Saturday, April 19, 2008

No vote for Obama . . .

. . . Since Fletch asked, then why not indeed? Before I go further, please understand that my reasons are based on analysis, not simply membership or sympathies with the opposite party. I welcome responses, although I don't expect many, since my blog is essentially fog in the wilderness - noticed by no one.

A caution, though. I consider responses that start out with ". . . but Bush did " to be irrelevant and off point. There are two reasons. First, the discussion is about Obama. Second, even if Bush did <fill in something>, and whatever he did is stupid - a distinct possibility, I'll admit - one wrong is not justified by another. The "but Bobby did it first" excuse didn't work with our mammas, and it won't work with me.

Earlier this year, I posted this:

I fancy myself a centrist, although I'm probably a little right of center - essentially a moderate conservative. My concern with Obama is that he's inexperienced, is running primarily on words as opposed to platforms, and that his voting record is too socialistic for me. However, I do believe that he's an honest man who intends to do the right thing.
Over the last couple of months, have grown stronger in my feelings about the second sentence, and have completely changed my mind about the last. Before I go further, I will admit that Obama is a gifted speaker, very intelligent and a generally a likable fellow. He has the Bill Clinton ability to light up a room. However, after watching debates and press coverage, this is why I believe it would be a terrible mistake to elect Obama:

1. Experience - or lack thereof: Obama is a one-term senator elected in 2004. He has spent all but about a year of that term running for president. He spent some time as a lawyer, an Illinois legislator and a "community organizer," whatever that is. He has no managerial experience to speak of.

2. Senate record: Probably since he's spent most of his time on the presidential trail, he has a thin record in the Senate. His initiation and/or sponsorship of significant legislation is practically non-existent. He espouses bipartisanism, but his reaches across the aisle have been as hard to find as Osama (an obtuse paen to Ted Kennedy for those who notice).

3. Character: Obama dismisses his connections with Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers as "Fox News soundbites." But, ponder this. Rezko was under active federal investigation when Obama sought his advice, and Obama continued to take political donations from him. He paid $300,000 less for his house than the asking price, and the deal was sealed by Rezko's wife buying the adjacent lot. That was the only way for the purchase to succeed since the seller wanted to sell the both pieces of real estate.

His discussion of Jeremiah Wright morphed daily. First, "I never heard it." Next, "I disagree with what he said, but I can't disassociate from him." Next, "If he hadn't retired, I would have left the church." His "Typical white woman" comment about his own grandmother revealed a little more about his true colors - pun intended, I think. The truth of the matter is that Obama hung with Wright for 20 years, then tried to justify Wright's race-baiting, anti-semetic hate speech as "what goes on in a black church." Even Juan Williams blanched at that one. Consider the impact if John McCain spent 20 years in a church headed by David Duke and made a speech about the "typical white woman."

The Ayers connection is admittedly more tenuous. However, Obama's statement that the Weather Underground bombing happened when he was "8 years old" doesn't hold water - or if it does hold water, it's pretty leaky. It's true that the bombings happened when Obama was eight. However, he continued to serve on a board of directors with Ayers well into this century.

The significant problem with all this is that Obama's first response is always to minimize - a response that is, at the very least, untruth by omission.

4. Political stance: Obama is one of the most liberal members of the Senate. His politics indicate that he believes government is the best solution for all problems. I believe, as Ronald Reagan did, and as John Kennedy also proved, that lower taxes encourage growth. Although he has vowed that he will not raise taxes on anyone with an income less than $200,000 (or $250,000 - he didn't seem sure of the exact number) he is a strong advocate of letting the recent tax cuts expire. He keeps harping on the "tax cuts for the rich" theme, which has been thoroughly debunked. The top 5% of earners in the U.S. pay 60% of the taxes. He doesn't realize that the government has NO money to spend. What they do spend, they take from someone to give to someone else. I simply do not believe in advancing socialism in this country.

5. His position on national defense: There was a movie made about his position on national defense. Alicia Silverstone played the lead. I freely admit that the war in Iraq has been ill planned and badly executed. Unfortunately, that's OBE. I believe his "withdraw now" approach is untenable, detrimental to further progress, and likely to cause a complete meltdown in the area if realized. I would say more, but I don't want to turn this into an analysis of the war in Iraq.

That's my analysis. Your mileage may vary.