A reader writes:
For careful readers of your blog there can be no doubt that you are endorsing Obama for president. The first time I suspected Obama had closed the deal with you is when he gave his dreadful, but honest, explanation as to why he would raise the capital gains tax. Said explanation included something about hedge fund managers and fairness. Here it is:
"Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year -- $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair."
Never mind whether it would be good or bad for the economy at large. No, instead the president should decide what is "fair" and legislate accordingly. What part of that do you find conservative? To me that sounds like typical leftist blather designed to get folks angry enough to vote for the guy who will stick it to hedge-fund managers and oil executives (aka straw men). You mentioned it when you live-blogged and then moved right on. Why? That's the sort of thing that deserves a serious grilling.
What action has Obama taken that could possibly anger anyone (other than the Clintons) in his own party? I cannot come up with anything Andrew. What is new about the type of politics that has him voting the party line on anything of significance? NARAL gives him a 100%. How is that different? Saying taxes need to be raised because to not do so would be unfair is not in any way new coming from someone with a D next to their name. How about the farm bill? Was he on the controversial side or that? Hell, he even voted against confirming John Roberts. That my friend is not exactly a profile in courage.
If you have not yet decided to support Obama over McCain, you might consider beginning to explore the cons of Obama, because an increasing number of your posts tell us why Obama is transcendent and wonderful, and the rest hint at why McCain pales in comparison. Again, if you have already decided to endorse Obama, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you claim that you have not yet made that decision, and this continues, your blog will become too much like Hewitt's was before Romney conceded. I know that you, and those who read your blog, do not want that to be the case.
So my recommendation that is worth less than two cents is this - endorse Obama outright, or give McCain some props for being one of the few bright spots on the right side of the aisle the last 8 years, the side that was supposed to represent conservatism.
I think I've given McCain lots of chops, and gave him a near-endorsement last December. The trouble is: McCain has been admirable in many ways, but he has not been a spokesman for the kind of conservatism I find congenial. He loves the idea of government as a salvific force, of public service as superior to private wealth-creation, of the president as national scold or corrective. And he would simply by virtue of being a Republican leader after the last eight years, enable some of the forces I find so repellent in modern Republicanism.
As for Obama, I'm not going to withhold criticism of his more collectivist impulses. Yes, that aside about taxation sent my blood-pressure skyward. There's plenty to disagree with him about, and I'm going to watch how he approaches Iraq very carefully over the next few months. But I'm not going to decide whom to support until I have to. By all means, keep me on my toes, but I plan on running a blog that airs as much of the debate between the two candidates as fairly as I can, and call each issue as I see it.
And there's always Bob Barr ...
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