The ACLU has put out their presidential report card for all of the major candidates on civil liberties, even including Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer. The two front runners for the Republican nomination, Romney and Santorum, get straight zeroes across the board. Gingrich gets almost all zeroes, rating two our of four on immigration.
But I’m afraid they were a little too optimistic in their consideration of Obama. The organization rated nine areas: voter suppression, racial profiling, humane immigration policy, closing Gitmo and indefinite detention, gays in the military, ending torture, ending the surveillance state, marriage equality and reproductive rights. But they didn’t rate the use of the State Secrets Privilege, which is Obama’s single worst and most dangerous position when it comes to civil liberties. Nor do they rate a range of due process issues like access to DNA evidence and prosecutorial immunity, on which the Obama administration has been staunchly anti-constitution and anti-civil liberties.
Interestingly, Gary Johnson beats or equals Obama in seven of the nine categories (and gets an incomplete on racial profiling because he hasn’t ever dealt with the issue or taken a position). The only category that he loses out to Obama is reproductive rights, where Obama gets a 3 and Johnson a 2. Ron Paul is equal to or better than Obama is six of nine categories (and also gets no score on racial profiling).
The bottom line, as I’ve been saying from the very beginning, is that there is no candidate with any chance of winning the election that is any good when it comes to civil liberties. Obama is good in a few areas and absolutely terrible in many others. And the Republicans are absolutely hopeless.