Friday, February 15, 2008
Editor's Note: This far ahead of the election, it is a little early to discuss voting strategies, but given what I know now of the candidates and current trends, I suspect that I will be voting for a Democrat for President for the first time in my life.
There is a slew of articles about Barack Obama heading today's link list over at RealClear Politics, the first -- which read in this morning's Houston Chronicle -- being by Charles Krauthammer.
Krauthammer concerns himself with the cult of personality that seems to surround the freshman senator and his youthful, trendy following, and whether his spell will survive the closer examination he is now (finally) receiving as a front-runner. He ends with the following prediction, with which I agree.
Democrats are worried that the Obama spell will break between the time of his nomination and the time of the election, and deny them the White House. My guess is that he can maintain the spell just past Inauguration Day. After which will come the awakening. It will be rude.The fact that the Democrats are worried that the spell will break before the election is troublesome -- and symptomatic of the fundamental problem both parties pose for America.
A real concern for what is best for America would have been manifested by the Democrats examining Obama very closely themselves long before he built up such momentum. But then this would have further entailed them questioning many of their most fundamental premises long before even that. (Some more deliberate Democrats have begun looking at him in more depth, but it may already be too late for them to stop him if they are dissatisfied.)
Like the Republicans, the Democrats adhere to the morality of altruism, although they still (slightly) more consistently accept its political consequence of collectivism, which ultimately requires government force to be directed against those individuals who must be immolated for "the greater good". And if one's political ends require forcing others to do one's bidding, one will become primarily concerned with obtaining and wielding political power.
And so we see the Democrats blindly jumping onto the "Obamnibus to Victory" (If I may join the neologism game.) without regard for whether all this talk of "change" really represents anything new or good, while the Republicans have found themselves with a candidate many openly despise, but for whom they will ultimately circle the wagons since he's "one of our guys".
What to do?
I have expressed the opinion here before that the Republicans, hardly standard-bearers for a proper government that protects individual rights when they are in power, are more useful to the cause of freedom as an opposition party, as we saw in the early years of the Clinton Presidency when they stopped socialized medicine. I have also noted that when in power, as the early years of the (second) Bush Presidency have shown, the GOP is now a party of big government. (And perhaps being out of power might cause them to re-think that position.)
Obama promises to attempt to unleash a body blow against the economy if elected:
Obama unveiled much of his economic strategy in Wisconsin this week: He wants to spend $150 billion on a green-energy plan. He wants to establish an infrastructure investment bank to the tune of $60 billion. He wants to expand health insurance by roughly $65 billion. He wants to "reopen" trade deals, which is another way of saying he wants to raise the barriers to free trade. He intends to regulate the profits for drug companies, health insurers, and energy firms. He wants to establish a mortgage-interest tax credit. He wants to double the number of workers receiving the earned-income tax credit (EITC) and triple the EITC benefit for minimum-wage workers.And our "alternative" is the green, national servitude-supporting (Why coin terms with just Obama's name?), anti-free speech McCain!
The Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore has done the math on Obama's tax plan. He says it will add up to a 39.6 percent personal income tax, a 52.2 percent combined income and payroll tax, a 28 percent capital-gains tax, a 39.6 percent dividends tax, and a 55 percent estate tax.
Ignoring, for the sake of argument, how much McCain will enable religious conservatives to continue building strength within his party (which may make him worse than Obama), there is no substantive difference between these candidates, except that we know McCain to be against freedom of speech (which makes him worse if Obama does not also oppose freedom of speech).
Now, with Obama openly stating that he favors big government and perhaps also having questionable patriotism (But see the comments.), while McCain, hiding behind the flag as a war hero, smuggles in big government when he isn't openly moving his party in that direction, who will do less harm as President? The one more likely to be thwarted by stiff opposition and, when successful, to not easily direct the blame onto what is capitalism in our political-economic system.
That man, I am sad to say, is Barack Obama. It is sad that with the prospect of John McCain being President that we have to hope for an accident in the form of a cult of personality -- or a Michael Bloomberg run -- to come to the rescue.
This election is shaping up to be an Obamination, pure and simple. Let's just hope that we do wake up come Inauguration Day.
Today: Added parenthetical comment regarding Obama's patriotism.