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Conservatives for Obama

October 26, 2008

Something weird is going on.  Conservative leaders like Colin Powell, Chris Buckley, and Ken Adelman are endorsing Obama. 

Conservative newspapers are going for the Senator from Illinois, too.  The Chicago Tribune has endorsed their first Democrat in their entire 163-year history.  The editor-in-chief of Dallas Magazine now calls himself A Conservative For Obama.  The most important newspaper in Alaska is swimming madly for the Obama ship: Anchorage Daily News endorses Obama – McCain erratic, Palin not ready 

Hell, even our own Pantagraph has endorsed Obama.  Twice they endorsed Ike over Stevenson, and Stevenson was from Bloomington.  And owned half-interest in the newspaper! (In case you think there’s no such thing as editorial independence.)

That conservative bulwark, The Economist, not yet emotionally ready to take the endorsement plunge, says:

For their part, hard-core Republicans are handling their party’s travails abysmally, retreating into elite-bashing populism and denouncing the Obamacons as “rats” who are deserting a sinking ship. If the Republican Party continues to think that the problem lies with the rats, rather than the seaworthiness of the ship, then the Obamacons are here to stay.
(Click the picture above to read the rest.)

So I ask again, what the hell is going on? Just this: Obama is a better candidate, and there are still a lot of conservatives out there who will vote for the better candidate, regardless if they have an R or a D after their name.  It’s called “thinking”.  HuffPost contributor Eric Hirshberg set out to interview some of the thinking conservatives, and found it a moving experience; Conservatives voting for Obama, in their own words. Here’s a sample:

This is what democracy is supposed to be. These people actually listened, considered and were open to the possibility of change. They didn’t support a candidate. They actually chose one. And while I’m happy this year they are voting for “my team,” they also inspired me to be more open in my own political life.

I thought we were making an ad campaign about Obama. But I think we ended up making an ad campaign about the essential ingredient that makes democracy work: an open mind. We don’t belong to our political parties. Our political parties belong to us.

“…they also inspired me to be more open in my own political life.”  Think about that for a minute – that’s what is coming out of the Obama camp.  That is Americans finding common ground.  That is how our country can come back together, and be the leader for the 21st century. 

The endorsements linked above are not just marks on a scoreboard: they are thoughtful essays on why Barack Obama should be our next president.  In the words of each editor are resounding themes: Obama is a realist, a pragmatist, he will act prudently in office, he has a steady temperament, and he has actually read the Federalist Papers.  I know I’m ready for that, and so is our country.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. RayM
    October 26, 2008 at 12:32 | #1

    I *really* like your blog – thank you so much.

    Over the past few weeks I have had occasion to talk politics with several dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, none of whom has any doubt whatsoever that they will vote for McPalin. This strikes me as totally irrational, since I know these are people of above average intelligence. However, it finally struck me that they all share a common trait: selfishness. All of them railed against Obama’s tax increases (including those who would see a cut – go figure), even though he is proposing only a 3% increase for most of them. They also do not think health care should be a right – they don’t want their health care rationed, and heaven forbid that what they pay should go to a common fund to benefit everyone. And, most surprising to me, one of them was even convinced that if McPalin became president, the economy would somehow magically bounce back, within a year, to where it was a few months ago. I think this is the most amazing case of brainwashing I have ever witnessed.

    So they are willing to risk the country to a crotchety, impetuous old man and an empty-headed shrew, all for the sake of a few dollars. That isn’t simply irrational, it is a total abandonment of responsibility and citizenship, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  2. October 26, 2008 at 13:42 | #2

    This was what annoyed me most about the sneering at Powell, not the assertions it was a race thing- that sort of small minded racism can be had in any discussion about the Black vote- but the idiotic RINO tag they hand out.

    Surely a voter should be a Citizen first and a party member second.  What is best for country is the important thing.  I hate ‘Blue Cat’ voters (will always vote for ‘their’ party candidate, even if it was a blue cat).

    If you have looked at the issues and decided to vote McCain on the basis of manifesto that is your choice.  I wouldn’t agree with you, but thats politics.  If you vote on party grounds, or the fact the other man is Democrat/Black/has Hussein/the GOP told you to/Your Dad told you to as a middle name then should you really be allowed to vote?

  3. BD
    October 26, 2008 at 15:39 | #3

    And don’t forget Susan Eisenhower who spoke at the DNC.

  4. October 26, 2008 at 17:52 | #4

    When I tell my staunch republican co-workers about my issues and stories of how I have voted they are surprised. “So you’re one of those centrists huh?” I say “No, I just try to make the intelligent vote and pick issues that make sense, not because they follow an ideology.”

  5. October 27, 2008 at 01:40 | #5

    Great post, George!  I think a factor in this election that has impressed at least a few people is the fact that only one side is offering workable solutions to the problems.  Whether you agree or disagree with Obama’s course, it’s obvious he has put some thought into his proposals—and independent vetters say they will work more or less as forecast.  But McCain’s proposals don’t get the same marks.  So, it’s not really a choice between who has the better ideology—it’s a choice between who will get anything at all done and who won’t.

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