Sep 19, 2008

A Conservative's Turn and Truing

Just ran across one of the first indications that Obama may be getting some traction among thinkers when I read: "A Conservative for Obama:  My party has slipped its moorings. It's time for a true pragmatist to lead the country," by Wick Allison.  Former editor of the National Review, one of the original Goldwater youth conservatives, Allison sketches out his long conservative history to explain why Obama strikes a chord in him he "hasn't felt since Reagan."

Three excerpts:

But today it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don't work. The Bush tax cuts-a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war-led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his "conservative" credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.


Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world "safe for democracy." It is John McCain who says America's job is to "defeat evil," a theological expansion of the nation's mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth. . . . This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.

And finally the endorsement:

Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president.  . . . I disagree with him on many issues. But those don't matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama's books (which, it is worth noting, he wrote himself) or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.

Now, I think that's a pretty good endorsement. I will have a lot to disagree with Obama about, particularly Afghanistan, but it's the sheer intelligence you have to admire, especially after the lack of it we have had to inure ourselves to for the past 8 years.

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