Candidate Constitutional Scorecard

Posted By on September 15, 2011

For years there have been a deluge of scorecards, report cards and analyses of candidate and congressional members stance based on various positions along the political spectrum. Every election year we can find scorecards judging these men and women grading their conservative records. It doesn’t take long to receive a side-by-side comparison of voting records on every imaginable issue. But to my recollection, and recent search of the Internet does not reveal any comparible document, or scoring on Constitutional issues or holding the candidate’s position up against the measuring stick of the Constitution.

The last few Republican Presidential Candidate debates have been revealing to me. Rick Santorum espouses his Conservative record and positions, but many of his statements and pledges run counter to the Constitution and reveal him to be just another proponent of government intervention in private and public life. Congresswoman Bachmann likes to banty about her support for the Constitution, and in the last debate pledged to bring the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights back into the White House if elected; the problem is many of her positions reveal very weak Constitutional footings. Mitt Romney only brings the Constitution into the discussion when he is defending the Massachusetts Healthcare Law as defensible under States rights; but rarely does he ever mention the Constitution in any other matter. Newt Gingrich will argue against various programs and actions as being un-Constitutional but never mentions how, or why. The list goes on, and on.

Oh, wait a minute, I forgot Ron Paul. Unquestionably the most controversial of the candidates on the stage, and in the race. He received one of the most sustained “boo’s” of the night with his comments regarding Al Qaeda. But the “problem” is, he is probably one of the most consistently Constitutionally based candidates in the Republican field.

So, I was thinking about this and decided that I would conduct a grading of the candidates during the next debate, and based on my “Single Issue” (see “Single Issue Voters“) stance, that I will grade the various answers from the perspective of the Constitution and founding principles of the united States. Here’s how it will work, each candidate will start the night out the same point “Zero.” For each answer/stance where they correctly quote the Constitution, AND their position adheres to the Constitution the candidate will receive “3” points. When they answer a question citing something from the Founding Fathers, AND their answer agrees with the Founders – in total – they will receive “2” points. IF they misquote either the Constitution OR the Founders BUT state a position in agreement with either, they will receive “1” point. When the answer simply mentions the Constitution or Founders without quoting either AND the answer is in agreement with the original intent of the Constitution or founding principles, they will score “2” points.

Now on the other side of the coin. If they misquote the Constitution, and adhere to an un-Constitutional position, that’s a “-3” points. If the candidate quotes the Constitution, BUT the answer or position is in opposition to the Constitution the penalty will be a “-2” points. If the candidate quotes the Constitution and offers a contradictory answer, both supporting the Constitutional position and taking a stance contradicting it, that will be “-5.” If they don’t quote the Constitution, but claim a position that contradicts the Constitution, “-1”.

From this you can see that the higher the score the more the candidate is in agreement with the Constitution, the very document they will swear, or have sworn, to support and defend. This will not be used as an endorsement by me for any particular candidate. Also, you can tell that I will be unable to provide even a cursory list of subject to be graded prior to the actual answer of the individual candidates.

I will publish the scorecard during the week after my speaking engagement in Charleston.

Let’s see what happens with this.

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