Your guide to the next election

What’s the next presidential election going to be about and who’s going to decide it.

Let’s look at the voters (click to enlarge, from Information Is Beautiful):

1276_left_right_usa

And let’s look at the choices, from Paul Krugman:

… [T]here has never been a time in American history when the alleged personal traits of candidates mattered less. As we head into 2016, each party is quite unified on major policy issues — and these unified positions are very far from each other. The huge, substantive gulf between the parties will be reflected in the policy positions of whomever they nominate, and will almost surely be reflected in the actual policies adopted by whoever wins.

For example, any Democrat would, if elected, seek to maintain the basic U.S. social insurance programs — Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — in essentially their current form, while also preserving and extending the Affordable Care Act. Any Republican would seek to destroy Obamacare, make deep cuts in Medicaid, and probably try to convert Medicare into a voucher system.

Any Democrat would retain the tax hikes on high-income Americans that went into effect in 2013, and possibly seek more. Any Republican would try to cut taxes on the wealthy — House Republicans plan to vote next week to repeal the estate tax — while slashing programs that aid low-income families.

Any Democrat would try to preserve the 2010 financial reform, which has recently been looking much more effective than critics suggested. Any Republican would seek to roll it back, eliminating both consumer protection and the extra regulation applied to large, “systemically important” financial institutions.

And any Democrat would try to move forward on climate policy, through executive action if necessary, while any Republican — whether or not he is an outright climate-science denialist — would block efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

It doesn’t matter who gets the nomination for either party. What matters is what the parties stand for. And when you view the chart and the positions, you see there’s no ambiguity on what side you’re going to pick.

When it gets late in the election season and you hear people say they’re undecided, you should immediately know that they are either liars or morons.

Rand Paul, running (away) for president

This will sound odd, but I’m enjoying Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul’s run ins (or should I say run aways) with the media. When the questions get tough, Randmaster Flash find the nearest exit. Click here for Talking Points Memos list of Rand’s great escapes.

And just after this list came out, the Kentucky quickster did this:

Staffers of The Guardian newspaper tweeted that Paul refused to answer a question from reporter Paul Lewis and abruptly ended the interview:

I give the British media credit though. When a politician gives an evasive answer to a question, U.K. reporters keep going at it until they get an answer. Unlike American reporters, especially TV reporters, who go on to the next question without even listening to the answer.

Ted Cruz, GOP presidential hopeful, scares the crap out of babies

How did I miss this?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) joked Tuesday morning about the intense coverage of his “your world is on fire” comments, saying overblown stories painted him as a “Freddy Krueger” who made a little girl cry.

Mr. Cruz, who is considering a presidential run, gave a talk in New Hampshire over the weekend in which he called President Barack Obama‘s health-care law a train wreck and said that the “Obama-Clinton foreign policy” leads from behind. “The whole world is on fire,” he said.

A little girl in the audience interjected: “The world is on fire?”

Mr. Cruz responded: “The world is on fire, yes. Your world is on fire. But you know what? Your mommy is here and everyone is here to make sure that the world you grow up in is even better.”

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday, Mr. Cruz said he spoke to the girl’s mom on Monday, who was “dismayed” by all the attention the story was getting. “And I’ll tell you, it was funny because Julia, the little 3-year-old, she was in the background and her mommy said, ‘Ted Cruz is on the phone! Who’s Ted Cruz?’ And Julia at the top of her voice said, ‘The fireman!’ “

Keep it classy, Fox News minions. Looks like it’s not enough to scare old people. Let’s go across generations.