Paging Brad Delong, Again

So the L.A. Times has published an op-ed by Ethan Rarick arguing that the winner of the Democratic presidential primary doesn’t matter, since the candidates are so similar in policy and it’s impossible to predict electability. Now, obviously I disagree with this conclusion or I wouldn’t have worked as hard as I have for Obama, but I figured that the piece would at least be decently argued. I figured wrong:

But the three major Democratic candidates are all of the same cloth. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards all oppose the war in Iraq. They all have plans to expand health insurance coverage, yet none favors a single-payer system. All three would implement a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet none proposes a carbon tax. All favor civil unions but oppose same-sex marriage. And so on.

Differences exist, both rhetorically and on policy. Edwards is more the economic populist. Clinton would require people to buy health insurance; not so for Obama or Edwards.

That second paragraph is the only listing of differences between them. Really. In the entire piece. There’s no mention of the Iraq vote, Kyl-Lieberman, the Bankruptcy Bill, anything. There’s just health care. And the assertion’s wrong. The only factual statement differentiating the candidates on policy contained within a article devote entirely to comparing them on policy is a blatant falsehood. As anyone who’s been following the campaign so far knows, Edwards would indeed require people to buy health insurance, just like Clinton, and unlike Obama. But Rarick, who’s getting paid to write about the candidates’ differences, didn’t know that. Wow.

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