The subject of who folks are going to vote for came up on a board recently, and I realized I hadn’t taken a hard look at Democratic candidates voting records.
Why do I vote Democratic? I am a hardcore reproductive rights advocate, so any candidate that is pro-forced-birth gets an instant thumbs down from me. I’m also pro gay rights, environmentalism, peace, separation of church and state, civil rights, and social programs to help folks help themselves. I also want to vote for a candidate who has a chance to actually win. So, I vote Democratic in races for major offices.
So, let’s see how the major Democratic candidates do for me.
Senator Biden: Voted yes on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, so I’m not voting for him unless he’s up against someone worse. Senators have no place regulating what surgical options are available to a women in need of an abortion (especially when the bill is so incredibly vague. It actually encourages surgeons to perform far more dangerous procedures because they can’t be sure safer ones are legal under the bill).
Senator Clinton: Passes on abortion rights, and does pretty well in other categories too. Voted for the No Child Left Behind act, which I think is a travesty, but otherwise I am very surprised that she voted in line with my opinions on almost everything. I’ve always thought of her as a carpetbagging, overly ambitious robot, but apparently she more or less lines up with me on a lot of the issues. That’s good. I still don’t personally like her, but when the rubber meets the road she seems ok.
Senator Edwards: Passes on abortion rights, though he didn’t vote on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, which makes me wonder. Voted for the No Child Left Behind act and Patriot Act of 2001, meh. Disappointing. I do think he has a better chance of being elected than most of the other candidates, though.
Representative Kucinich: No chance in hell of being elected. Looked good on abortion rights until I saw he voted for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. He also voted for the Prohibition of Chemically Induced Abortion Amendment. So, sorry, Kucinich. You’re a good guy otherwise but I am not voting for you unless you’re up against someone worse.
Senator Obama: Missing at a lot of votes on abortion rights issues and was NV on two of the three he WAS present for. Hmph. Otherwise pretty much in line with my opinions. And I like him personally, which is something.
Governor Richardson: Used to be in Congress back in the 90s. While there, voted in line with my opinions, but that was a while ago. I haven’t looked up his performance in office.
There’s also the ACLU Scorecard, which is pretty awesome. But I can’t do direct links, darnit, and it doesn’t cover everything.
So, ultimately, if I just go by voting records: Clinton is good, Edwards and Obama are pretty good, need more info on Richardson. I still think Edwards has a better chance of being elected than Obama or Clinton, though, so he will likely get my vote.