Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

In Defense of the Obamacons

Friersdorf:

Let me offer what is evidently a radical argument — identifying the candidate that best approximates your ideological beliefs is not sufficient reason to cast a presidential vote on his behalf. Yes, a conservative is naturally going to weigh a candidate’s adherence to conservatism very heavily, but not as an end in itself. The ultimate goal is to choose the candidate whose election most benefits the country, not the candidate whose beliefs most closely reflect your own.

...

This means weighing all sorts of factors that haven’t anything to do with ideology. Who is likely to be the better manager? Who will choose the best advisers? Whose vice-presidential pick is most prepared to take over should tragedy befall the president? Whose judgment is better on matters that have little to do with ideology? Whose temperment is best suited to the presidency? How is the world likely to react to each candidate? Is either candidate so corrupt as to be disqualifying? There are dozens more questions like these that have only the most tenuous tie, if any at all, to whether you are a liberal or a conservative (and that cut against both candidates in the current election). Or think of it this way. Whatever your ideology or party, you probably have a friend whose political views are very close to your own, but whose rise to the presidency would utterly terrify you. Imagine your friend was running against a very qualified nominee from the opposite ideology or party. For whom would you vote?

All else being equal, I’m inclined to vote for the candidate who believes in federalism and a limited federal government, who is wary of the unintended consequences of government intervention in markets, who seeks to maximize the autonomy of citizens to pursue happiness as they see fit, who has a reverence for the dictates of the constitution, who appreciates the danger the state can pose to liberty, who appreciates the way wisdom can embed itself in tradition, etc. etc. etc.

But all else is seldom equal.

I disagree with the Obamacons in many respects but I understand their thinking on this.  If you are convinced that McCain will be reckless President and that Sarah Palin is by no means qualified to take over in the event of tragedy, there is no possible way you can countenance a vote for them.  We went through this exercise eight years ago when we voted in a man who said all the right things and appeared to share our ideology yet turned out to be an incompetent intellectually vacant nincompoop.  The blazing incompetence of George W. Bush is the principle reason the country is in the shape it is right now.  All his conservative talk ended in ashes.

It’s no good having a President who agrees with you if he can’t execute the office.  In fact, as we’ve found out, it’s a detriment.  They poison the brand and cripple your political future.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 10/30/08 at 07:06 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 10/30/08 at 09:22 PM from United States

I’ve basically decided to vote for Obama for this reason.  I’m a small government fiscal conservative and the Republicans have abandoned me.  I cannot trust the Republicans to govern now.  I fear a Democrat controlled Congress and White House, but not as much as I fear a Republican White House.  And that’s very sad. 

My goal now is to punish the Republicans so that they learn a lesson.  I live in Illinois, so my vote is mostly meaningless, but I’m voting for an Obama landslide now so that the Republicans get the message - if they abandon me, I will abandon them. 

I just hope there is a Reagan out there waiting to rise up from the ashes after this election is a disaster for the Republicans.

Posted by josparke on 10/30/08 at 09:59 PM from United States

Oh dear! T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII, son of iconoclastic conservative T. Coddington Van Voorhees VI. has gone for Obama!

LINK

Posted by on 10/30/08 at 10:11 PM from United States

I’ve basically decided to vote for Obama for this reason.  I’m a small government fiscal conservative and the Republicans have abandoned me.

....

My goal now is to punish the Republicans so that they learn a lesson.

This (non)logic makes me want to pull my hair out. Here is why:

What I need is a pair of red size 38 boxer shorts. The last time I needed a pair of red size 38 boxer shorts, I went to Walmart and bought them. It turns out that the boxer shorts I bought were actually pink and size 48 and overpriced. This year, Walmart only offers overpriced purple size 40 boxer shorts. I’m pissed at Walmart. They fucked me, and I want to show them a lesson.

Kmart is right across the street from Walmart, but only offers a size 20 blue thong, and it costs a million dollars.

Target offers a perfectly priced, red, size 38 boxer shorts, but Target down the street. There is no guarantee that supplies will last long enough for me to get there in time to actualy get the pair I need.

To solve the problem, I’m buying the size 20 blue thong from Kmart....that’ll show Walmart.

CorpT, since you said you were a small government conservative, and you seem to think that your vote is a waste anyway, have you ever thought of wasting it on a libertarian, or are you just retarded?

Posted by on 10/30/08 at 10:38 PM from United States

CorpT is that “life long” republican the MSM finds once or twice a week.
Of course they more often than not turn out to have supported democrats, financially, for years.

Bet you liked Dr. Paul too. Or perhaps RuPaul.

Posted by Ed Kline on 10/31/08 at 12:19 AM from United States

Target offers a perfectly priced, red, size 38 boxer shorts, but Target down the street.

Who is playing the rolde of Target in this charade, Barr?

Posted by on 10/31/08 at 04:35 AM from United States

Good one.  Put a flaming Marxist(yes Marxist) into the office and give him a Senate/House majority to work with.  Smart as you can be you are.  Hussein will make it all better for you. Promise Promise

Posted by on 10/31/08 at 06:15 AM from United States

McCain might not seem like the best choice, and he isn’t. To vote for Obama though just because you are sick of the republican party right now is just stupid.

Would you rather get fucked by a 1” dick or a 10” dick.

Posted by on 10/31/08 at 06:57 AM from United States

Who is playing the rolde of Target in this charade, Barr?

Barr is who I had in mind, but it could be any libertarian-leaning candidate, I guess.

Posted by Lee on 10/31/08 at 07:26 AM from China

What I need is a pair of red size 38 boxer shorts. The last time I needed a pair of red size 38 boxer shorts, I went to Walmart and bought them. It turns out that the boxer shorts I bought were actually pink and size 48 and overpriced. This year, Walmart only offers overpriced purple size 40 boxer shorts. I’m pissed at Walmart. They fucked me, and I want to show them a lesson.

Kmart is right across the street from Walmart, but only offers a size 20 blue thong, and it costs a million dollars.

Target offers a perfectly priced, red, size 38 boxer shorts, but Target down the street. There is no guarantee that supplies will last long enough for me to get there in time to actualy get the pair I need.

To solve the problem, I’m buying the size 20 blue thong from Kmart....that’ll show Walmart.

This is a pretty stupid analogy.  You only have one vote, and really only two realistic choices to make.  You either vote one or the other.  You also assume that the difference between McCain and Obama is the same as the difference between red boxers and a size 20 blue thong.  Believe me, if the difference were that great I’d be voting for McCain.

You also assume that there is something illogical to voting for Obama to punish the GOP.  What are your alternatives to a McCain vote?  Well, you can vote for Obama, which denies McCain a vote and helps Obama’s vote totals, or you can vote for a third party, which has the exact same effect of denying McCain a vote.  As CorpT clearly stated, “My goal now is to punish the Republicans so that they learn a lesson.  I live in Illinois, so my vote is mostly meaningless, but I’m voting for an Obama landslide now so that the Republicans get the message - if they abandon me, I will abandon them.”

In other words, he doesn’t live in a battleground state.  It’s going to go for Obama by a wide margin.  Since electoral votes are the only thing that matters, his vote is meaningless one way or the other.  He wants to send the GOP a lesson that if they fuck over the voters they’ll get their asses kicked. 

Clearly you think there are huge chasms of ideology and reality between the candidates.  Fair enough, you’re entitled to your opinion.  But the rest of us are also entitled to our own, and for a lot of us the long-term goal of reforming the GOP is better than the short-term goal of McCain winning, possibly dying in office, and making Sarah Palin the POTUS.

If you go back to the early days of this blog I was a fervent adherent to the idea that, for Libertarians, the best way to reform the GOP apparatus was to vote Republican and work for change on the inside.  What I didn’t realize was, at the time, the GOP was purging itself of anyone who isn’t a barking at the moon Christian fundamentalist, who believes in big government socialism, corporate welfare, and lengthy, unnecessary wars as the only conceivable means to secure American security.  The “Bomb first, ask questions later” ideology has been shown to be a total disaster.  McCain’s general claim is that the reason the war is going bad is because we didn’t prosecute it vigorously enough.

There are more than enough reasons for the libertarian-inclined to vote Obama.  I’m still batting 1.000 in my “Will never vote for a Democrat” pledge.  But that may change if the GOP doesn’t get its shit together.  There is a huge political realignment coming, on the scale of the Dixiecrats becoming Republicans.  Who the hell knows where things are going to sit four or eight years from now?

Posted by Lee on 10/31/08 at 07:52 AM from China

Would you rather get fucked by a 1” dick or a 10” dick.

Well, considering we have a black guy about to be president, I think we know who has the 10”.

Posted by Lee on 10/31/08 at 07:53 AM from China

Actually, I think a better analogy is “Would you rather swallow a black man’s semen or a white man’s semen?” Either way, you’re still a cum-swallowing cocksucker.

Posted by HARLEY on 10/31/08 at 07:58 AM from United States

Actually, I think a better analogy is “Would you rather swallow a black man’s semen or a white man’s semen?” Either way, you’re still a cum-swallowing cocksucker.

YEah but which one is gonna knock your teeth out doing it.

Posted by on 10/31/08 at 09:46 AM from United States

You also assume that the difference between McCain and Obama is the same as the difference between red boxers and a size 20 blue thong.

No. I’m saying that the difference between McCain and Obama is the same as the difference between the purple boxers and the blue thong....Neither fit and neither are the right color.

You also assume that there is something illogical to voting for Obama to punish the GOP. 

There is nothing illogical about voting for Obama to punish the GOP, as long as your ONLY reason for voting is punishing the GOP. However, voting for ONLY that reason is pretty illogical.

What are your alternatives to a McCain vote?  Well, you can vote for Obama, which denies McCain a vote and helps Obama’s vote totals, or you can vote for a third party, which has the exact same effect of denying McCain a vote.

This is exactly what I am getting at. If you are fed up, as any small government conservative should be at this point, you should not vote for the GOP or McCain, and because you are a small-government conservative, you should not vote for Obama. You should vote for the third party.

As CorpT clearly stated, “My goal now is to punish the Republicans so that they learn a lesson.  I live in Illinois, so my vote is mostly meaningless, but I’m voting for an Obama landslide now so that the Republicans get the message - if they abandon me, I will abandon them.”

In other words, he doesn’t live in a battleground state.  It’s going to go for Obama by a wide margin.  Since electoral votes are the only thing that matters, his vote is meaningless one way or the other.  He wants to send the GOP a lesson that if they fuck over the voters they’ll get their asses kicked.

This is just my opinion, but I don’t think the GOP is going to get that message, and you are giving them too much credit. The trend for McCain and the GOP seems to be, “Hey, the liberals are getting all of the votes. Let’s be liberals so we will get them too.”

Clearly you think there are huge chasms of ideology and reality between the candidates.  Fair enough, you’re entitled to your opinion.

No, I think they are mostly the same thing, but different colors.

But the rest of us are also entitled to our own, and for a lot of us the long-term goal of reforming the GOP is better than the short-term goal of McCain winning, possibly dying in office, and making Sarah Palin the POTUS.

Here is the disagreement....I hope the GOP doesn’t get reformed, and I’m not pulling for McCain any more than I am Obama. They both suck.

Who the hell knows where things are going to sit four or eight years from now?

As a small-government conservative, I hope that four years from now, the Democrats and Republicans are still fighting with each other over the same 49% (probably much less) of liberal voters in the United States, while the Libertarian Party or just libertarians run the country for the other 51% (probably much more) of us.

Posted by NativeSon on 10/31/08 at 11:00 AM from United States

I’m a small government conservative that lives in Texas. I know the state of Texas will go to McCain but it will do so without my vote. But you couldn’t pay me enough to vote for Obama! Socialism never works! I agree the Repubs need to be taught a lesson and hopefully they will turn it around by losing this election. But I’m not holding my breath. Looks like 3rd Party candidate for me!

On another note, check out what the city of San Antonio has done to allow deaf voters access at the polls.

San Antonio City Council

Posted by on 10/31/08 at 11:42 AM from United States

I’m a small government conservative that lives in Texas. I know the state of Texas will go to McCain but it will do so without my vote. But you couldn’t pay me enough to vote for Obama! Socialism never works! I agree the Repubs need to be taught a lesson and hopefully they will turn it around by losing this election. But I’m not holding my breath. Looks like 3rd Party candidate for me!

Apparently I’m not the only one who understands my point.

Posted by on 10/31/08 at 12:18 PM from United States

Here is the disagreement....I hope the GOP doesn’t get reformed, and I’m not pulling for McCain any more than I am Obama. They both suck.

This is the real fight.  The GOP needs to figure out who they really are and what they believe.  They could start out by determining that whatever their view of government, it should be executed with skill and compentence. Mitt Romney is a great example.  The man is smart and would be a very good executive but he became such a shill for the religious right, I couldn’t stand the sight of him.  As long as some insist these politicians carry all this extra baggage around as part of the package, everybody loses.

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