Diary

Effective Arguments

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t plan to vote for Obama (nor McCain) despite being far to the left of the median for this blog. There are reasons for this. Specific reasons. There are also a great many arguments (in fact a distinct majority) from the right against Obama I find utterly unconvincing if not borderline ridiculous. So here’s a sample of each, do with it as you will.

Reasons that make sense to me:

1) experience/history. I strongly believe that America is at a delicate point right now. I’ll spare you the reasons why because most on this blog will disagree with what exactly is wrong and why. Suffice it to say I think we need a very competent president to steer us through the next period. Unlike most of you I believe that Obama could be competent, the problem for me is I don’t know he is.

Along with that is the issue of history. By that I mean the reason it matters for a person to be on the national stage for some time is that you get a sense of how they operate, what they will do, how they will react. Bill Clinton was a governor for 10 years before he ran for office. We had ample opportunity to see that he had a thing for women. We could evaluate whether that really mattered to us. To me it didn’t, and I was happy to vote for him. When the Lewinsky thing came up I was neither surprised nor did I really care. I had cause to know the man’s break points and the idea of a president failing by getting nookie didn’t matter to me.

I don’t know Obama. I have no idea how he will behave with real power (the president of the US has essentially unilateral control of our nuclear weapons, that’s real power). I don’t know his stress points or temperment. Maybe he’s great but I don’t have the history to know for sure, and I really kind of need that before I vote for someone for president.

2) Chicago. Chicago is one of those places that is legendary for political corruption. Now I think you have to be clear that you are arguing a matter of percentages. What are the odds that Obama not only came up in such an area but did so with startling speed and at the same time he remained scruplous? Guilt by association is not okay, but realism in looking at an environment of institutionalized corruption and having that raise questions is another thing entirely.

3) The cult. Despite what many here think the Obama cult is not even a significant majority of the Dems. But, as with Ron Paul, it is an awfully vocal minority, and it is disturbing after the arguments that the right has become nothing but authoritarian cultists (whether you agree or not the argument exists and is common on the left) to see the same behavior on the left too.

4) The trifecta. I don’t think single party rule is a good thing. I think the right got the most feckless during its recent years of control of the presidency and both houses of congress. I have little hope the dems won’t do the same. Every indication right now is that the Dems will substantially improve majorities in both houses. That plus the presidency (and an essentially divided supreme court) is too much power, too little checks and balances, for me.

*Arguments that don’t work for me, at all: *

I won’t number and elaborate. Too many.

“Socialism.” Ayers. Odinga. Rezko. Non-citizen. Higher taxes. Universal health care. Wimp. Terrorist attack. Hamas/qaddafi/Iran/Kim Jong Il/Putin says “_“. Old Europe. Immigration. Abortion. Supreme Court Justices. Retreat from Iraq. Joe the Plumber. Anything Biden says. Anything at all to do with Sarah Palin. Too young. Cooked polls. ACORN. Che Gueverra posters. Anti-Israel. Pro-cuba. Anti-American. Original Intent. Second Amendment. Fairness Doctrine. “Hussein.”

And probably another few dozen that aren’t coming to mind.

Those arguments I find spectacularly ineffective and probably at least half of them make me actually want to vote for Obama. Now what works for me is in no way guaranteed to work for anyone else. For that matter doubtless some will look at the list and declare I’m trying to shy you away from the actual effective arguments. All I can do is give you accurate information, what you do with it, up to and including treating it as contrarian, is up to you.

Vaya con dios.