Saturday, August 04, 2007

Conservatives For Obama?

Why would 'small-c' conservatives endorse the liberal Senator Barack Obama? Andrew Sullivan explains-
"I haven't pretended he isn't a liberal. But a small-c conservative can consider backing a liberal if all the viable 'conservatives' are corrupt, divisive, shallow, in hock to religious fanatics or palpably unserious about national security... [W]hen you have an unhinged, incompetent fanatic in power, unable to recognize let alone govern reality, sometimes you have to pick the least worst option. And when the 'conservatives' explode entitlements, lose wars, legalize torture, violate the Constitution or abuse it for electioneering, what's a real conservative supposed to do? Sometimes, punishing a party for its betrayal of core principles is a necessary act of cleansing...

...I'm not sure we can afford more of this Republican recklessness and incompetence in foreign affairs - let alone their big government nannying and trashing of the rule of law at home. I see no reason to believe that Romney or Giuliani or Thompson are serious about national security. None has told us what they'd do in Iraq now. And hyper-ventilating about 'offense' and torturing our way to victory is a mark of deep, deep unseriousness. Any candidate who can pledge to 'double Gitmo' has forfeited the support of informed people. If Giuliani is elected, I don't think the Constitution will survive another terror attack. It's really that simple.

If Clinton is the nominee, of course, a lot changes. A lot of people will be forced to return to the GOP and struggle against most odds from within. So Obama is very much on the table. He has to be, by default.

Besides the fact that I find Sen. Obama to be a capable and dynamic leader, and someone who would gather world support around us after the Bush years, I think this is a good reason for endorsing him (though a year ago, I was still hoping for Gore/Feingold, so what do I know?)... he is a neutralizing candidate for all the conservatives who aren't insane.

Moreover, I think his anti-poverty proposals sound more genuine than that of John Edwards.

Yes, obviously racism still matters. Barack's skin pigmentation will be an issue with the usual suspects (expect lots of 'dog-whistle politics' if he's the nominee). But he doesn't have the built-in base of enemies that Miss Clinton has. And that's important for both before and after an election.

[PS- His latest foreign policy speech is generating a lot of buzz.

And no, I don't think he is talking about a ground invasion of Pakistan... he clearly meant limited, focused strikes if we have real intelligence verifying top-level targets. And, yes, Obama is right that nukes are off the table. The 'naive' people are the ones who disagree.]

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