Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Case for McCain

A few days ago, I synthesized from a well written opinion piece about why Americans should elect Senator Obama to the Presidency.

Today, I'll do the same for Senator McCain.

The Dallas Morning News recommends Senator McCain for several interesting reasons.

First, given the uncertainty facing America, Senator McCain's experience makes him the more certain helmsman at a time when it really matters. Next, divided government is more likely to spend less and be more fiscally disciplined than a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress. Finally, Senator McCain is actually more on an outsider with a proven track record of effectively changing policy than Senator Obama, who has pretty much hewed to his party's line and has a much better record talking about change than effecting it.

The United States is in crisis. The economy is melting down. Our military is at war on two fronts... In better times, America could afford to consider entrusting the White House to an appealing newcomer like Mr. Obama and giving control of the presidency and Congress to the same party... But in this time of great anxiety, the American people need a leader of experience guiding the ship of state.
The Budget:
The last time the nation saw Washington make real progress on deficit reduction was the 1990s, when a Democrat controlled the White House and Republicans held Congress. True, Republicans failed to cover themselves in deficit-reduction glory when they held the executive and legislative branches, but we read that as an argument in favor of divided government.
Mr. McCain has often opposed his own party when he believed it was the right thing to do. For example, though he supported the Iraq war, Mr. McCain emerged early as a critic of the Bush strategy at a time when the safe Republican move was go along to get along. His leadership was arguably a key factor in forcing the Bush administration to change its ways, adapting a strategy that finally worked...
In contrast:

You don't see that kind of independence with Mr. Obama, who has marched in spending lockstep with his party and mostly ducked questions about entitlement reform and budget cuts.
Simply put, the Morning News sees Senator McCain's experience and proven record at reform, coupled with a concern about one party running Washington to be the best reasons to vote for Senator McCain.

The argument about the desirability of divided government being the best reason to vote for Senator McCain (i.e. we know there will be a Democratic Congress) is one you're likely to hear more and more of. On the one hand, you could say we need the government to act in a unified and swift fashion these days given the state of the world and that electing Obama will lead to a more vigorous, effective government. On the other, the track record of the Republican Congress with a Republican president from 2000- through 2006 may given many voters pause.

Again - just want to make clear this isn't an endorsement - just a summary of some good reasons to consider Senator McCain, as I did for Senator Obama a couple posts down.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not much surprises me...

so this really caught my eye.
The husband of North Carolina Democratic Senate hopeful Kay Hagan is a lifelong member of an exclusive country club that didn’t admit its first black member until 1995, Hagan’s campaign disclosed Tuesday.

Charles “Chip” Hagan III, a businessman and former Democratic county leader, “supported opening up membership” at the 1,000-member Greensboro Country Club — but remained a member for years despite his opposition to the club’s de facto segregation policy, Hagan spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan told Politico.
I don't throw around the word "racist" lightly, but belonging to a country club that didn't admit people based on race as late as the early 1990s? That seems to fit the bill. (Edit: I don't mean to call Mr. Hagan a racist - just stating my belief that belonging to a club that has a de facto racist membership policy as the story claims is unacceptable behavior).

The whole story is here, and needs to be read to be believed.

Now, the question for state senator (and aspiring US Senator) Kay Hagan (pictured):

What did she know and when did she know it?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Best Case for Obama

The most persuasive endorsement for Senator Obama's presidential campaign I have seen comes from Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek.

What makes it especially persuasive is that Zakaria doesn't pretend it's a no-brainer, or that Senator McCain isn't a worthy candidate.

He simply makes a persuasive case of Obama, and deals with rather than ignores his candidate's shortcomings (calling Sarah Palin a "rabble rousing ultra conservative" however, betrays Zakaria's biases however).

Zakaria makes a point I've made privately. Simply put, the most impressive thing Obama's done has been this campaign. If he runs his White House like he ran his highly professional, disciplined campaign that will have (assuming he wins) defeated two seasoned political professionals, the country will have strong leadership:
Let's be honest: neither candidate has past experience that is relevant to being president, except that they have now both run large, multiyear, multimillion-dollar, 50-state campaigns. By common consent, McCain's has been chaotic and ineffective, while Obama has run a superb operation, and done so with little of the drama and discord that usually plague political machines.
He also doesn't shy away from one of Obama's biggest strengths - the symbolic message his election would have at home and abroad:

Imagine what people around the world would think if they saw America once again inventing the future. And imagine how Americans would feel if they saw their country once again fulfilling its founding creed of equal opportunity, if they saw that there really were no barriers in their country, not even to the highest office in the land, not even for a man with a brown face and a strange name.
An Obama presidency means that the nation's leading politican (President Obama), entertainer (Oprah Winfrey) and athlete (Tiger Woods)will all be African-Americans. This is not a little deal.

Note: this is NOT an endorsement - just a plug for some civil, well reasoned political debate we're getting too little of these days. Before anyone accuses me of being in the bag for Senator Obama, please be assured I'll publish a similarly thoughtful case for Senator McCain.