Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Obama vs. McCain

As promised last post, here's my breakdown of Obama vs. McCain:

1. Obama has no particular record of service to anyone but his own career. His stints as a community organizer, as a Illinois state Senator, and as a U.S. Senator have all been about one thing only -- getting Obama to the next level.

McCain, by contrast, has repeatedly shown a commitment to a cause greater than himself. Whether it's going back into combat and flying missions even after nearly dying in the U.S.S. Forrestal explosions of July 1967, or refusing early release from the Hanoi Hilton out of his sense of honor and duty to his fellow POWs, or criticizing Clinton on Kosovo in 1999 or Bush on Iraq from 2003 onward, for McCain his bottom line has been what's good for the country, even if it's not necessarily what's good for his career. He definitely will pull some political maneuvers as most politicians, but what differentiates him is this bottom line, which Obama simply has shown no evidence of having.

2. Obama checks off all the boxes with the constituent groups of the modern Democrats. If you're NARAL, check! He's your most consistent ally. If you're organized labor, check! He's against NAFTA, he's against the Central American Free Trade Accord (CAFTA), he's against the free trade deals with those dangerous powerhouses Peru (population: 28 million) and Colombia (population: 44 million) that will doom us all. And of course, on the biggest issue recently, he will absolutely positively END the war in Iraq, by pulling out ALL our troops in Iraq as quickly as possible, and not even an incipient genocide there will stop him. Because he has principles!

McCain has what I regard as a lot of features, but unfortunately many conservatives regard as bugs. He is willing to tick off arch-conservatives over and over again when he disagrees with them on matters of principle. The Gang of 14, McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, the examples go on and on. Again we reach the bottom line that McCain will do as he thinks is right by the nation, and if it ticks off the extreme right of his party, oh well. The contrast with Obama's cowardly appeasing of every left-wing interest group there is could not be greater.

3. Arrogance: Obama has it, McCain doesn't. To hear not only his supporters but Obama himself tell it, Obama will save not merely the United States, but the world! The oceans will stop rising, the rest of the world will love us again, and we'll be able to withdraw from Iraq, send more troops to Afghanistan, and maybe just maybe invade our nuclear-armed "ally" Pakistan, and the impoverished Muslims who make up Al Qaeda's bitter base will love us because... well, he's Obama!

McCain's mantra seems to be, and I am putting words in his mouth I know, "I may mess up, in fact it's likely at some point I will, but I will NEVER give up! I would rather die first." And with McCain that's not just rhetoric, it is simply a reflection of the life he has lived.

There's more, there's lots more, but that's a good start.

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