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  • The Choice

    Posted by David Foster on November 3rd, 2008 (All posts by )

    A vote for Obama on Tuesday is not just a vote for Obama himself, but rather a vote for the triumvirate Obama-Pelosi-Reid…a vote to transfer enormous power to the leadership of the Democratic Party.

    I’m convinced that across multiple sets of issues, the country will be far better off with a victory for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Here are some of the key factors as I see them:

    1)Economic dynamism vs economic stagnation. I’ve discussed this at length here. The war that the Democrats, together with their activist allies, are conducting against all practical forms of energy production and transmission is by itself sufficient to do great harm to the economy. Add to this their attitudes on trade–and remember, the Smoot-Hawley tariffs were a major factor in the severity of the Great Depression–their hostility to small businesses that want to grow, and their ideas on corporate taxation–making the U.S. less attractive as a place to do business–and you have a recipe for long-term economic stagnation or worse.

    2)Civil liberties and democratic process concerns. The Obama campaign, the Obama supporters, and the Democratic Party leadership have taken a pretty cavalier attitude toward American values of free speech and toward the integrity of the election process. Consider:

    –the threat by St Louis officials (Democrats) to bring libel prosecutions against anyone making “false statements” about Obama, reminiscent of the Alien & Sedition Act (1801-1802) and of the policies of many authoritarian and totalitarian governments today.
    –the call by the Obama campaign for a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project when it ran ads highlighting Obama’s ties to Ayers.
    –the attempt of Obama supporters, alerted by campaign emails, to jam phone lines and suppress discussion when conservative Stanley Kurtz appeared on WGN radio program to discuss Obama and Ayers.
    –the Obama-supporting-media attempts to discredit and destroy Joe the Plumber following his discussion with Obama, with the clear effect and probably the intention of intimidating others who might disagree with their preferred candidate.
    –the inappropriate and probably illegal use of government computer systems to dig up information on Joe.
    –the disabling of normal security precautions on the Obama contribution website, facilitating over-the-limit domestic contributions as well as illegal contributions from abroad.
    –the highly questionable voter registration activities of Acorn.
    –the proposed elimination of the secret ballot in union elections.
    –the desire, on the part of many Democrats, to reinstate the Orwellian “fairness doctrine” for broadcasters, with the clear intention of shutting down talk radio.

    ,This is not your father’s Democratic party–it is strongly influenced by academic leftists, and these leftists have often argued against free speech in theory, and suppressed it in practice when they have had the power to do so.

    It is very, very dangerous for a country to have a leader who may not be criticized–but given the biased and even fawning attitude of most of the old-media, and the emerging pattern of threats and intimidation of critics, we are in some danger of such a situation should Obama win the Presidency…especially if the Democrats increase their strength in the House and Senate as well.

    3)National security. It’s important to recognize that security and the economy are closely related. Had our country been suffering 9/11-scale attacks (or worse) every few months–as many people feared after that attack–our economy would be pretty much in shreds, and no purely economic policies could rescue it. So people who want to vote purely based on their economic concerns really need to think about national security issues as well.

    An Obama win would signal the Iranian leadership that they are considerably safer in pursuing their nuclear weapons program, with much less worry about attack from the U.S. or by an Israel acting with U.S. cooperation. It would signal a substantial weakening of the U.S. committment to Israel. And it would mean cuts in important weapons-procurement programs–see my post here. (The linked video, in which Obama showed a dismissive attitude not just toward missile defense but toward a whole range of defense programs, has been removed by Google YouTube.)

    The Democratic leadership doesn’t take the threat of terrorism, or the related threat from rogue regimes, seriously enough…witness, for example, the way Democratic operatives undercut, for purely political reasons, an anti-Ahmadinejad rally in NYC. It’s been said that “politics should stop at the water’s edge,” but for today’s Democratic leadership there is nothing, absolutely nothing, more important than their political battles against other Americans. I’m reminded of a statement made in 1940 by the newly-elected Prime Minister of France, Paul Reynaud. Speaking about his long-time rival Eduoard Daladier, Reynaud said:

    “Yes, I believe he desires the victory of France, but he desires my defeat even more.”

    With regard to Israel, Obama’s attitudes are of considerable concern. There are just too many people in his circle of advisors who seem to believe that the major obstacle to Middle East peace is represented by that country and by the American Jews who support it.

    4)Education. While Obama has said some good things about holding K-12 public schoos to a higher standard, the chances of a Democratic administration actually doing this are remote–the teachers’ unions are a primary constituency and contribution source for the Democratic Party. Meaningful improvement will come only with leadership that understands the problems with the schools, is willing to take hard-edged action to demand performance, and, most important, will give these schools meaningful competition through vouchers or similar mechanisms. All of this is much more likely with McCain than with Obama.

     

    6 Responses to “The Choice”

    1. alanstorm Says:

      Re: point no. 4 –
      Along with point 2, this is one of the few areas where we have a track record available for examination, namely his time with Mr. Ayers at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The problem for Mr. Obama is that during the debates he spoke of bettering math & science teaching, but when he actually had a chance to help schools, he distributed funds for teaching “social justice” and other undefined subjects. Not a promising example.

    2. sol vason Says:

      add to your list
      1. Obama Brown Shirts
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt2yGzHfy7s Obama brown shirts

      2. Putin will rebuild the Russian Empire reuniting the pieces lost when the USSR collapsed. He will start with the Ukraine and Georgia, the Belarus, Moldavia, the -stans and Azerbaijan and Armenia which Obama will concede as always a historical part of Russia. Then Poland, Checkoslovakia and Yugoslavia, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia. Somewhere along the way Obama may confront him.

      3. Iran will secretly supply nukes to Hamas, Hezballah, and Al Qaida. They will be used on Boston, New York, Los Angeles and SF. Obama will appoint a commission to hold hearings.

      4. The Brown shirts will maintain order led by Bill Ayers.

    3. Tyouth Says:

      One can’t disagree with the consequences you present of a Obama administration. It appears to me that McCain is the less able of the two candidates in the most important aspects of campaigning that suggests what could also a related deficiency in a McCain administration.

      That defect, not to put too fine a point on it, is his grandiose self-image combined with (what appears to me anyway as) a weak intellect and political understanding. I think it was pretty clear that Obama’s character and history were what would get McCain elected; not McCain’s virtues. While having an opponent as flawed as Barrack Obama is at so many different levels, it is incredible that McCain could not frame, could not explain to the electorate, who Obama is and has been. McLain has been weak and negligent in his campaign and has done a disservice to his country. The “straight talk express” could not accomplish what seems like a fairly straightforward, simple task.

      It boggles the mind and prompts suspicion of weird conspiracies and unstated agendas; that is, if character, intellectual, and psychological flaws are ruled out.

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Tyouth,

      Yeah, McCain is a lousy candidate. But Obama is so much worse along almost every dimension that I am happy to vote for McCain. I don’t really care if Obama has run a better campaign than McCain. I care that Israel doesn’t get nuked and that we don’t abandon Iraq and that we have a chance of seeing tax cuts and expanded energy production. I’d rather have McCain in charge and making mistakes while going in basically the right direction, as opposed to Obama competently taking the country in the wrong direction. (And running a campaign, where you don’t have to deal with Congressional opposition, is hardly the same thing as being President.)

    5. Obloodyhell Says:

      > Yeah, McCain is a lousy candidate.

      I think you guys are vastly underestimating the relevance of the financial situation.

      With the Palin choice, McCain had easily surged past Obama in the polls. Then the economy had its partial melt-down, and his numbers went under. I suspect that, had that not happened, that the Obama campaign would still be trying to play catch-up with McCain. I suspect that the numbers would still be close, but entirely in McCain’s favor.

      And there is literally very little that could be done about that. The party in power in the admin usually gets the blame for a tits-up economy. That it’s at least as much, if not more, the fault of the Dems is beside the point. Nothing McCain could have done would have countered those financial issues well. And they’ve actually used it fairly effectively, making the case that you don’t want an untested, untried PotUS with screwy economic ideas in charge.

      So, while I’m not a huge fan of McCain, I think you’re vastly underestimating the effectiveness of some of his choices (i.e., Palin, who was a briliant stroke, no matter what the butterfly conservatives say), and understimating the relevance of factors largely outside his control.

      .

    6. Tyouth Says:

      “….Obama is so much worse along almost every dimension that I am happy to vote for McCain.”, sayeth Jon.
      -Yeah, except we ain’t so very happy; and the way the campaign was run has given us some view, perhaps, of what a McCain admin. might look like – weak and ineffectual.

      “….the relevance of the financial situation. ….very little that could be done about that.”, sayeth OlBloody.
      -It seems to me that Obama (received most Fannie/Fredie funds, lead Acorn(?) attorney in legal extortion of banks WRT subprime loans, shady Rebizo financial connection) and other Dems. could have been effectively attacked on this front as soon as it hit the fan if McCain and Co. were on the ball. Maybe Mc. didn’t want to attack other members of the (senate) club?….I don’t know.