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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Warning to Obama Supporters, From Burned Bob

I think that things are going to be awful over the next four years, regardless of who wins the White House. Now I know some people (even staunch libertarians) are very passionately hoping for an Obama win, because they would rather a Marxist than a Mad Bomber.

I agree that in a perfect world, Obama would be much more peaceful than McCain. But of course, we don't live in a perfect world. And I have seen nothing to indicate that Obama will implement the peaceful policies that (I agree) he personally desires.

The most classic example is Obama saying something like, "North Korea, Iran...these are tiny countries that don't pose us any threat." Awesome. Somebody needed to say it. And yet, within a few days (maybe even just one, I can't remember) later, he completely reversed himself and said something like, "I have always said that Iran and North Korea pose serious threats to this country." So forget the blatant lie, it's rather that he is lying about something so crucial.

A more recent example concerns the "negotiating with rogue leaders" issue. Obama clearly said he would be willing to sit down with no preconditions with the leaders of "terrorist" states. Awesome. Somebody needed to say it. And yet, when Palin tried to embarrass Biden with that, what did Biden do? He lied about it, and said "Barack never said he'd sit down without preconditions..." or something like that.

I have been personally burned in this matter, so I am warning libertarian Obama supporters not to make the mirror-image mistake. Back in 2000, Bush was running against Al Gore, and I was terrified of a Gore presidency. I thought if he won, Gore would impose a carbon cap on US businesses, raise taxes on rich people, blah blah blah. I didn't think much about it, but yeah I probably would have conceded that Bush was more likely to blow up foreigners, but still, for me at that time, I thought Gore was the clear and present danger because of his socialist tendencies.

I think we see how ridiculous my worries were. (Note that I have NEVER voted for George W. Bush. I can't remember if I did vote in that election, but if I did, it was straight third-party down the line, either Libertarian or Constitution Party depending on who was available.)

It is a myth that Republicans are good on economics while Democrats are good on foreign policy. Nixon closed the gold window and instituted wage and price controls, while Truman nuked babies and LBJ bombed the crap out of Viet Nam.

Let me close with this final observation: If Obama wins and there is another terrorist attack on US soil, he is going to "have to" take aggressive action such that future libertarians will ruefully conclude, "Yeah, President Obama believed in diplomacy the way President Bush believed in free markets."

9 comments:

  1. Bob, while I'm not looking forward to the next years either, doesn't the fact that Republicans have screwed things up so much make it rather difficult for Obama to do as much damage as Bush did, and on foreign policy doesn't he look a heck of a lot better than McCain?

    One would wish that Obama had the balls to stick with his initial positions on talking rather than onvading/bombing, but jingoism is a powerful thing. At least he's not saying, "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran", nor is he politically beholden to the defense industry.

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  2. Tom,

    Right, and if you looked at the campaign rhetoric in the 2000 election, which candidate would you have thought less likely to nationalize the financial sector?

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  3. I think Biden's so-called reversal on "negotiations with rogue leaders," was in respect to whether or not, the POTUS would directly negotiate as opposed to cabinet level discussions. I don't have a problem with keeping the line of communictation open with my enemies.

    Is North Korea really a threat? Is Iran really a threat? I personally doubt it in either case. It makes perfect sense for Obama to shift closer to the center in this contest. McCain and Palin have planted themselves so far to the right that they have practically destroyed their chances of winning, and must resort to a play on racial fears.

    If and when there is another terrorist attack on the United
    States, you can be assured that whatever group is in power will take aggressive action. You might as well stock up on food now if that is your fear.

    I think under Obama the United States might get a little credibility in the world, and make an attack a little less likely. McCain isn't going to win us any friends worth having.

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  4. Like I said, I am not a fan of Obama`s policies, but he `s not running on cynical division the way that Bush did both times. Further, I fail to see how he can screw up as much as Bush has.

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  5. The GOP have screwed things up so badly (both in economics and foreign policy) it is hard to see how the Democrats could do any worse. If Obama is elected and screws up, how are we any worse off? In fact Democratic screw ups may help encourage people to believe that it's government, not the particular parties that drive it, that is the real screw up.

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