There's a very cool scorecard from the ACLU now that grades the presidential candidates on their positions on civil liberties. The top winner? Former Republican turned Libertarian Gary Johnson followed closely by President Obama and Jon Huntsman.
Since the presidential election began in earnest earlier this spring, the GOP candidates have been in a race to attach themselves to the DNA of Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln and Grover Norquist. This is nothing new. What is new -- and a race of its own -- is their ferocious competition to be seen as defenders and guardians of our Constitution.
Over and over during debates, on TV ads and splashed across campaign websites and Twitter feeds, the candidates have invoked the Constitution as a means of undermining policies they oppose and promoting policies they support.
It's a great political device to use a document revered as much as the flag itself. What sometimes gets lost, however, is that the Constitution wasn't written as fodder for political campaigns. It was written to be the foundation for all our freedoms.
Frequent commenter Sam Ritchie pointed out the flaw in the grading system over on ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero's Huff Po post about the scorecard.
Candidates of ALL parties??? You can't add ONE Libertarian candidate and say you're covering "candidates of all parties." Where are the other FIVE Libertarian candidates besides Gary Johnson? Where are the THREE announced Green Party candidates? If the ACLU is only going to pay attention to the two major parties, that's their decision. But don't claim that you're going to cover "candidates of all parties," and then ignore 8 out of 9 candidates for President from the two largest third parties in the country.
Fair enough. More after the break - including a handy dandy infographic.