Commenter NutellaonToast continues his insistence that I am a sort of Republican fifth column, using my alleged support for Obama to secretly support McCain. Meanwhile, my Republican commenters accuse me of being a pandering shill, supporting Obama only because it gets me in tighter with my cozy liberal coterie.
Here's the thing: I dislike McCain on an intense, visceral level. I don't trust him with power. I find his personality brutish and unkind, his jokes about various women grotesque, and his political philosophy hopelessly addled. The ad he let his campaign run about Obama's sex-ed program was, as one journalistic acquaintance puts it, "beyond tawdry". I find National Greatness conservatism deeply troubling, and the idea that society would be better if it were more like the military alarming. I honor the military virtues--in the military. I do not think that America would be a better or nobler place if we were a leetle more like Sparta.
And while I am deeply grateful, and impressed, by McCain's suffering as a POW, I do not think that this makes me obligated to like him, or to vote for him. There's no admissions process to be a POW, and it stands to reason that some of them must have been people who weren't particularly admirable. The more I learn about McCain, the more I think that he's one of them. Or rather, I think of him like that kind of jerkily sexist 22-year-old of whom one thinks, "he's going to be a really good guy when he grows up". And I wish he would. But when he turned 70, I sort of lost hope.
Beyond that, I think the Republican Party is moribund. Its long tenure has made it corrupt, and depleted its stock of ideas. It has gotten too cosy with the bureaucracy and the lobbyists, and lost touch with its first principles. I do not think that this is some feature of conservatism--indeed, it reminds me quite a bit of the House under Tip O'Neil. But I think the party needs a time out to think about things.
I say this with the full realization that this will give the Democrats scope to enact policies I will hate. But I think that this is a small price to pay for a Republican party I might one day be able to support again.
At the same time, I am more in accord with most of McCain's stated domestic policy positions than Obama's. I am not voting for him for the reasons stated above, and also because excursions like McCain-Feingold give me little reason to believe that he can be trusted to abide within the constricting confines of small government conservatism. So when I talk policy, I'm going to end up criticizing Obama more than McCain. I'm not voting for Obama. I'm voting against McCain.
But most importantly, I'm not playing for the team. I'm not trying to get one or the other of them elected; you now know my opinion of McCain, and I don't think I need to repeat it ad nauseum. Nor to drum up evidence to convince you that you, too, should vote for one or the other. I give you my opinion on policy, which frankly is quite outrageous enough without trying to manufacture ridiculous scandals out of whole cloth.
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