GOP candidates, three of whom — Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum — didn’t earn a single torch in any of the seven major categories.
Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich received torches in only one category: two torches each for promoting a humane immigration policy, including their support for a path to legal status for some long-term residents.
I would add a few more issues in there, most obviously the use of the State Secrets Privilege, transparency in government and other executive power issues, ending the war on drugs, police and prosecutorial misconduct, police brutality, the death penalty and access to DNA evidence. But on those issues, Johnson and Paul are still going to score a lot better than Obama. I’ve already given the many reasons why I won’t support Paul. Gary Johnson is someone I could probably support. I hope he gets the Libertarian Party nomination so I’ll at least have the option.