Andrew Sullivan, an unabashed Obama Republican, offers ten reasons why conservatives should vote for Obama next week. I can’t blame the guy for trying. And he’s got some good points. But he’s got some weak ones, too. Read Sully first and then pop back here for my reaction:
10. I don’t think Obama can do this. Obama may not be Jesse Jackson and he personally might be kind of past the whole race thing, but I don’t think he speaks for every black American on a cultural level. Nor will his Presidency end either the perception or the reality of racial discrimination. It might be a step in that direction, though, which is better than not taking that step.
9. Obama means less debt? In times past, I’d have scoffed at this — but Republicans have lost my trust on the issue of protecting the budget, so I’d be prepared to believe Obama means a smaller increased in our national debt. Neither Obama nor McCain offers any kind of debt reduction, however. So maybe Sully’s actually right here, counter to the conventional wisdom. But that’s the difference between paying $10 for a crappy meal and paying $15 for a crappy meal.
8. A return to realism in foreign policy is something that I think McCain offers at least as well as Obama. McCain is no idealist and his foreign policy goals are not informed by the same decision matrix as the incumbent’s.
7. McCain understands, better than Obama I think, the role of the commander-in-chief with regards to both foreign and military policy. McCain’s military service, in both combat and command positions, and his specialization in military and foreign policy as a Senator qualifies him very well
6. Sully’s right here — Obama has a cooler, more even temprament than Volcanic John, who got voted #2 Hothead In Congress. (Guess who got top honors?)
5. I see no reason whatsoever to believe that Obama will be a “bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.” (Whatever that means.) Obama is a Christian of deep faith, which can be a good thing but does not indicate any kind of sympathy for or understanding of atheists. He is also a man who promises to renew and re-endow the Office of Faith Based Initiatives, a politician who delivers campaign speeches in churches, and whose defining moment in the primary had to do with his relationship with his own pastor. Not that McCain would be any better on this score, really. But Obama has said and done nothing to suggest that he will lift a finger to make America any better of a place for non-believers than it is now.
4. A truce in the culture war sounds good to me. Obama won’t be able to deliver it, however. Yeah, he’s good at politics, but he’s not that good.
3. Obama’s Presidency will likely catalyze a reform of the Republican Party. Whether that will be something I embrace or run away from remains to be seen.
2. I’m not super-scared of a Palin Presidency. Only a little bit. There is reason to believe that by the time she would have to take the reins of power, she’d have been schooled enough on what’s going on that she could do a reasonably good job. She’s just not there yet. Oh, and she’s a whackadoodle social conservative, but that’s a different point.
1. President Obama will give us better P.R. globally and that’s been a neglected front in the GWOT. But President McCain would likely lead us to better military results, and that counts for a lot, too.
So, Sully, I give you about 40% marks.