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Friday, October 31, 2008

My Vote
Mike Rappaport

This has been one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make about how to vote.  As readers may remember, I initially leaned towards voting none of the above or writing in a candidate rather than voting for McCain.  (I don't find the third party candidates palatable.)  While I thought McCain would be superior to Obama in the short term, the long term situation was different.  After four years of Obama, there was a decent chance that the country would have seen the results of his policies and might have rejected them big time as they did Clinton in 1994 and Carter in 1980.  In any event, being out of power, the Republicans would have had an incentive to reform.  In 2012, the Republicans might be in a position to take back the presidency or the Congress.     

By contrast, if McCain won, the Republicans would pursue big government policies that involve compromises with the Democrats.  The Republicans would be blamed for the resulting ills and the party would still be clinging to power without having reformed.  In 2012, the Republicans might even be more unpopular than they are today.  While a McCain presidency would have the benefits of divided government, McCain is a compromiser who might sign on to lots of bad stuff from the Democrats.  It is not clear that a Republican filibuster would be that much worse than a McCain veto pen (although the Republicans may do so badly that they may have a very weak filibuster).

I wish I had the luxury to vote this way.  It was always a close case, but I would have been comfortable doing it.  Unfortunately, something happened in October to change all that: The financial collapse.  There are two main aspects of the collapse that really change things. First, the financial collapse means that lots of new legislation will be passed and the Democrats are likely to pass pretty bad stuff in this area.  Second, and more importantly, even if the Democrats do a bad job and the economy does badly, the voters might not blame them now.  Things might get so bad that voters might just cling to their government, especially if it is good at speaking to them and reassuring them.  Moreover, voters might place the blame on the prior administration, saying that the Obama administration had merely inherited the problems. 

Thus, I have reluctantly concluded that I should vote for McCain.  It is an awful pill to swallow.  I don't particularly like the man, and really dislike his policies.  But that is how bad things have gotten.  So, on Tuesday, I will "pull the lever" for McCain.    

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Comments

*wry* Join the club, man. Is there anyone who supports McCain for him?

Posted by: Elena | Oct 31, 2008 7:26:22 PM

Mike.....you think too much....I bet you were lousy on true or false tests. You should have come to the conclusion,
to vote for McCain, many moons ago. Glad you made a wise decision.
God Bless America!

Posted by: hello dolly | Oct 31, 2008 7:54:48 PM

Right Coast Blog,

I hope you'll endure this post; I was going to write an editorial and try to get it published, but ran out of time. I thought I'd post it around a few places.

Obama’s glaring “Achille's Heel” for the aspiring objective military historians among us, is his self-described though weakly documented opposition to both the Iraq War Resolution and the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq. To iterate, that is Obama’s glaring Achilles’ heel, not his asset as a candidate. Please read on.
Barack Obama would have been willing to permit Saddam Hussein to possess weapons of mass destruction, nuclear and otherwise – exactly as Mr. Hussein proclaimed he had possession – and allowed Mr. Hussein to continue to pursue their development at his relative convenience during the years 2002, 2003, and onward, without deadline of any kind. This despite the overwhelming evidence that Mr. Hussein was a far more imminent threat than Adolf Hilter was in the years previous to World War II. In this way his dedication to appeasement surpasses that of Neville Chamberlain. Mr. Chamberlain had the excuse that he did not have himself from which to learn from his mistakes. Mr. Obama does have Mr. Chamberlain’s lesson but, unlike Mr. McCain, decided to ignore it in 2002 and 2003. This makes him beyond merely incompetent to be commander-in-chief, but utterly self-destructive. Those who disagree with this would deceive you and, ignorantly, patriotically, and/or otherwise … further irrelevantly, put this nation at dire risk.
Mr. Obama has sheepishly mumbled that he did not think the 2002-2003 WMD intelligence was accurate. I would surmise that is an outright lie, if not a despicable deception, and, in any case, absurd; but I do not know his mind exactly. It could be that Mr. Obama had two of his Illinois State Senate legislative assistants look into the Iraq-WMD issue independently and that he elected to credit their contrary conclusions to both the claims of Saddam Hussein and the conclusions of the NSA, CIA, DIA, and international intelligence community consensus. Or perhaps he intuited that Hussein was lying about possessing WMD and that the international intelligence community was absolutely wrong in which case I am amazed by his “powers of intuition” and wonder if we can expect him to intuit his national security intelligence information should he win election in 2008. This is something we ought to know before we put our security in the hands of Mr. Obama qua psychic. In any case, I challenge Mr. Obama or anyone to prove much less persuade effectively that the basis of Mr. Obama’s objection in 2002 or 2003 was the suspect nature of the WMD intelligence rather than his willingness to accept an effectively WMD-armed Saddam Hussein. As evidence otherwise, one would think he would have announced that to warn his fellow countrymen they were relying on incorrect information if he thought that was the case; after all, he would not have wanted Mr. Bush to “mislead” the United States, so it would seem. [Moreover only an imbecile or a quasi-pacifist would have doubted the 2002-2003 raw WMD intelligence enough to risk U.S. security based on those doubts.] But, in fact, Mr. Obama completely believed at the time that Hussein had WMD and still thought the invasion was a mistake, deciding to permit Mr. Hussein more and more time to develop WMD and the delivery systems, technological and paramilitary, to strike at the United States. [In fact, the fear in 2003 was that he would use the WMD he claimed to have on invading US troops. In this way the invasion though based on false intelligence at least spared our troops having to invade Iraq subsequently and face WMD.] This after Hussein was able to easily corrupt and thwart both U.N. inspections and sanctions at the expense of the security of the United States and the welfare of his people for 11-12 years (and, typically, the integrity of the U.N.). He must have studied his fellow fascist (the Baathist Party modeled on the Nazi Party) carefully in his dealings with the League of Nations and the United States in the 1930s.
This is no time for hyper-appeasement and Barack Obama. I’m voting for John McCain in November.

The Objective Historian

Posted by: The Objective Historian | Oct 31, 2008 8:29:48 PM

I think you were on solid ground when you could not determine which way would be more harmful to the nation. But John McCain's entire history forbids the reasoning you have selected in guiding us through the fanancial panic. He not only, at the age of 71, admits economic ignorance, but has managed to remain unaffected throughout his entire campaign by his economic advisor, Steve Forbes. That's impressive ignorance.
It seems very likely instead he will again resort to not only crossing, but living on the other side of the aise, as before. It's called Hostage Syndrome. Bush has had it two years, McCain likely since Hanoi.
If the liberals really knew what they were doing, they would eliminate the opposition by voting for McCain.

Posted by: james wilson | Nov 1, 2008 9:20:43 AM

James: *makes a face* I don't like McCain very much, but castigating him for a lack of economic knowledge... Uh, you could say the same about half the population. Probably the most horrifying thing about this election for me is the realization is practically everyone I know seems to hold a retrograde protectionist view of the economy. *sighs* Whatever McCain's many flaws, at least he's a reliable free-trader.

Posted by: Elena | Nov 1, 2008 9:58:28 AM

We go into the election with the candidates we have not the candidates we want.

Posted by: Mack | Nov 1, 2008 7:26:36 PM

I'd feel a lot more comfortable with Obama if I knew more specifics about what he wants to do; in the last few days it really seems like this "crushing lead" he has is more of an illusion.

McCain... Obama.... neither is what this country needs right now. A lurch to the Left will cause a deep depression, and a un-reformed Right isn't the right thing either.

Posted by: dean | Nov 1, 2008 7:31:33 PM

Dear Mike,

"Thus, I have reluctantly concluded that I should vote for McCain. It is an awful pill to swallow. I don't particularly like the man, and really dislike his policies. But that is how bad things have gotten. So, on Tuesday, I will "pull the lever" for McCain."

Think about this: a President McCain will be making the decisions...but a Vice President Sarah Palin will be whispering into his ear as he makes them. ;)

Posted by: MarkJ | Nov 1, 2008 7:40:18 PM

James,

Is it possible McCain was being modest? Is it possible he understands enough to rule more wisely than 0bama? I'm guessing the answer is "yes" to both questions.

The Objective Historian,

Have you heard of paragraphs and white space? ;)

BTW, good points on WMD.

----

I hate voting for McCain too, but it must be done.

Posted by: mockmook | Nov 1, 2008 7:42:13 PM

Yes, McCain's economic philosophy is really weak, Palin seems to have had a good effect on him. You don't gain an appreciation for market forces in a career in the military - then in Washington. McCain was selected for Republicans by a lot of cross overs. Ironic that now Obama will see a pretty significant crossover effect.

I too fear putting the party that really brought about the mortgage meltdown via creating Fanny and Freddie and resisting any attempt to reform them in charge of fixing the mess. Clearly analagous to draining the water out of your boat by drilling a hole in its bottom.

At least McCain doesn't have an illegal immigrant Aunt living in a slum and voting illegally.

Also, McCain isn't talking about raising a nationwide 'defense' force that will likely be the instrument of a police-state. Remember Michelle O said "Barach will make you work"? McCain hasn't shovelled money to a shadowy 'voter fraud organization' nor taken tens maybe hundreds of millions from untraceable sources (credit card security disabled).

McCain didn't pal around with a hard-core communist - still dedicated to the overthrow of our government. Did you see that Ayers dedicated one of his books to Sirhan Sirhan? Jack would be so proud.

McCain has his many flaws, but he loves America as it is and wants to protect it. Obama very likely does not.

Posted by: red | Nov 1, 2008 7:49:39 PM

The voters got it right in 1980 and wrong in 1936.
In the end we get the government we deserve.

Posted by: Peter S | Nov 1, 2008 7:50:34 PM

The voters got it right in 1980 and wrong in 1936.
In the end we get the government we deserve.

Posted by: Peter S | Nov 1, 2008 7:52:38 PM

The voters got it right in 1980 and wrong in 1936.
In the end we get the government we deserve.

Posted by: Peter S | Nov 1, 2008 7:52:50 PM

Naah, Peter S, we get the government you voters deserve.

Posted by: Micha Elyi | Nov 1, 2008 8:00:54 PM

We just need to keep reminding folks that Obama is just a continuation of the Democrat Revolution started in 2006. The storyline has to be that the Dems took over Congress in 2006 and then the Presidency in 2008. I think every Conservative needs to repeat this in every media appearance starting right after the election. We need to make this link in people's mind everytime we are given a chance.

Posted by: tom t | Nov 1, 2008 8:06:04 PM

Well congrats on your decision and might I say until Sarah Palin arrived I too was to sit out this election....BUT the brilliance of that move and his steadfastness on our military are the reasons for this chick in VA. No matter what if the country is not defended and a 25 percent reduction in military spending would leave this country undefended (ala Clinton in the 90's) than the economy means nothing.

This National security force that Barack the leftist wants also would negate sitting on one's hands in this election. We have the National Guard the only thing he could be thinking is brown shirts. I suspect the Cuban's in FLA and any other legal immigrant who can vote coming from a Communist/Socialist will be BREAKING for McCain.

Posted by: Jaded | Nov 1, 2008 8:28:57 PM

What makes the decision a no-brainer for me is the SUPREME COURT.
Really, how could you ever have even considered letting Obama into the White House?
We could vote Obama out in 4 years----but our poor grandchildren would still be stuck with Obama's Supreme Court appointees 40 years from now!

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas | Nov 1, 2008 9:20:47 PM

re: Red at 7:49p.m.

It's quite touching, that naive little supposition that "Obama very likely does not" love this country.
Likely? It's a certainty!
I used to be a leftist radical, and I can recognize people who think the way I used to.
Buddy, I can guarantee you, he DESPISES this country as it is, and is ideologically committed to a complete transformation of our government, regarding even the Constitution as "fundamentally flawed."
This man is extremely dangerous.
When you add to his ideological extremism the incredible ice in his heart (he's OK with killing LIVE-BORN babies!), the possible scenarios are frightening indeed.

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas | Nov 1, 2008 9:30:08 PM

The reaction of voters to a bad economy depends on how the economy goes bad. If there's widespread unemployment, Bus will be blamed. If there's runaway inflation, Obama will be blamed.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger | Nov 1, 2008 9:33:12 PM

I voted early and had no trouble casting my vote. My perspective was that it wasn't a vote *for* anyone so much as a vote *against* Obama. Here is why... in Obama, we have a would-be president whose supporters (including those in the mainstream media) shower him with too much adoration and not enough skepticism. You could never say the same for McCain.

Oprah: He is "The One."
Obama Supporters: "Yes we can. Yes we can." (What I think of as the Obama Kumbaya chant.)
Obama: "We are the change we have been waiting for."

In my book a certain level of skepticism in politics is a good thing. Too many adoring fans coupled with a lack of skepticism for a man who envisions himself the change the world has been waiting for has the potential to be a very bad thing. The fact that the change he has been waiting for is a bigger government with a more complicated tax code makes it even more troubling.

Posted by: sb_in_tx | Nov 1, 2008 10:47:46 PM

Elena and Objective Historian--

I think there is a far better chance McCain will win than is projected.
I believe Obama is far worse than even his critics think he is.
I'm not voting for either, so I cannot criticize those who are.
I think if McCain is elected you will play the role of the battered spouse with a four year restraining order against the victim.
But that's just my opinion, and I'm not even voting President.
If I were absolutely certain of my position, I'd have to vote Obama, but I don't have the testicles for that one. Shame.

Posted by: james wilson | Nov 1, 2008 10:55:04 PM

As in 2004, it's a vote *against* an elitist stuffed-shirt faux-human Democrat, not a vote for a cruddy Republican. I wish the Libertarians were a viable third party, since they'd be most likely to leave me alone, downsize, legalize, and privatize.

Posted by: CT | Nov 1, 2008 11:37:21 PM

McCain wants to be Commander in Chief and is not all that interested in the other parts of the job. That is actually good news since he is likely to take advice on the economy from people who actually know something about it rather than relying on some half baked and untested theories.

Posted by: Mark in Texas | Nov 2, 2008 1:07:19 AM

McCain loves this country more than most politicians, and will do his damnedest to improve America. He is far more interest in improving America than any aspect of corruption. Disagree with him on policies, yes, but no one can doubt that the man cares more about America than about even his own life.

Obama is the opposite. Go study the history of Germany from 1920 to 1937.

The US is presently at the 'Weimar' stage. We are about to enter the 'post-Weimar stage', and elect a charismatic orator. This orator has many followers that are hate filled and violent.

Posted by: Topaz | Nov 2, 2008 1:54:35 AM

I could never bring myself to vote for McCain. He has run what is perhaps the worst campaigns I can recall. He is filled with platitudes and never gives specifics other than that he would continue what clearly is a failed Bush policy: large govt, huge deficit, meaningless war in Iraq, snooping on citizens etc etc Top it off: he appoints as a running mate a real nutter who know so little that she does not even know what the job entails that she is running for!

In sum: after 8 years of a total failure, the only reason to vote for the GOP at the national level is habit, loyalty no matter what,total indifference to the conditions now facing our nation.

change. It may not work. But the alternative is known to have totally failed.Losing the game? change the way it is played.

Posted by: joseph hill | Nov 2, 2008 4:41:13 AM