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I have a major project I'd like to undertake here, but I'm not at all equipped to handle it myself. I'm not even the best person to take charge of it -- I can easily think of several dozen kossacks who would do a better job than I could. But I have this idea to make things easier for all of us and help with the 2008 election effort, and so I would like to ask for anyone who is willing and able to contribute to the effort. I can't even offer much incentive (other than the improved prospect of electing a Democratic president, which ought to be enough for anyone), but since I'm known around here for my recipes, there will be one in the tip jar for anyone who gets that far.

Like it or not, even though the next presidential election is still nearly 22 months away, the campaign is already upon us. The first Democratic debate of the campaign is just over three months away, and we have a number of declared and undeclared candidates.

We know that John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Tom Vilsack, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden have filed papers with the FEC, declaring themselves likely candidates. We also know that Hillary Clinton, Wes Clark, John Kerry, Al Gore, and Bill Richardson are more or less likely candidates as well.

On the Rethug side of things, John Cox, Richard Smith, and Michael Smith have already filed with the FEC, and we know there is serious interest from Sam Brownback, Tommy Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, John "Surge" McCain, Mitt Romney, Duncan Hunter, Jim Gilmore, Chuck Hagel, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, George Pataki, Ron Paul, and Tom Tancredo. There has also been some speculation that Condi Rice or Mike Pence might run, but let's ignore them for the moment.

Of course, there are also, as always, a number of third party candidates, but let's ignore them for the moment as well; some of them would make appealing candidates and some would appeal about as much as a permanent BushCo government, but realistically, none of them have any chance of winning anyway, so they're of lesser import for my purpose in this diary.

So here is the major undertaking I want to propose.

The dKosopedia has a page dedicated to the 2008 US presidential election. So far, it's just an outdated list of candidates, with links to other pages with information on the candidates. These are basically standard wiki bios, which means they don't serve our purposes. But suppose we kept the presidential election page updated and added information about each of the potential candidates?

I did a little research into which issues matter most to us for next year's presidential election. To reiterate, the following table shows the results of a straw poll I conducted here:

<th>Rank</th><th>Item</th><th>Votes</th>
1Abuses/desecration of the Constitution65
2Healthcare55
3Environment (including climate change)53
4Energy independence/policy50
5Election integrity48
6Foreign policy/the US's place in the world46
7Iraq40
8Corporate kleptocracy38
9Torture37
10Equal rights33
11Economy and economic policy32
12Education31
13Stem cell research28
14Corruption (in government)27
15 (tie)Reproductive rights20
15 (tie)Social Security20
17Sustainable development19
18Federal judiciary/Supreme Court18
19Food/food policy14
20National security/terrorism12
21Iran10
22 (tie)Leadership (transformational, inspirational)8
22 (tie)War on drugs8
24Immigration5

Wouldn't you like to know where each of the candidates stands on these issues (and others)? Wouldn't you like to have an easy-to-navigate record of every speech they've given, every vote they've cast, every bill they've sponsored related to these issues? If you haven't already jumped on some candidate's bandwagon, wouldn't having access to such records make it easier for you to decide who to support?

As for the Rethug candidates, all that information would be useful, but I have something slightly different in mind for them. I want every skeleton in every Rethug closet exposed. Now, I'm not talking about swiftboating anybody. I don't want a repository of lies. I want nothing but honest, truthful, accurate information about all of the Rethug candidates. Every Rethug who talks about family values while cheating on his/her spouse or neglecting his/her children, I want the evidence posted on the dKosopedia. Every Rethug who claims to be for law-and-order, then calls in favors to get his/her son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse, parent, friend, neighbor, or multimillion dollar campaign contributor off the hook for anything from jaywalking to serial murder, I want it posted on the dKosopedia. Even relatively good things -- for example, Romney's old position on reproductive rights -- that would be anathema to the Rethug platform, I want it posted on the dKosopedia.

I want us to turn the 2008 US presidential election page on the dKosopedia into a one-stop informational database on all the candidates, both Democrats and Rethugs. (I think we should also be doing this for Senate and House candidates, but my focus here is on the presidential race.)

Some words of caution: let's not let this turn into another means for supporters of some given candidate to propagandize about their chosen hero, or to trash all the other candidates. Let's be completely fair. Let's provide all the information we need to promote all of the Democratic candidates. Let's highlight their good points and use these pages to strengthen them where they are weak. And let's have all the dirty truth we need about the Rethugs to hit back every time they lie about their own records.

Over the next few months, as time allows, I'll be updating the 2008 US presidential election page on the dKosopedia to reflect whatever information I come across. Obviously, I cannot do this alone. I have neither the time nor the resources to track down all the information that would be required; indeed, these days, I get most of my news about the candidates on dKos. This needs to be a community effort -- all of us together have the ability to track down all the information we could ever possibly need about any and all of the candidates. Some of you are experts on one or more of the candidates, both Dems and Rethugs, so I ask you to post relevant links with appropriate contextual information on the dKosopedia pages in addition to your diaries.

I mentioned in my last diary that the 2008 election is nothing less than a battle for the soul of the United States, and we cannot afford to lose. We did well in the 2006 elections, but it is time to prepare for the 2008 elections. Failure to prepare adequately leaves us open to Rethug attacks and endangers everything for which we worked so hard last year. Kerry lost in 2004 in part because he and his campaign were unprepared for the swiftboaters, liars, cowards, and traitors who attacked him, and took far too long to hit back. Let's not repeat that mistake. Let's have every piece of information we could ever possibly need at our fingertips. We'll be better activists for our collective knowledge, and we'll be better advocates for our nominee as well.

So... Who's with me? Will you track the news about your favorite candidate (or your most hated Rethug candidate) and update the dKosopedia page?

Originally posted to וויסקמס on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 06:02 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (25+ / 0-)

    American Flag Cake
    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    2 pints of strawberries
    1 recipe of your favorite white or yellow cake (mix or from scratch, your choice)
    1 1/3 cups of blueberries
    1 tub of whipped topping

    Mix up and bake your favorite cake mix or recipe. Let cool. Slice 1 cup of strawberries, set aside. Halve remaining strawberries, set aside. Top cake (in pan) with 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1 cup blueberries and all of the whipped topping. Arrange remaining strawberry halves and blueberries on whipped topping to create a flag design. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Thwarting the forces of idiocy since 1978. -6.38, -6.00

    by wiscmass on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 06:03:30 PM PST

  •  in tandem, the Bowers googlebomb approach (4+ / 0-)

    could add extra oomph to a comprehensive dKosopedia resource.  If we can compile a great resource, and link the hell out of it, it could be a resource for non-dKos folk, too.

    jotter's Lists of High Impact Diaries: daily and weekly archives (bring your own bendy straws)

    by sele on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 06:28:41 PM PST

  •  good idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, wiscmass, epppie

    I am not sure we can keep it from being subjective, but we can try.

  •  Good idea (7+ / 0-)

    For each Dem candidate we should also include a "debunked myths" section.

    For instance, way too much time is wasted around here having to debunk stuff like "Obama is/was a DLC member" and "Obama voted for the bankruptcy bill" to name two of the more common ones. Similarly, the "Clark was for the war" thing increases blood pressure and troll ratings.

    Be the Democrat you want to see. DebateScoop

    by demondeac on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 06:29:18 PM PST

  •  You've outdone yourself this time... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass, epppie

    I'm pretty certain that if someone (hint hint) just gets it started and repeatedly links to it here, the thing will take off and more or less run itself.

    "Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." - James Bovard

    by Gasonfires on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 06:46:11 PM PST

    •  As I said... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gasonfires

      ...I'll be working on it whenever time permits over the course of the next several months. Unfortunately for me, the potential candidate I know best -- Russ Feingold -- decided not to run. But there are lots of others around who could help with some our potential candidates, notably Edwards, Clark, Gore, Clinton, and Obama.

      Full of good ideas since 1978. -6.38, -6.00

      by wiscmass on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 06:52:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a great idea. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass, epppie

    Cound me in.

    It's also important, I think, to actually call the candidates' staff. Back when Obama was accused of being mentored by Joe Lieberman, I called his staff, spoke to his legislative director, and had a really wonderful conversation about what was going on. (Turns out Joe was ASSIGNED to Obama, and they only had lunch once. They're not buddies.)

    So, I think it's worthwhile to go straight to the source, see if it agrees or contradicts with what other info is out there.

  •  Over on ProgressiveHistorians... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17, tipsymcstagger

    ...epppie asked for a little clarification about what specifically I want people to add to the wiki pages. Here is my response:

    If you click on one of the links in the diary to the page on the dKosopedia, you'll see it's set up like any other wiki. I want people to update the entries for each of the presidential candidates with any information they have -- provided it's reliable, accurate, and verifiable, of course. I want people to be able to go these pages and find out what candidates say they believe in regard to each of the issues in the table, as well as what they've done and what they've proposed. I want people to be able to find out what the candidates' track records are on each of the issues. I want people to be able to find definitive proof disproving the Rethugs' lies about our candidates.
    And for Rethugs, I want people to be able to see what hypocrites they are. I want the same information -- where they stand, what they've said and done, etc. -- but I also want all the skeletons in their closets that contradict their claims to virtue or that would put them at odds with the Rethug base.

    I don't know enough about the candidates to be able to do this myself, and I certainly don't have the time to do it all myself, but the great thing about a wiki is that anyone can update a file. If we all contribute what we know, we could build a formidable database that could help activists become better advocates for Democratic candidates, while simultaneously poking holes in Rethugs' claims.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I don't have a favorite candidate right now, so if this project takes off, I'll also be using it to help me decide which candidate to support (and volunteer for).

    Full of good ideas since 1978. -6.38, -6.00

    by wiscmass on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 06:55:11 PM PST

  •  I like it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass

    very much.  #1 (constitutional abuse) would probably have to be broken up, and perhaps #10 (equal rights) as well.  A section on #22 (leadership) might go against the ethos of this project (just the substance), but maybe that could be the place for "relevant life/career experience".  

    The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. - John Adams

    by tipsymcstagger on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 07:11:40 PM PST

  •  Can you make sure you separate rhetoric (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass

    from action?  Can you say Stated Position, Acts Supporting Position?  

    •  That's part of it (0+ / 0-)

      We want to be able to see whose actions match their words; that'll help us pick our best possible nominee, and it'll also help highlight the hypocrisy of the Rethugs' candidates.

      Full of good ideas since 1978. Follow the link for the latest one. -6.38, -6.00

      by wiscmass on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 08:58:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something that would be cool (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass

    If someone could figure out how to code it...

    Back in 04 during the primaries PBS had a great election tool.

    They had a series of maybe 20 issues questions -- Like "What is the best way to keep SS solvent"-- then they blindly (A,B,C, D, E) listed the statements from each the candidates.  You clicked which one best matched your own beliefs or most supported.  Then at the end it tallied your score and told you which candidate you actually most supported.

    I thought surely I would end up a Deaniac.  He ended up being third or fourth.  My candidate ended up being Carol Mosley Braun.  Kerry was dead last.  I scored Lieberman higher!

    I think it would be interesting for readers to see who they really support with out all the baggage.  

    Who knows maybe we all love Hillary

  •  Please consider Independents? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass

    If so, visit my site, review my stand on hot/important topics, and consider adding me (and other Independents) to your list?

    Lot's like Obama because he doesn't sound like a Washington-insider. Well, why not others who aren't Washington-insiders, either?

    Thanks for your time.
    Alan (aka PoliticAl2008)

    •  Of course independents are welcome (0+ / 0-)

      I'd love it if someone -- or multiple someones -- would participate in this project by working on the independents as well.

      But as I noted in the diary, I'm focusing more on the Democrats and Rethugs as a matter of pragmatism. No one can realistically deny that the next president will be the nominee of either the Dems or the Rethugs, so that is where I will direct my efforts.

      Full of good ideas since 1978. Follow the link for the latest one. -6.38, -6.00

      by wiscmass on Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 07:16:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry you feel that way (0+ / 0-)

        I think this country is in strong need of a third, if not fourth, party or the removal of any/all party affiliation if we're going to stop segrating people on yet another label (income, color, religion, political party ... what next?).

        Good luck with your project. For the sake of the country, I hope that the Dems do well over the next two years and earn the landslide vote in 2008. But, if they let it go to their collective heads and start carrying on with the "DC same as usual", then perhaps my party will carry some benefit to the American people.

  •  This needs an entire website, not just a page (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass

    Ideally, the resource would be so elaborate as to require an entire website with online database and indexed searches.

    I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

    by MakeChessNotWar on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 10:49:23 PM PST

    •  Check the wiki page from one of the links... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CSI Bentonville

      ...in the diary. The page I refer to is just the home page for the 2008 presidential election. From there, there are links to multiple pages, one for each candidate. And I believe the dKosopedia is set up to allow for searches.

      Now, I'm not technologically astute enough to make my own website to support all of what you suggest; if I was, I'd be running with it. If you or someone you know is willing to take my idea and run with it, I'd be more than happy for them to do it.

      Full of good ideas since 1978. Follow the link for the latest one. -6.38, -6.00

      by wiscmass on Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 07:18:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My task (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wiscmass

        is to set up the Resource Center at Ykos 2007, otherwise I'd do it. But I'll solicit help. BTW, I am not a fan of wiki, suffering personal attacks on my page there and witnessing others. An unrefereed site will always be unreliable, IMHO.

        I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

        by MakeChessNotWar on Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 03:15:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a great idea. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass

    We're the reality based community, so why not have a set of sourced facts on what candidates have or haven't done on all the important issues of the day.

  •  most excellent idea. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wiscmass

    rec'd at both places!  Diane W

    I think, therefore I rant. Economic Left/Right: -8.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.03

    by wiretapthis on Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 07:40:14 AM PST

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