Obamacons

1 Nov


There are two traditionally Conservative publications – both British, but also widely read in America and worldwide – that have endorsed Barack Obama.

The Economist’s endorsement is here. It notes McCain’s impetuousness, but also his record of centrist bipartisanship, and laments the fact that a completely different, disingenuous McCain showed up for this election.

At the beginning of this election year, there were strong arguments against putting another Republican in the White House. A spell in opposition seemed apt punishment for the incompetence, cronyism and extremism of the Bush presidency. Conservative America also needs to recover its vim. Somehow Ronald Reagan’s party of western individualism and limited government has ended up not just increasing the size of the state but turning it into a tool of southern-fried moralism.

Of Obama, they say that he would, first and foremost, offer a physical rebuttal to the notion of the Islamists and other America-haters that this isn’t a Democratic country that offers people of any background an opportunity to succeed and to lead. It’s harder to accuse the US of being anti-anything when its President is a black guy whose middle name is “Hussein”. It also claims that this “global electoral college” on its site underscores the fact that the rest of the world wants Obama to win, and he would instantly help regain America’s standing in the world community.

The Economist says that the way Obama has behaved and operated his campaign more than makes up for his lack of executive political experience and relatively thin resume. When the shit hits the fan, (Jeremiah Wright hubbub, economic crisis), Obama never took the easy, political way out. “On the financial crisis his performance has been as assured as Mr McCain’s has been febrile. He seems a quick learner and has built up an impressive team of advisers, drawing in seasoned hands like Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well.”

Although they have their reservations about his ability to take on a Democratic Congress, the Economist suggests he won’t brook any nonsense from them.

So Mr Obama in that respect is a gamble. But the same goes for Mr McCain on at least as many counts, not least the possibility of President Palin. And this cannot be another election where the choice is based merely on fear. In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency.

The Financial Times says:

Two main points seem to tip it for the FT:

We applaud his main domestic proposal: comprehensive health-care reform. This plan would achieve nearly universal insurance without the mandates of rival schemes: characteristically, it combines a far-sighted goal with moderation in the method. Mr McCain’s plan, based on extending tax relief beyond employer-provided insurance, also has merit – it would contain costs better – but is too timid and would widen coverage much less.

Our health care system in the United States (1) isn’t the best in the world; (2) costs too much in private, insurance, and government dollars; and (3) still fails to insure everybody. Every other industrialized nation in the world somehow manages to insure all of its citizens, whether it be through a single-payer socialized system like Britain’s and Canada’s, a mandatory government-subsidized insurance scheme, or some type of hybrid public/private scheme.

and, of course, the thrilla from Wasilla,

For all his experience, Mr McCain has seemed too much guided by an instinct for peremptory action, an exaggerated sense of certainty, and a reluctance to see shades of grey.

He has offered risk-taking almost as his chief qualification, but gambles do not always pay off. His choice of Sarah Palin as running mate, widely acknowledged to have been a mistake, is an obtrusive case in point. Rashness is not a virtue in a president. The cautious and deliberate Mr Obama is altogether a less alarming prospect.

As much as McCain has tried to paint Obama as “dangerous” and “inexperienced”, there seems to be a consensus that’s developed – especially since the Palin selection – that Obama is a less “risky” choice than McCain.

3 Responses to “Obamacons”

  1. InTheLoop November 1, 2008 at 2:27 pm #

    The Economist is often mislabeled as “conservative” (often by people who do not read it). It’s arguably the finest world news publication available. As a “liberal,”it does not surprise me that The Economist chose to endorse Obama. It has been a long time coming. Good choice.

  2. rastamick61 November 1, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    Which reminds me i owe their subscription dept about $80.00. The Economist is one of those magazines that you feel almost smart enough to read, a real break from having an imbecile for a president for the past 8 years.

  3. Buffalo Hodgepodge November 1, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    As terrific as I think Barack Obama can be, ultimately this election is a referendum on George Bush. I have had no qualms saying that Bush #2 is the worst President in American history with a monumental string of failures in both the domestic and foreign policy domain. Karl Rove’s dream of a permanent majority for the Republican party has turned into a nightmare – in large part because the frontman was much too small for the job.

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