Once upon a time I was filled with sick horror at the thought of a McCain Presidency. Now? Not so much. He hasn’t changed. He does have a new running mate, but she doesn’t scare me. After Dubya, it feels petty to pretend that inexperience is some kind of showstopper. What’s changed for me is the growing sick horror with which I view an Obama Presidency.
Obama’s hope-and-change talk in the primaries turned into a vote for telco immunity. The all-together-now speeches came from a bus that ran over women, blacks (e.g.), gays, and anyone who cares about civil liberties. The way he’s aided and abetted sexism to grab the nomination has been despicable, especially because he stayed alert to any sign of racism. I don’t understand how anyone who cares about equal rights can support him after such a blatant display of contempt for women. The list of appalling positions he’s taken just keeps getting longer.
Granted, McCain’s positions are even worse, but it’s not really what the candidates say that matters. It’s what they can do. And that depends on how much we let them do. That’s what horrifies me about an Obama Presidency: not him but us.
People will do two things if he’s in the White House. The first will give us another reign of Republicans after his one term. The second will be worse.
The Republican chickens are going to be coming home to roost in a big way in the next four years. If the Democrats have the House and the Senate and the Presidency, they’ll be cleaning up the mess and getting the blame. People, too many of them anyway, pin the fault on the visible target. Based on his record, there is no reason to think Obama is a millennial statesman capable of leading us away from the mountain range of shit. He may turn out to be, but he hasn’t been so far. If he doesn’t succeed, the Republicans will gain power in 2012 for another eternity. And they’ll get the benefit of however much clean-up the Democrats have managed to accomplish. I say let the Republicans deal with their own mess. Then we have a hope of getting thirty years of actual improvement, such as, just maybe, actual universal health insurance instead of “We radically changed [the health care bill] in response to concerns that were raised by the insurance industry.” (Obama, 2004/05/19)
The other reason, the even bigger reason, is that I think Obama could do more damage to the country than McCain. People pretty much know what McCain stands for and whether they’re for it or against it. Good-looking governors make it a warmer ticket, but don’t change the fundamental equation. Obama, on the other hand, does one thing, says another, and enough people are so desperate to believe in him that they lie to themselves so that they can keep doing it. Look at the reaction on the left when he started promoting faith-based government. Suddenly the left, the left, was trying to find reasons why it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. The ability to make people believe night was day was Reagan’s talent. He succeeded in making selfishness respectable, and then even admirable. He could make people forget which way was up. It’s very hard to climb out of a morass if you can’t even see that.
Obama, judging by the evidence so far, has the same talent. Based on what he’s done rather than what he’s said, he’s a Republican. Maybe Republican-lite, but that’s not the important part. What scares me is the large majority who, a year ago, finally understood that they don’t want that crap. But he can make them think they do.
That’s why I think Obama may be a bigger disaster for the country than McCain.