Friday, July 11, 2008

TGIRF! Thank God It’s Republican Friday!

Obamacans, Obamacons and BDS?
'Obamacans' - Sen. Barack Obama's term for Republicans who whisper their support for him.

'Obamacons'- leading conservatives of various stripes who have declared their support for the Democrat.

This week on our regular Friday Republican-of-the-week feature we have more than a handful, thanks to the research by Carolyn Lochhead, head of the Washington Bureau of the San Francisco Chronicle. She has unearthed some of the secrets of why some traditional Republicans may reach out and vote outside their party this November.

Like Michael Greve, director of the Federalism Project at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, who says,
The untold story of the Bush administration is the deliberate annihilation of the Reaganite, small-government wing of the Republican Party. A lot of people are very bitter about it.
Of Obama?
When he leaves the room, everybody thinks he just agreed with them. We don't know if you're really buying a pig in a poke here. It could be the second coming of the Clinton administration. If people have any confidence in that, I think a whole lot of conservatives would vote for him.
David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank:
I do know libertarians who think Obama is the Antichrist, that he's farther left than John Kerry, much farther left than Bill Clinton, and you'd clearly have to be insane to vote for this guy. But there are libertarians who say, 'Oh yeah? Do you think Obama will increase spending by $1 trillion, because that's what Republicans did over the past two presidential terms. So really, how much worse can he be?' And there are certainly libertarians who think Obama will be better on the war and on foreign policy, on executive power and on surveillance than McCain.

The Republicans have left the libertarian baby on the doorstep, but Democrats won't open the door. There are people saying Obama's a University of Chicago Democrat, and you can't spend 10 years at the University of Chicago without having some appreciation for markets. I'd like to believe that. I just don't see the rubber meeting the road.

The Republicans have left the libertarian baby on the doorstep, but Democrats won't open the door. There are people saying Obama's a University of Chicago Democrat, and you can't spend 10 years at the University of Chicago without having some appreciation for markets. I'd like to believe that. I just don't see the rubber meeting the road.
Douglas Kmiec is former chief of the Office of Legal Counsel in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, and now a constitutional law professor at Pepperdine University and a devout Catholic. Kmiec endorsed Obama earlier this year, despite his conviction that Obama "believes in a pretty progressive agenda."

Kmiec said his support deepened after meeting with Obama and other faith leaders last month, during which the busy candidate spent hours in a freewheeling discussion with people who differed with him.
I think he's the right person at the right time to re-establish principles of constitutional governance that have been ill treated by the current administration, and to free us from the tar paper that we know is Iraq. I think he's a man in the market for every good idea he can find, and he doesn't care what label it comes with.

I'm disappointed that a legacy of great achievement that I think Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush brought to the Republican Party (has ended): in terms of fiscal responsibility and conveying as Reagan did that a free market and personal responsibility and defense of home and local community often redounds to the happiness of the human person. Somehow we've managed in the last eight years to forget all the basics, to violate all of the first principles. We've lost sight of the things that really mattered to us. If I had to give us a report card, I'd have to say, in the way the nuns used to express it, 'not promoted to the following grade.'
David Friedman is the son of late conservative icon and Nobel economist Milton Friedman, and has also endorsed Obama. Friedman, an economist at Santa Clara University, considers McCain a "nationalist," and hopes for libertarian tendencies from Obama:
Bush was elected on a pro-market, small government platform and proceeded to greatly expand the size of government - and not only in the form of military spending. His view of the legitimate power of the executive branch, including the authority to deliberately violate federal law, I find frightening. Perhaps, if we are lucky, Obama will turn out to be the anti-Bush ….. Of the two, Obama is less bad and at least has a chance in some ways of being good. I don't expect to agree in general with [obama's University of Chicago advisors] but I certainly would be happy if the left became more libertarian, since the right seems to be less libertarian than it used to be.
Bruce Bartlett is a supply-side economist who coined the term Obamacons:
People don't understand that there has always been a small but very significant element of conservatives who have been against the war from day one and who, like me, also hate George Bush and think he's the most incompetent president in American history. The few people who are slavishly pro-Republican, live or die, slavishly pro-Bush like the Weekly Standard crowd, have gotten lot more publicity than they deserve.
Matt Welch, editor in chief of the libertarian Reason Magazine and author of "McCain, the Myth of a Maverick," thinks Obama's conservative support,
comes as much anything else from people being exhausted with the Republican coalition, who are mad at one wing or another, and they just think it's time for them to lose. It's just, 'Look, we're out of ideas, we're exhausted, it's not working, we don't know what our principles are anymore, let's take one for the team and have a black guy be the president for a while.'
Andrew Sullivan, conservative blogger for the Atlantic Monthly:
Obama's story confirms what conservatives have always believed about America. He is the black son of an immigrant, raised by a modest single mother and yet despite the obstacles inherent in his background he is approaching the pinnacle of American success. Isn't he the poster boy for what conservatives have always assured us is possible in America?
Armstrong Williams, a conservative and talk radio host who is not an Obamacon but said he might become one:
I'm not going to just blindly go to the polls and vote for someone because they're a Republican anymore. I wouldn't have given two cents of thought to this in the past, but fortunately I'm maturing and fortunately for the first time in my life I could vote for a Democrat for president … however the stain of America is race, human slavery and de jure segregation and no one can ignore the fact that since the founding of this country, only white men have occupied the White House.
Larry Hunter, supply-side economist who helped write Republicans' 1994 Contract With America:
How can I possibly support a candidate who proposes domestic policies (especially tax and economic policies) that are completely antithetical to everything I believe? ... It is indicative of how much I value individual freedom and how profoundly important I believe foreign policy to be at this juncture of American history that I am enthusiastically supporting Barack Obama for president. It doesn't hurt that McCain himself is only slightly less wrong on economic and tax policy.
Andrew J. Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, writing in the American Conservative:
We should take (McCain) at his word: his commitment to continuing the most disastrous of President Bush's misadventures is irrevocable. ... He is the candidate of the War Party. The election of John McCain would provide a new lease on life to American militarism, while perpetuating the U.S. penchant for global interventionism marketed under the guise of liberation.
Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of Republican President Dwight Eisenhower:
Deep in America's heart, I believe, is the nagging fear that our best years as a nation are over. We are disliked overseas and feel insecure at home. We watch as our federal budget hemorrhages red ink and our civil liberties are eroded. Crises in energy, health care and education threaten our way of life and our ability to compete internationally. ... My grandfather was pursued by both political parties ... (and) went on to win the presidency with the indispensable help of a 'Democrats for Eisenhower' movement. These crossover voters were attracted by his pledge to bring change to Washington and by the prospect that he would unify the nation. It is in this great tradition that I support Barack Obama's candidacy for president.
Even though I am not a Republican, and cannot be either an Obamacan or an Obamacon, I do admit to having a severe case of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) as Wizard has suggested. While Charles Krauthammer coined the term, I prefer to modify his original definition:
Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS):

a purported hatred by some American liberals/progressives of President George W. Bush and his policies. This supposedly leads to reflexive opposition to any position advocated by Bush for no other reason than that Bush happens to be advocating it the reason that experience has established that nothing can be accomplished with Bush in office. Absolutely nothing.
When I started blogging, I was in a minority; not so now. Since then, BDS has become a national epidemic. GOP affiliation no longer provides any inoculation against it. But there's a major consolation: while BDS is incurable, it does not have to be terminal.