Yes, he's extremely noxious even by Republican standards. Still, I have a little bit of a soft spot in my heart for the underdog, and Duncan Hunter is the only Republican candidate remaining, after Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo left the race, who still routinely and regularly polls under Ron Paul everywhere. He averages less-than-one-percent in pretty much every poll.
So, using these guidelines, where does this most despised of Republican Presidential candidates stand?
WAR: Supports permanent occupation of Iraq. Supports treating terrorism as a war to last pretty much forever. Endorses principle of pre-emptive self-defense. 0%.
SEPARATION OF POWERS: Favors strong executive, supports USA-PATRIOT, secret searches, spying on American citizens. 0%.
HEALTHCARE: Favors very limited tort reform- specifically caps on malpractice awards. Wants to allow people to buy insurance across state lines to avoid state regulations. Has no problem with insuror control of healthcare. Supports making price lists for medical services mandatory. 25%.
TAXATION AND BUDGET: Claims to oppose targeted tax cuts, but his specific tax cut proposals are targeted. Claims to support a balanced budget, but proposes broad tax cuts and only minimal budget cuts (foreign aid and arts funding). No promise of moratorium on borrowing money. 10%.
CIVIL LIBERTIES: Supports USA-PATRIOT. Supports torture, Guantanamo. Sponsored bill in Congress to allow private citizens to sue anyone who distributed material which was obscene, indecent or profane- meaning that bikini calendars or books satirizing Christianity would be effectively illegal. Opposes separation of church and state. Wants to make gambling illegal on a federal level. Wants to censor the Internet and cable/satellite television. 0%.
IMPEACHMENT: Opposes. 0%.
IMMIGRATION: Hunter's second-priority issue, after abortion (he opposes abortion, calls for "non-activist judges" to be activist to protect embryos, and opposes birth control). Opposes amnesty. Wants to further restrict immigration. Wants to ban immigration from countries with a record of terrorism and to hold immigrants from those countries, legal or not, in detention indefinitely without habeas corpus. Calls for an end to birthright citizenship. 0%.
TRADE: Believes in North American Union conspiracy theory. Opposes GATT, WTO, NAFTA. Advocates protectionist trade policies. Wants to enact trade restrictions on China in particular. 50%.
ENERGY: Lukewarm support for alternative fuels; much stronger support for conventional sources, especially oil. 10%.
ENVIRONMENT: Does not believe in human-caused global warming. Wants to allow commercial use (logging, mining, hunting, etc.) of Federal park land. Opposes seizure for parkland or restrictions on private property. 25%.
TORT REFORM: Supports caps on medical malpractice awards. 10%.
AVERAGE SCORE: 11.8%
IRAQ: Supports permanent occupation.
TORTURE: Voted for Military Commissions Act of 2006.
RANKINGS TO DATE
Candidates in italics are not in consideration due to vote-killer positions.
Ron Paul - 28.2%
Mike Huckabee - 16.9%
Duncan Hunter - 11.8%
Next time: Fred Thompson, who doesn't know his campaign is already over.
(Incidentally, by the time I get around to the Democrats, it's entirely possible some of them might have been shaken out by Iowa and New Hampshire...)