Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Chris Christie

The 2016 Candidate Evaluation Series Finale

Now that Joe Biden has finally made up his mind and decided not to run for president, I can conclude my candidate evaluation series. This series finale post will provide you with a number of election-related resources:

  1. My thoughts on Biden’s decision
  2. Links to all the extant candidate evaluation posts along with all the additional election-related content I have written so far.
  3. A full league table of the presidential candidates in which they score points for supporting policies that would benefit the country and lose points for supporting policies that would harm the country.
  4. Mini-Evaluations of some of the third party candidates and marginal figures (e.g. Jill Stein, Lawrence Lessig, etc.)
  5. Statistics on how popular the different candidates’ evaluations have been with blog readers

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Bogus Claims and Broken Arguments: The First 2016 GOP Presidential Debate

The pundits are out in force today arguing about which republican candidate performed best in yesterday’s debate. But the pundit definition of “best” is, well, not the best. They evaluate politics descriptively, disputing who will get the most support, not who should. There’s precious little serious reflection on the quality of the arguments presented. Candidates know this, and consequently every election they behave more theatrically, trying to score cheap points with burns and put-downs instead of engaging in nuanced policy discussion. So instead of discussing whose personal anecdote was the most touching or whose one-liner had the most zing, I invite you to join me in a dissection of the substantive claims and arguments we did see.

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Candidate Evaluations: Chris Christie

Chris Christie has waded into the presidential race, so let’s evaluate him. I’ll be looking at Christie’s background, policy history, and explicit statements to determine whether or not he would make a good president. I won’t be paying attention to electability or likeability, as is often common elsewhere on the web.

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The Tea Party Remains Potent

Since the government shutdown, many have been claiming that the Tea Party is a spent force. They point to evidence that the Tea Party is, on a national level, less popular than ever. However, these analyses are making a critical error–the Tea Party has never enjoyed and does not require majority support. All the Tea Party needs to remain effective is a strong base in the districts it controls, and the evidence does not suggest any weakening in support for the Tea Party in these critical regions.

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Is Chris Christie a Moderate?

In the aftermath of republican Chris Christie’s recent re-election as governor of New Jersey, many in the press have been quick to make sweeping claims about what this means for the republicans nationally. Chief among these claims is the notion that Christie is a moderate–consequently, Christie’s victory is an indication that the republicans should or will become more moderate in the future. But while Christie has attempted to cultivate an image nationally as a centrist, reasonable republican who chills with Barack Obama and disses Rand Paul, I have not seen many in the press taking any kind of serious look at what Christie has done policy-wise in New Jersey. So let’s do that today.

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