August 20, 2008

Donald Roach: "I like Obama, but I'll be voting for McCain"

Engaged Citizen

So says Tom Christian, who attends Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in California, after hearing both Presidential candidates make their cases to evangelical voters this weekend.

Both McCain and Obama were asked identical questions ranging from their views on leadership, the definition of marriage, and other subjects that affect the evangelical demographic. With respect to abortion, Warren asked Obama, "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?" Certainly, there is some biased phraseology within the question. Yet, like the seasoned compassionate liberal he is, Obama replied (according to the unofficial transcript notes):

Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade. But let me just speak more generally about the issue of abortion because this is something obviously the country wrestles with. One thing that I'm absolutely convinced of is there is a moral and ethical content to this issue. So I think that anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue I think is not paying attention. So that would be point number one. But point number two, I am pro-choice. I believe in Roe v. Wade and come to that conclusion not because I'm pro abortion, but because ultimately I don't think women make these decisions casually.[emphasis mine]

And so he tries to straddle the line between understanding the moral, theological, and scientific — the latter two above his pay grade — issues surrounding abortion but ultimately concludes that "women don't make these decisions casually." From an intellectual standpoint, that was a let-down. And I can imagine Tom Christian and other members of Warren's church thinking to themselves, "Wait a minute. This guy just said it's a difficult moral issue in one sentence but then supplanted the same difficult moral issue by giving supremacy to a woman's choice in the very next breath. He sounds like he is concerned, but it seems he's just holding to the tried and true liberal position on abortion."

Truth be told, earlier this year, I wrote that I was leaning toward Obama. I found myself drinking the "Kool-Aid" and, unlike Tom Christian, not reading through the tea leaves.

My main reasoning rested upon my perception of his integrity and my complete lack of hope for our current administration. I'd almost resigned myself to the notion of preferring a president I didn't agree with, but could trust when he acted on positions, versus a president I did agree with, but in whom I had little faith concerning in his ability to address real-world situations with any modicum of wisdom. Other conservatives like me — they call us Obamacons — have become disillusioned with the Bush administration's inept handling of issue after issue, moving the Republican party away from its true conservative roots. So why not give a hard-line liberal with conviction a chance, especially one as charismatic as Obama? Can it really get any worse?

Tom Christian would say "yes" and argue that, even though many Americans, evangelical Christians included, like Obama's message of hope and change, a closer examination of those positions illustrate nothing more than a fruitless liberal framework buttressed by empathetic dicta and inspiring rhetoric. And if Obama turns out not to be the dynamic once-in-a-generation leader many think he is, should we not heed Christian's observation: note the persuasiveness and allure of Obama but cast our lot with McCain, the pragmatic and proven leader?

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The Bush loathing is bizarre.

GWB hasn't failed us --Congress has.

Posted by: Citizen Critic at August 20, 2008 12:04 PM

I've been saying for some time now, and still believe, that this year's election will be very much like a replay of 1972.

Like Richard Nixon, John McCain is not beloved by the base of his party, mainly because if you believe that conservatism and the Republican Party should be one and the same, John McCain is the quintessential RINO, Republican in name only. If elected, he won't need to conservatives at all, and will stab us in the back with even more glee than he did in the Senate.

The very fact that he apparently has/is seriously considering naming Joe Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate, even as he presumably needs the conservatives, gives us an ominous warning sign of how he will govern once he is in office and doesn't need us anymore.

That said, he'll probably win in spite of conservative/Republican lack of enthusiasm, even nonparticipation in this election.

The reason for this is that Obama is probably the most far left candidate ever nominated by a major party in this country. As occurred with McGovern, once the more mainstream Democrats (e.g., union voters) realize just how radical he is, enough will default over to McCain to swing the election.

And then, like Nixon, McCain will go on to be an unmitigated disaster for the Republican Party, albeit for different reasons.

Posted by: Tom W at August 20, 2008 9:26 PM

So Tom, given your analysis and my commentary should conservatives select McCain, who may sell us out or Obama whose agenda is explicitly in opposition to many of conservatives' ideals?

Posted by: don roach at August 21, 2008 12:34 AM

I agree with most of what Tom has stated. However, I do plan on voting for John McCain, even given his many, many shortcomings, and his rather mixed record as it relates to the Republican Party.

While John McCain's election as president may end up being a net negative for the Republican Party, I think the future safety and well-being of the country is a far more important consideration.

PS Fortunately for Tom, he has the luxury of living in a state which is probably unlikely to be a battleground state ... in other words, how individual Rhode Islanders vote is really not important to the "big picture."

Posted by: Will at August 21, 2008 1:45 AM

While John McCain's election as president may end up being a net negative for the Republican Party, I think the future safety and well-being of the country is a far more important consideration.

The long-term well-being of the Country is exactly why you should not vote for McCain, in my opinion.

If he wins - and fails - don't be surprised if the GOP trots Linc Chaffee out for the 2012 nomination.

Posted by: JP at August 21, 2008 8:35 AM

I do have the "luxury" of living in a state which is going to give its electoral college votes to the Marxist, so my Presidential vote is always merely symbolic anyway.

Given that, I plan to either set out the presidential race (though I will vote), or "throwaway" my vote on a third-party candidate.

If I lived in a battleground state, and the race were close, the decision would a much more difficult, and I would probably end up making up my mind at the last minute.

At this point I would lean toward sitting out the race still. While, McCain is probably the "lesser of two evils" and in the short run the country will certainly be better off if he wins, my fear is that his victory will actually do us more harm in the long run.

In the first place ( while this is inherently "Crystal Ball" stuff) I'm not convinced that less of the Democrat agenda will get enacted under McCain that will under Obama. McCain has shown over the years that he does not care about conservatism or the Republican Party; he's running to cap off his career.

Once elected, especially since he's apparently mulling only serving one term, he won't need the Republican Party or conservatives, and his record in the Senate shows how he delights in stabbing us in the back even when he does need us.

Hungry for "accomplishments," I can envision him huddling with a Democrat congressional leadership (who he obviously prefers dealing with anyway and feels more kinship with) and coming up with backroom, "bipartisan," "reach across the aisle" legislation. His record in the Senate shows that he's happy to come on board with any Democratic legislation so long as his name appears first: McCain-Feingold; McCain-Kennedy etc.

Meanwhile the so-called "Republicans" in Congress, particularly in the Senate, will be reluctant to adamantly oppose a "Republican" President.

Contrast that with an Obama presidency, which might actually inspire the "Republicans" to show some backbone and engage in active opposition. Consider that when Clinton was president the Republican Congress behaves more conservatively than when we had a "Republican" George W. Bush.

Also, his campaign season rhetoric about "securing the borders first" notwithstanding, McCain showed his true colors last year and a vote for McCain is a vote for amnesty and open borders and "family reunification" with its importation of 10s of millions of new welfare recipients. Yes we will get the same Obama, but it least in future decades as our country increasingly comes to resemble a Third World sh**hole as a combination of 10s of millions of new welfare recipients and retiring baby boomers going into Social Security/Medicare bankrupt our country and pull the private sector down with the inevitably crushing tax burden, at least I'll be able to look in the mirror and know that I didn't help make it happen by voting for John McCain.

Not that that will be any great consolation as I watch our country decline ...

Posted by: Tom W at August 21, 2008 9:13 AM

In the second place, dealing with the long run, the post-McGovern Democrat party is a far left party, and is playing for keeps. They have not taken their eye off the ball for their ultimate goal of turning the United States into a country governed on the "democratic socialist" model prevailing in Europe.

McCain represents the wing of the Republican Party - "the moderates" - that want to turn the party away from conservative principles and into a "go along to get along" with the Democrats and their agenda party.

We've seen how this model works in the Northeast: the GOP as a party continues to shrink, as it should. So it is a loser on the national level, but for folks like McCain who are only in it for their personal political aggrandizement, they only care about their short-term gain even if it comes up long-term expense of the GOP.

Even worse, with such a Republican Party there is nothing to counteract the Democrats and their agenda. At best a "moderate" GOP will merely slowdown in the rate of acceleration of the Democrat agenda, and perhaps reign in some of its worst excesses at the margins. But in the end the Democrats win and their agenda will be achieved.

Perpetual accommodation, indeed perpetual retreat is not a roadmap for victory, but that is what the "moderate" Republicans want.

McCain and his ilk would clearly like to purge the Republican Party of conservatives. I'm not sure that after 4-8 years of John McCain there will be much of a Republican Party left, and certainly not one that would be recognizable by Ronald Reagan.

In turn, it would then not matter if Obama is defeated this year, for future Democrat presidents will be just as radical, and there will be no effective GOP to stand as a counterbalance.

So then the whole country will get to look like Rhode Island: increasingly poor, permanently declining economy, collapsing infrastructure, terrible schools and punitive taxation.

Hence my comment that while a McCain victory may be better for us in the short run, it may actually be worse for us in the long run.

Posted by: Tom W at August 21, 2008 9:27 AM

It's amazing that anyone would think more than one second about who to vote for in this election.

At a time when liberals were calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and neo-cons were denying that there even was an insurgency in Iraq, McCain had the solution that was eventually proven correct. He stood by it when many Republicans (to include some self-proclaimed conservatives like Tom Coburn and Walter Jones) and virtually every Democrat was running for cover.

As for JP's comment that "The long-term well-being of the Country is exactly why you should not vote for McCain, in my opinion."

Yes, that's some logic.

Because I think the country would be far better off in the long-term if thousands of Americans end up dying through another 9/11 because we elect Barack Obama to have "meaningful conversations" with terrorists.

I normally see liberals putting politics above national interest, but I suppose we have a handful on our side that do the same.

I'll be voting for John McCain and will be glad to do so.

At least I'll have confidence that when McCain makes decisions as President, they won't be "above his pay grade".

Posted by: Anthony at August 21, 2008 12:53 PM


Because McCain (along with George W and the Democrats) have refused, continue to refuse, and will continue to refuse to secure our southern border, I submit to you that the surge / Iraq / Afghanistan and the rest of the "War on Terror" is primarily a PR stunt that, unfortunately, is costing the lives of brave men and women in service of our country.

al Qaeda isn't stupid. They don't need to hassle with the largely showpiece TSA / ICE by flying into JFK, they can merely send their operatives through Central America, from which they can waltz across our southern border at their leisure. Hiring "mules" to carry WMD components into the U.S.

The refusal to secure our southern border merely to pander to the Hispanic lobby is an impeachable defense on the part of a "Commander in Chief" that is "sworn to protect and defend" the United States.

If, heaven forbid, sometime in the next four years an "imported from Mexico" WMD goes off in one or more of our cities, you can be damn sure that the Democrats will file articles of impeachment against "President McCain" - and the public will back them.

The GOP name will be mud for the next generation, and the radical Democrats will have the run of the country.

Posted by: Tom W at August 21, 2008 1:25 PM

Tom W-mcCain will probably do more to secure the southern border than this idiot in the WH who has been fronting for the Mexican government.Obama is a one-worlder,period.He intends to destroy American sovereignty-but anyone with half a brain can see that as long as they haven't drunk at the Lethean shores to erase memory(and common sense)and see Obama as a savior.
Bush has sacrified two decent Border Patrolmen (both Latino)to the Mexican drug cartel-he supported the murderer Medellin at the behest of the mexican government,and he wants the superhighway carrying contaminated goods and who knows what else into the interior of the US.
i will cahnce it with McCain because he doesn't present himself as the Great I Am.He had faults,but on balance he will be the better choice because he loves America better than he loves the rest of the world.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 21, 2008 2:38 PM

"Chaffee/Schwarzenegger 2012"

Posted by: JP at August 21, 2008 2:55 PM

Taking the long view, I think a 4 year Obama presidency helps Republicans more than 4 or 8 years of McCain.

It is a scary proposition, but if we ever want to see another solid conservative run in the White House and Congress, we're going to have to swallow 1 dose of BHO.

Posted by: George at August 21, 2008 4:04 PM

Taking the long view, I think a 4 year Obama presidency helps Republicans more than 4 or 8 years of McCain.

You want to talk long view? The SCOTUS justices Obamessiah would appoint will make decisions that would screw over my GRANDCHILDREN, and I'm not even married yet.

I AM taking the long view.

Posted by: EMT at August 21, 2008 10:13 PM

McCain will do a better job securing the border. And say what you will, I don't have a problem with putting illegals who are already in the US on the path to citizenship, provided that this is enacted after the borders are secured.

To Will's point, if Obama gets elected our country will be far less secure. And the #1 obligation of any nation is to protect its citizens.

To EMT's point, I'm not prepared to have a young Obama appoint even younger activist Supreme Court justices that will destroy judicial restraint for the next half-century and become the most liberal court since Earl Warren was Chief Justice.

Unless your "long-term view" goes out to the year 2058, I see no way in which an Obama victory would be helpful to conservatives.

Posted by: Anthony at August 22, 2008 12:10 AM

Unless your "long-term view" goes out to the year 2058, I see no way in which an Obama victory would be helpful to conservatives.

Well I certainly don't consider four years "long-term", and after a failed McCain presidency and both parties securely moving toward Europeon socialism - albeit at different paces - I'm not much worried about the Peoples Republic of the United States in 2058. In fact, I plan on making "don't blame me, I voted for Barrack" bumper stickers and saving enough yen and pesos with the proceeds to buy years worth of canned beans and peanut butter. I'll save some for you.

Posted by: JP at August 22, 2008 12:03 PM
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