A Conservative Arguement for Barack Obama

My favorite token conservative, Andrew Sullivan, has a post up today showing the top ten reasons why true conservatives (those who really stand for what the GOP says it stands for), should vote for Obama. Check it here.


And So it Goes…

There’s been many papers, people and other media outlets who have endorsed Barack Obama’s run for the Presidency. Now comes the latest endorsement. What makes this one particularly notable? It’s from the Anchorage Daily News, a paper which has really done well and come to the national spotlight during this campaign.

From the endorsement:

Gov. Palin’s nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency — but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.

To me this perfectly encapsulates several good ideas. First there’s the fact that it doesn’t really matter where someone comes from (you listening, left-leaning Arizonans?). What matters is who they are and what they do. Palin may be an Alaskan (she’s spent most of her life there, after all, despite being born in Idaho), but to the ADN that doesn’t matter, nor should it.

They also notice what many of us, including myself, have noticed. The way that Obama, “…displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand.” They’re right. Obama has been cool, calm, and steady during this economic crisis. McCain spent the first couple days running around like a chicken without a head.

Another great point:

Sen. McCain describes himself as a maverick, by which he seems to mean that he spent 25 years trying unsuccessfully to persuade his own party to follow his bipartisan, centrist lead. Sadly, maverick John McCain didn’t show up for the campaign. Instead we have candidate McCain, who embraces the extreme Republican orthodoxy he once resisted and cynically asks Americans to buy for another four years.

Prior to making this blog back in February, I was telling my friends, and especially my mother, who I talk politics with often, that I wouldn’t mind a President McCain. I didn’t want him to be President, but at the time I thought he was centrist enough that I could at least accept it. I also had quite a bit of respect for the man.

Now neither of those things are true. He’s shown himself to be as much of a wingnut as several other members of his party and because of the way he’s handled himself in the campaign, I have no respect for him anymore. It’s sad, cause I wish I still did.

Another point I agree with the ADN on:

On a matter of parochial interest, Sen. Obama opposes the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but so does Sen. McCain. We think both are wrong, and hope a President Obama can be convinced to support environmentally responsible development of that resource.

As my father, a former Alaskan who did some work up in the area of the oil fields, pointed out to me, “If you picture ANWR as a football field, you can put a postage stamp in one corner to represent the area of drilling.” Also he explained once that due to the protected nature of such areas if you are driving a vehicle and have the choice between hitting, say, a goose or a person, hit the person. There’s less paperwork. I think he was joking.

Here’s the beautiful summation, to which I have nothing at all to add:

Gov. Palin has shown the country why she has been so successful in her young political career. Passionate, charismatic and indefatigable, she draws huge crowds and sows excitement in her wake. She has made it clear she’s a force to be reckoned with, and you can be sure politicians and political professionals across the country have taken note. Her future, in Alaska and on the national stage, seems certain to be played out in the limelight.

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

Why I Don’t Care About Sarah Palin’s Clothes

There’s a lot of good reasons to dislike Sarah Palin. She’s an extreme right-wing conservative, she lies extensively and continues to do so after her lies have been exposed, she has no real experience, she’s intellectually lazy, she’s way out of her depth, she has no clue on foreign policy, she thinks intelligent design should be taught in schools (or at least “teach the controversy, like there is one), and she’s just generally unpleasant, awful and like Bush with tits.

But I don’t give a rat’s ass about the $150,000 spent on her wardrobe. Why?

Well, first, I didn’t pay for it; the RNC did. Second, well, she is a woman and is running for national office. The double-standard with women’s clothing means she can’t get by on just a couple different outfits. Given that she’s never worked at anything higher than the governor’s office (for twenty-odd months), she probably doesn’t have an extensive wardrobe of her own she can wear. So if the RNC wants to drop a sizeable chunk of money on her clothes, that’s fine.

I do find it ironic that someone who makes great noise about standing up for Joe Sixpack, Joe NASCAR, “Joe” the “Plumber” and all the hockey moms is having more money spent on clothes for her than most of those people would earn in three or four, or more, years, but, hey, like I said, she does need to have good clothes.

So let’s stick to fighting about the issues in this election, cause that’s what the GOP doesn’t want us to do! Leave off Sarah Palin’s clothes and let’s get back to talking about what actually maters, cause this sure as hell doesn’t.


Getting Testy

The other day Joe Biden said the following:

“it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. … We’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Of course the McCain camp is being all smarmy and smart-ass over this. In comments to CNN, Sarah Palin said, “We need to thank Joe for the warning.” The undertone there is, of course, “Elect Obama and we’ll be attacked!”

Well, here’s the thing. New presidents are always tested by the rest of the world. It happens. It’s part of politics. I don’t see why Biden thought he needed to mention it, but it’s true anyhow. If Obama is elected, he’ll be tested; if McCain is elected, the same applies.

I guess it’s just up to the voters to choose: do you want the sane, calm, well-thought-out, level-headed response you’d likely get from Obama, or do you want John “Bomb, bomb, bomb! Bomb, bomb Iran” McCain to be the decider?

Why Obama Will Win

Barack Obama is going to be our 44th President. He’s out ahead in the polls, he’s competitive in states like North Carolina and Virginia. He’s making progress in places like Indiana and North Dakota. He’s going to win, bar some amazing screw-up on his part or spectacular success by John McCain.

But why will Obama win? Certainly when you look at the raw statistics it doesn’t seem like he’d be America’s choice. First, he’s half-black. Second, he’s only had less than a term in the Senate. Third, he’s younger than we like our Presidents to be, and fourth he’s running against a well-liked, long established politician.

So why is he winning?

Well, there’s several reasons. Part of it is that America is sick of the GOP and sick of neocons in particular. We’ve seen what eight years with a neocon President can lead to, and we don’t want that again. McCain isn’t, in fact, a neocon, but he’s been spending the campaign running and acting as one. The fact that he’s in the same party as the least popular President in American history doesn’t help matters.

Next we have the fact that the economy is tanking. Big time. During times of great financial crisis it does tend to be the Democrats people turn to. Right or wrong, there is a perception that the Democrats are stronger on domestic issues than the Republicans.

Further, we have the fact that lots of people are sick of the war in Iraq and, again, right or wrong, the impression is that an Democrat will get us out of there while a Republican will only get us in deeper.

There’s other reasons, but here’s what I think is the most important one. Obama, especially during the debates, comes off as calm, intelligent and competent. McCain comes off as angry, desperate and unstable. Those two things more than anything else will be what will get Obama into the White House.

Consider that during the campaign McCain has, frankly, acted like a jackass. He’s launched a whole series of sometimes bizarre attacks on Obama, he picked someone with even less experience than Obama to be his running mate, he hasn’t outright condemed the racist attacks people on his side have launched on Obama. Every time he has the chance to rise above the fray and act like a statesman, he hasn’t taken it. Instead he’s done weird things like suspend his campaign to go get in the way during the bailout negotiations.

During his endorsement the other day, Colin Powell made statements similar to these. He’s a Republican, and he, too, is sick of McCain’s behavior, thinks Palin was a terrible choice and understands that Obama is the one who will be more likely to help make things better. And he’s a Republican, albiet not a strong Republican.

So for what it’s worth, I’m endorsing Obama. In that way I’m joining Powell, the Los Angeles Times (which hasn’t endorsed a candidate since Nixon), the Chicago Sun-Times (which never endorsed a Democrat until Obama), the conservative Republican blogger, Andrew Sullivan and many, many more.

We need to elect Obama. If we elect McCain, our country will survive, yes, but if we elect Obama, our country can thrive.

My Best Guess

So the election is winding down. In less than three weeks we should know who our new President is.

With that in mind, I think it’s time for me to make my offical guesses here. First, I think Obama will win. I don’t think it’s going to be a landslide, but I do think it’s going to be pretty impressive and will include the Democrats winning in places they haven’t in a while. To illustrate this, let’s go to the map.

This map is taken from CNN’s electoral college calculator. What I’ve done here is taken almost all the states that are listed as leaning McCain and gave them to him, and all the states that are listed as leaning Obama and gave them to him. Since Maine and Nebraska split their votes, I gave McCain one in Maine and Obama three, while giving McCain four in Nebraska and one to Obama.

I took all the toss-up states except Ohio and gave them to Obama. Ohio goes to McCain on this map. Also, since it wouldn’t be an election without at least a couple surprises, I gave New Hampshire to McCain and Montana to Obama. I think both of these are not outside the realm of possibility.

So there’s my guess. We’ll see what happens come Election Day.