Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Not As Bad As All That

With Election Day approaching, I've started to take my own "second look". Not so much reconsidering my own candidate, mind you, but just letting myself mull over what an Obama presidency would mean, should he be America's choice this November. And there are some good reasons not to be too worried: firstly and fundamentally, because Barack Obama is a decent and intelligent man. I disagree with him on most of the issues and I find his campaign persona pretty cynical, but that doesn't mean he's got a secret plan to outlaw baseball and apple pie. Secondly, there are long-term reasons that a disastrous liberal presidency might be good for American conservatism. Remember all the reasons we came up with to console ourselves when we were looking at our paltry crop of primary candidates and assuming we'd be looking at a coronation rather than a race? All those still apply. I like McCain-Palin, but it's certainly not my dream ticket, and with the specter of McCain's term spent serving ineffectually opposite an embittered House and filibuster-proof Senate, crystallizing public disdain for the Republican label for a generation, it's worth musing about alternate futures. Finally, Mark Hemingway points out a very good reason why a President Obama, if he wants to accomplish anything, will probably have to hew fairly close to the center-center-left track he's mostly followed in the general campaign: the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate only exist because the DNC has been running comparatively conservative candidates to gain ground in red states. Their majority-at-any-cost has proven pretty difficult to corral, so if Obama doesn't want to join the very short list of presidents so ineffectual they couldn't even get past their own party, he'll stick to fairly moderate policies. The record's pretty clear that Senator Obama is a radical, but he's smart enough not to govern as one.

So, there's the chance a McCain administration could turn out poorly, and the probability that an Obama campaign will do a decent job without turning our country upside down. Of course, it could also be an absolute disaster, and you know I'm not one to turn away from schadenfreude.


Jane said...

My biggest concern about a potential Obama presidency is the supreme court justices he would appoint. Since the supremes have far more power than they should, this is where he could make changes that last for a generation and beyond.

Rita Loca said...

I ditto jane. They will make the laws we will have to live with for at least two decades.
I don't think he is a decent guy, but I think our system of government will keep him somewhat in check.

Bruce Gee said...

A lousy economy is going to hamstring the Messiah for most of his "first term".
I had at first considered he'd be a black Jimmy Carter, but he's waaaay smarter than Mr. Carter.

Hm. That rhymes.

You can expect one or two more Ginsburg clones on the Supremes with an Obama presidency. He probably won't make many mistakes, and Hillary's hunch is right: if Obama gets elected, its for eight years.

Great, fecund days for the theology of the Cross.