August 27th, 2007

Questions for the Candidates

Obama, McCain, Hillary, Romney, Rudy, Brownback, Biden, Edwards, Richardson

Here are some questions I’d like answered. As Dave Weigel observed of his queries, “It’s just a list of nags that the candidates might not have talking points for. And those are the sorts of queries they should be getting every day.”

For the Full Field

1. Do you believe that only [Mormons, Baptists, Catholics, born-again Christians, etc] go to heaven? Do you believe that only [Mormons, Baptists, Catholics, born-again Christians, etc] should go to heaven?

2. (A) Where do you get your news? (B) Do you read a newspaper on a daily basis? If so, which one or ones? (C) Do you read blogs? (D) If so, which ones?

3. Should using marijuana for medical reasons, as prescribed by a doctor, be illegal?

4. Everyone agrees that the tax code is too complex. How would you simplify it? Note: the question concerns tax reform, not tax cuts.

5. Running for president, especially in the age of YouTube, invites a massive amount of scrutiny. What aspects of a candidate’s life, if any, should be private? For instance, is it appropriate to report that a candidate’s children are not campaigning for him?

6. Name three things you did in your administration to increase transparency.

7. Why do you want to be president?

For the Democrats

1. What role, if any, would you task Bill Clinton with in your administration?

2. Do you send your children to private school? If so, why do you oppose giving vouchers to parents who are too poor to do the same?

3. What is the purpose of government?

4. Why or why not is the death tax good?

5. Should late-term abortion be legal?

6. You believe that abortion should be legislated at the federal level, via Roe v. Wade, but that marriage should be a state issue. Isn’t this a contradiction?

7. Did U.S. foreign policy contribute to the reasons for the attacks of September 11, 2001?

For the Republicans

1. Is it wrong for the GOP to nominate for president someone who is pro-choice?

2. Would you allow an abortion in the case of rape or incest, or for the health of the mother?

3. Why does defining marriage as between a man and a woman necessitate the denial of more than 1,000 rights to gay couples that the federal government grants to straight couples?

4. In arguing against the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from military service, Barry Goldwater said that you don’t have to be straight to shoot straight. Do you agree?

5. Is homosexuality a choice, or is it biological?

6. Of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jerry Fallwell said, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.'” How did those “who have tried to secularize America” help 9/11 to happen?

7. Is global warming a naturally occurring or man-made phenomenon?

8. What is your exit strategy for Iraq? At what point do the costs outweigh the benefits?

9. What one cabinet position would you abolish, if any?

10. What role, if any, did Iraq play in the attacks of September 11, 2001?

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