October 27, 2008

Et Tu, Kristol?

Bill is still hedging his bets; he's drinking the negative Kool-Aid and buying into the idea that McCain is the underdog in a race that may be more objectively neck-and-neck between McCain and Obama.

Yet he hasn't let the negativity in the air ruin his perspective completely.

And I agree with most of his policy prescriptions: attack, Senator McCain. Get on the air. Both you and the Good Governor need to be on the Sunday talk shows this coming weekend. Buy some airtime on Thursday night if the campaign can possibly scrape up the money, so as to respond to whatever Obama's going to try to do with his his own half hour of change, hope and pulling magical things out of top hats.

And cut out the infighting in the campaign, or at least keep it behind closed doors.

I do not, however, agree with Kristol's feeling that all the negative ads about Obama should be pulled. If the very libertarian, very unscary Goldwater could be defeated by one negative ad that distorted his positions, I see no reason to go wobbly at this point with respect to either Obama's disastrous economic proposals, nor his "cut and run" attitude regarding Iraq.

At this point, the surge has been so successful that some feel that we cannot lose in Iraq, and that is possible, though I feel one can usually find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Afghanistan, however, still has to be secured, and it will be a tougher nut to crack than Iraq was—particularly with the degree of international involvement, which keeps us handcuffed in a number of ways.

Between Afghanistan, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and the delicate matter of renegotiating our relationship with some of our "friends" (the Saudis, the Pakistanis, and possibly the Chinese) we must be careful: we can't afford a newbie at the helm—much less a "partition Iraq"/"Obama will be tested"/"look at my I.Q." kook like Joe Biden.

As far as the economy is concerned, I realize that there are nuances involved. Barack Obama may no longer be a socialist at all. It's possible that he is simply an aggressive welfare capitalist, at the far left side of the continuum. And even in my libertarian circles a lot of people (if they are pressed hard enough) will admit to the feeling that there should be some sort of safety net for the unemployed, provided it is temporary, rather than a "lifestyle."

But the economy is at a point such that the best thing we could do for it now is get some jobs created, and that will not happen without small and medium-sized businesses getting some tax breaks and seeing a bit of lessening in the restrictions they face.

We are also at a point wherein every dime we can spare from defense should go to tax breaks for energy companies, so that they can "greedily" figure out how to address our energy issues without subsidizing our enemies. Which means, in the short term, more drilling in fecund areas like the Gulf and the Southern California coast (done, of course, in an environmentally responsible way), and—medium-term—R&D on all the other alternatives—especially those that are low in carbon emissions, and especially those that are renewable. In the long term, we're going to be relying more on biofuels and electricity (which, of course, can come from a number of sources). But we're still figuring out how to bring those costs down.

The worst thing we could do now is pull money out of the research that is shaping our future, as we move away from fossil fuels.

And that is what Barack Obama wants to do. There is no way to sugar-coat that.

This election is critical—militarily, economically, and environmentally. And as much as I respect Obama's brainpower and idealism, that is not enough. McCain has to win this one, or we will quite likely go into a full-on recession, and we might well be attacked again; we may not even see the support for Israel that we've been able to provide in the past, and whatever else Israel is, it is a toehold for democracy in the Middle East—one of very few examples (ironically enough) of multi-ethnic representative democracy.


Posted by Attila Girl at October 27, 2008 10:53 AM | TrackBack
If the very libertarian, very unscary Goldwater could be defeated by one negative ad that distorted his positions

I'm afraid you'll need to look elsewhere than 1964 for comfort. Goldwater was already trailing badly in the polls before that ad; the ad certainly did not flip the election.

Posted by: Christophe at October 27, 2008 12:21 PM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

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