Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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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 in Election 2008 • Permalink

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