All I ask is that the candidates court me until the bitter end.

 [My first political post in a long, long while.  This is my one statement on the current campaign.  Other than here, I’m going to stay away from political posts because I abhor the lack of charity that permeates them.  The basic idea behind this was borrowed from Ann Althouse].

Yes, I’m conservative (mostly).  Yes, I’m an Alaskan (despite being in Texas at the moment).  If you think you know how I’m going to vote, you’re probably wrong.

I have yet to decide on who to vote for.  I find talk of “well, yesterday I decided who I’m going to vote for”rather silly (sometimes).  Why should I allow the candidates to write me off?  If I decide to support one, that one no longer needs to convince me, and the other one can just ignore me.  All that does is put me in political limbo.

As a selfish Alaskan, I’d rather have Palin as Governor than Vice-President.  I still haven’t made up my mind on whether she’s a good candidate to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, but she’s been one kick @$$ governor (and stop it with the personal attacks, people.  At times, the Bloggernacle disgusts me.  Disagree with her positions or her experience, but as I’ve seen ‘Nacle denziens – in ‘Nacle postings, even – refer to her as a “milf” or say other nasty but irrelevant things about her, my opinion of the Mormon blogging community as a whole has gone way downhill).   I doubt very much they’ll let her be VP and Gov at the same time, so that is actually a reason for me to vote against McCain.

I have serious problems with both major candidates, and both have attributes I find attractive.  I’ve been known to vote for third party candidates in the past.  In the end, I merely demand that the candidates attempt to woo me until the very end.  I see no reason why I should commit myself until I’m in the voting booth.

On the other hand, I can see why some people feel the need to declare early.  Someone has to to the actual on the ground campaign work, and if everyone took my position, it wouldn’t get done.  Though that might make for more interesting campaigning . . . .

This entry was posted in Any, General, In real life by Ivan W.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ivan W.

Ivan Wolfe teaches rhetoric at Arizona State University. He has a PhD in English from the University of Texas - Austin, and a BA and MA in English (with minors in Classical Greek, Music, and Philosophy) from BYU. He has several credits on various Christmas albums aimed at the LDS market, several essays in Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy series, and various book reviews in academic and popular venues. He also competes in Scottish Highland Games and mud run/obstacle course races, and he can deadlit over double his bodyweight (his last PR was just shy of 500 pounds). He is currently married to Lisa Renee Wolfe. He has five kids and four stepkids.

56 thoughts on “All I ask is that the candidates court me until the bitter end.

  1. [Note: I removed a comment here that I regret, because of it’s too strident tone and uncharitable nature. Even I don’t live up to my own standards].

  2. Mike –

    Let me put it this way:

    I still have not made up my mind yet on whether or not she’s a good VP pick. A lot will depend on how she does in the debate. If she fails there, then I will likely decide she wasn’t. If she does well, then – we’ll see.

    However, citing that NRO article does not show a very open and non-partisan mind on your part. It’s been a rather popular meme on the left for the last few days “look! NR hates Palin too!” – ignoring that NR has several recent articles and blog posts in praise of Palin, and that the article was not written for NR, but was a syndicated column they ran for the sake of providing a little diversity of viewpoint.

    To so mindlessly repeat the inaccurate talking points of the left does not make you appear to be in any way accurate or free thinking. Next time, do a little research.

  3. Mike, it’s just silly to think that because National Review publishes one article criticizing Palin that somehow she will be thrown under the bus by conservatives — or even by National Review. I’m guessing you probably don’t read NR as much as I do — I read it several times a day. There has been a wide gamut of opinion on Palin from the beginning with David Frum opposing her and most of the other writers there supporting her. I’ll never forget Michael Savage (a supposed conservative) calling on McCain to get rid of her TWO DAYS after she was named as the VP nominee. Please rest assured that unless something HUGE, and I mean HUGE, comes along to embarrass her and McCain she will be on the ticket with the old guy.

  4. Ivan, I’ll make at least one attempt to sway you and other undecideds against voting for Obama:

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=307665441951152

    We are heading for big-time European Socialism if Obama is elected, especially if he gets a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (which looks possible). The results will be absolutely disastrous.

    As for voting for McCain, well, he’s not inspired me much lately (except for the Palin pick). I find it tough to defend him (except to point out that he did warn about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2005). But the guy has been fumbling around on the economic crisis just like the majority of our elected leaders.

    McCain would be a mediocre president. Obama would be disastrous.

  5. Geoff, even if Obama is elected (and at this point it seems inevitable) and even if Democrats pick up lots of house seats and a few Senate seats, “European Socialism” is almost certainly not going to result. For two reasons. One, the Senate wouldn’t allow it. Second, if they tried, there’d be huge backlash in the midseason elections.

    It is unfortunate that Obama isn’t more of a moderate like Clinton. (Who was a big name in the Blue Dog Democrat movement) This is one reason why I thought Hilary should have got the nomination – not to mention that I trust her more on foreign policy. But let’s not get too crazy. Obama is very unlikely to be much worse than Bush in terms of establishing bad policy. Democrats exaggerated the practical effect of bad Bush policy. Let’s not do the same.

    Plus I think the realities of the foreign policy involvements he faces and the financial crisis will severely limit what Obama could do. If anything I think Obama is more likely to be financially conservative than McCain anyway, which is what finally tipped me over into voting for him over McCain.

    The biggest worry I have isn’t “European Socialism” which is frankly unlikely but Judicial appointments.

  6. I’d like to add that I’ve been pretty rough on Mike Parker over the years on politics — we disagree thoroughly on a lot of issues. But I would like to acknowledge one area where he has been as right as you can be. And that is in supporting Ron Paul (on economic issues, not on foreign policy, where I still disagree). Ron Paul has been consistently right on the dangerous size of the federal govt, and we are seeing this now more than ever. The current economic mess was directly caused by government interference in the free market (mortgages) going back to the Carter years. For years, Ron Paul has been a lone voice warning about government interference in this and other areas. Republicans definitely need to take their lead from Ron Paul when it comes to economic policy.

  7. Ivan, Palin may be an excellent Governor but I think she’s a disaster as a VP pick. And I was hoping McCain would pick her prior to his actually doing so. But man, she’s just not got the experience with a lot of issues and worse hasn’t thought about it.

    I’ve become deeply disenchanted with Palin.

  8. Clark, I’m just getting started on Obama. Judicial appointments are the second biggest reason to oppose him. But I would ask you to read the article I linked — yes, he is unlikely to get everything he wants, but can’t you see that all of his programs are exactly the wrong direction we should be going in when it comes to economic policy? We are in a mess right now precisely because of those types of policies, which he supported as a community activist and continues to support today.

    Look, you can either take him at his word, analyzing his long, long, long wish list of new, expensive programs, and look at the record of big govt put together by the Democratic Congress, or you can blindly hope that somehow Obama and Congress will magically turn into some kind of moderate like Clinton was when it came to economic policy (he certainly was not a moderate in a lot of other areas). But when you are hoping for such magic, remember that one of the reasons Clinton became such a moderate was because of the 1994 Republican majority in the House, which forced him to abandon universal health care and a host of other liberal programs.

    I know I have no hope of convincing you — your comments have shown me you are a lost cause (–:)–) — but at least you are voting in Utah, which has no chance of going for Obama anyway.

  9. Geoff B, I find the first article that you linked to so interesting. I am amazed that you would find the article a convincing reason to vote against Obama. Frankly, as I read the article I was inspired and excited by the prospect of a President with so much vision and so many ideas that attempt to strike at the root causes of many of our nation’s problems. I mean, offering parenting training in areas with entrenched poverty and poor academic success? Why is this a bad idea again? Encouraging communities to take interest, pride, and a sense of ownership of their local open spaces and ecosystems? Sign me up! Granted I’m a self-confessed liberal and strong Obama supporter, but I would also suggest any undecideds read that article. It’s pretty impressive list of the ideas Obama wants to bring into our national dialogue.

    Anyway, I get the sense from your comments here that a dialogue about this wouldn’t be productive so I’ll probably not engage in a back and forth with you. But thanks for the link – I really enjoyed it!

  10. Free yourselves from the false right/left paradigm and vote for the Constitution. Obama and McCain are parts of the same political machinery driving this Country into the ground.

  11. Meanwhile, Obama calls for raising taxes. He’s worse than a European-style Socialist — he’s 20 years behind the times.

    While I doubt his ability to implement it – especially with the spending he wants to do – Obama’s called for tax cuts on everyone making $250,000 or less.

  12. But when you are hoping for such magic, remember that one of the reasons Clinton became such a moderate was because of the 1994 Republican majority in the House, which forced him to abandon universal health care and a host of other liberal programs.

    Look, I really dislike Clinton and disagreed with many of his political decisions. But he really was and ran as a moderate Democrat.

    Yes he pushed for comprehensive medical care reform. And he screwed it up royally. I actually think some kind of reform is necessary and will be eventually passed. (Although interestingly Obama ran to the right of most Democrats on this issue – perhaps just not wanting to deal with the issue) Eventually someone’s going to have to do some serious reform but the politics of the situation are a mess. I’d favor a somewhat modified German system (i.e. competition but effectively requiring health care with managed prices) It’s probably one of the few places I don’t want deregulation. But I think it’s inevitable.

    In any case compared to typical Democrats (especially Obama) Clinton really was moderate. As I said that’s not to praise him. The crime bill in particular completely enraged me. But then there’s plenty to dislike about Bush too and he’s supposedly a conservative.

  13. “If anything I think Obama is more likely to be financially conservative than McCain anyway, which is what finally tipped me over into voting for him over McCain.”

    Clark, you have a hundred reasons to vote Obama over McCain, but this one seems odd unless you think McCain will start another expensive war. I mean, this is McCain we’re talking here.

    Gina, I don’t think Geoff sees a problem with parenting classes. The problem is government-run parenting classes by for by taxpayers.

  14. I don’t think McCain is going to be dumb enough to “throw Palin under a bus,” but it has been interesting to me to see (1) McCain’s “act-now-think-later” approach result in a VP candidate who, it turns out, is only appealing on the surface, and (2) how the initial excitement for Palin is starting to turn into more voices questioning if she was a good idea. I think this speaks volumes about McCain’s decision-making abilities: He’s impulsive, which is not a good quality in a president.

    Thanks, Geoff, for the kind words about Ron Paul. He was dead on in the debates about the fundamental problem with our economy: The oversupply of credit created artificially by the Federal Reserve overprinting currency to (a) encourage debt-driven spending so as to make a weak economy look strong, (b) reduce the value of the massive debt held by the United States, and (c) enable the Bush administration to simultaneously conduct two wars while increasing domestic spending. When credit is easy, anyone can qualify for a home loan; and when anyone can qualify, everyone can qualify, regardless of their ability to pay once their interest rate goes up.

    McCain and Obama’s economic policies are really not all that different. They’re talking about a few percentage points difference in tax rates on the top earners (35% vs. 39.5% income tax; 15% vs. 20% capital gains). McCain talks about cutting pork, but that’s less than 1% of the $3 trillion federal budget; he hasn’t said a word about getting it back down to the level when Bush first took office (“only” $1 trillion). Neither McCain nor Obama are going to do any serious cutting, and both want to expand their own federal programs. If Obama is “European Socialism,” then McCain is floating somewhere in the English Channel.

  15. Tim, it would have pushed me over the line had I not already been pushed over the line. Sadly both McCain and Obama have hundreds of reasons to vote against them. It’s not a compelling election to me. Although I do think McCain could get us into an other war. My fears of him in foreign policy are one big reason I am not supporting him. He goes by “gut” too much – much like Bush. While I vigorously disagree with Obama on foreign policy I do think he is far more level headed.

  16. Mike –

    Please, stop repeating lefty memes that just make you look like an unthinking drone. Really. “Conservatives” are not a fungible mass, and there are plenty of liberals who have problems with Biden.

    You really need to find a new tune, or at least to do more research. You come across like one of those anti-Mormons who seizes on one or two odd quotes from some church leader and then trumpets that “this is what Mormons really believe” while ignoring the rest of Mormon discourse.

  17. Clark –

    I think the McCain campaign hasn’t handled Palin properly and the Couric interviews were a disaster. However, she has been an absolutely amazing governor, so I hold out hope that she can do better. The debate will probably be make or break for me.

    However, I do think one problem is less Palin and more that the McCain advisers have sequestered her too much in order to stuff her with generic talking points.

  18. (although, when I say “The debate will probably be make or break for me” – I only mean on deciding whether Palin is a good VP pick, not on whether I will vote for McCain).

  19. “Although I do think McCain could get us into an other war.”

    See, I find it interesting that you think Congress could allow McCain to start another war but you don’t think they’d limit Obama’s high price-tag programs.

  20. Not that it matters anyway since 1) you’re voting in Utah and 2) Obama looks like he’s going to win a possible landslide.

  21. Ivan,

    I’m not “repeating lefty memes,” and I do not believe conservatives are “a fungible mass.”

    My point in bringing up Kathleen Parker and George Will is that here we have two well-known, widely-read, respected political conservatives who are calling out a warning to the rest of their own party who are enthralled with Palin and (seriously!) think that her only problem is that she’s been overprepared by her handlers.

    And I think Parker and Will are right.

  22. Mike –

    And anti-Mormons claim “look, here we have a well-known and influential prophet of the LDS church claiming XYZ!”

    The fact you agree with Parker and Will means little, given that your comments here at M* indicate you are a bit too partisan to be an imparital judge.

    I could find liberal columnists I agree with (one semi-prominent one has just called for Pelosi to resign, for example – and that columnist has also defended Palin while not agreeing with her) and I doubt very much you would think that this somehow means that the left side of the aisle needs to wake up and get rid of Pelosi and Biden right now.

    I never said she was “overprepared” by her handlers. My complains it that they’ve “misprepared” her – she’s clearly prepared for all the wrong things.

  23. Mike –

    also: it’s quite clear you are repeating lefty memes. You claim not to be, but your actions show different.

  24. FWIW, I not a political leftist. I’m a paleoconservative who is appalled at how the Republican Party has abandoned all of its core principles over the last 8 years.

    And I do think the left side of the aisle needs to wake up and get rid of Pelosi and Biden right now.

  25. Mike –

    Honestly, I don’t believe you. Perhaps it’s a lack of charity on my part. Perhaps it’s the multitude of leftists who are suddenly claiming to be conservatives/moderates that can’t stand McCain/Palin. Perhaps I’ve just misread your previous comments.

    In nearly every political post I’ve read on M* (admittedly, I don’t read them all), you’ve taken the left-wing position and ruthlessly attacked conservatives while defending the liberal side of things. You’ve also used harsh, derogatory language that does not indicate any desire to actual engage in real dialog. Instead, you seem more interested in posting invective.

    So, have the last word with me if you want. I’m going to take the same position with you that I’ve taken with other ‘Nacle commentators: I’m not interested in debating people who parrot partisan points and who are so relentlessly, ruthlessly negative.

    I promise to ignore you from here on out. Your political tactics resemble the tactics of anti-Mormons. I don’t engage in Bible-Bashing with Baptists, and I don’t want to engage in Palin-Pounding with Partisans.

  26. Tim: See, I find it interesting that you think Congress could allow McCain to start another war but you don’t think they’d limit Obama’s high price-tag programs.

    I think history shows Congress has basically zero power to stop Presidential war making beyond “authorizing” it. But there have been plenty of unauthorized wars. If McCain gets too feisty with Iran there won’t be much Congress can do about it.

    Contrast this with spending which the Legislature controls. Obama will probably get through a few high priced items (as frankly Bush has – he’s had no spending control in the least). But if he goes too far there will be a backlash, Republicans will take control of the House like they did in 94 and then there will be the ideal world of divided government which helped us so much in the 90’s.

  27. Mike, I thought you were more a Libertarian rather than “paleoconservative.” I’m never quite sure what they means, by the way, beyond having a distrust for government intervention the way Bush has done. Typically it’s opposed to neo-conservative but I always thought the labels were pretty muddled.

  28. I am voting for Obama largely for temperament/thoughtfulness reasons.

    While I have not met Obama myself, I have two friends who know him. One of the friends is a prominent evangelical conservative who will likely vote for McCain and the other a political moderate who will vote for Obama. Both, however, tell me that Obama is thoughtful, a good listener, and tries to be evenhanded. This is the impression I have of him as I have listened to him and read his writings.

    I disagree strongly with Obama on abortion. I do not support all the programs in the article to which Geoff linked. But I think Obama is capable and strives to be fair and to do what is right, as best he can.

    Of course, this makes me a political outlier in the Church, even among very thoughtful members of the Church who are knowledgeable and articulate. Outside my family, I do not know anyone else in our ward who supports Obama, and only know one other person (or family) in our stake who does.

  29. Ivan,

    Ouch.

    What can I say? I know who I am, I know how I’ve voted, and I know what I support. I’ve been either a registered Republican or registered Libertarian my entire life. I’ve never voted for a Democrat in any election. I’ve always picked fiscal and libertarian conservatives at the ballot box. I’m a Ron Paul conservative.

    My disagreements on this blog have been over issues of unrestrained executive authority, preemptive war, and legislation that restrains individual liberty. Republicans used to stand against these things, but now they embrace them.

    What you call “parrot[ing] partisan points” I call taking a stand for freedom and against authoritarianism. Palin represents the latter, mostly because she’s an empty shell that her neocon handlers can fill with bad ideas, much like Bush was.

    Clark,

    My politics are hard to label. They are something of a mix of paleoconservativism and paleolibertarianism, but I’m less socially conservative than many in those movements, aligned more with the writers in reason magazine. I don’t want to use the government to control behaviors that I don’t like because I don’t want others to do the same to me.

    For example, I find it ironic that Latter-day Saints are trying to use federal and state legislation to ban gay marriage, when others used federal legislation to ban polygamous marriage. For me it comes down to allowing people to live according to the dictates of their consciences, as long as their actions don’t directly harm me.

  30. DavidH –

    I think that’s fair. I have yet to find a candidate that has all the same political positions. You mention abortion. Yes, I don’t agree with Obama on that issue. But, it seems to me that abortion law will not change much, regardless of who get elected (perhaps a little around the margins). So that issue is not one I care about too much in picking a candidate.

    Both candidates have taken more or less the same positions on same sex marriage and the use of torture, so those issues are also non-starters.

    I don’t really have any one single issue that will determine it for me.

    Clark –

    Could you list three reasons you are going to vote for Obama? I would appreciate it if they didn’t include reasons to vote against McCain. What are the three things about Obama or his positions that helped you make your choice? (I’m more interested in voting for someone rather than voting against them).

  31. Ivan, a lot of the reasons I’m holding my nose and voting Obama are because I find McCain worse. But here’s the positives.

    1. Obama is educated, thoughtful and meditative and doesn’t go off gut instincts but investigates his decisions. I disagree with a lot of his positions but I think having someone less hasty is important.

    2. I think it’s important for the black community to feel they have a voice in America. I think this will make them feel included and that they have a voice. Further I think it’ll let them realize that it isn’t all about single individuals and may lead to more diversity in the community. (i.e. the “if Obama didn’t fix this maybe we need to think differently”) An Obama win may do more to ease the stranglehold on the African American community by Democrats than any outreach by Republicans. (Further I think for any community to be dominated by a party is always a bad idea – for instance I worry about the domination of the Republican party in Utah)

    3. I think the only way for Democrats to take a more active role in the War on Terror, on Iraq, and so forth is to suddenly have responsibility. I knew two years ago that Pelosi and Reid could still abrogate their duty by blaming Bush. When Obama is in charge it’ll fundamentally mean Democrats have to be involved. While some Republicans will do what Democrats have largely been doing the past six years and merely be partisan obstructionists I have more faith in them to aid the War on Terror with a Democratic President than the reverse.

    4. Despite his many goals that are expensive I have far, far more faith in Obama to balance the budget than any Republican running for office. I think he is more fiscally conservative than most Republicans (sadly). I think you can look to the Clinton presidency for evidence of that.

    5. I think the Republicans are still dominated by special interests who want incomplete regulation. That is they want special fiats for themselves without responsibility. While Democrats under Reid and Pelosi have shown they immediately let the pork fly and K-street rule as well, I think that right now they are better to limit special interest groups. That’ll be a short time phenomena. (Probably only 2 years) But I think that in 2 years my next point will hold.

    6. I think the Republicans need new vigor and leadership. The only way to do that is hurt them bad. It’s always a toss up between reform of your party and the damage you fear the other party will do. But the completely underwhelming number of candidates this year who were inspiring shows where the party is. I strongly feel that an Obama Presidency will lead the Republicans to see where their values really are. New leadership will arise that focuses in on that. An figure to define oneself against will do more for the Republican party than anything else. I’m willing to sacrifice 2 or even 4 years of Democratic domination rather than have the lackluster Republican party of the past 12 years.

    7. I worry about science support and science spending. The Republican party is in the hands of Evangelicals who frankly are pretty suspicious of science. We need more spending on research and a government that looks at the science rather than what they want to be true. My choice here was difficult since a McCain win would help the Republican party here a lot since he’s one of the few very pro-science. However for the country’s sake I think Obama getting things back on track is important.

    8. I think Obama will promote diplomacy and rebuild the Department of State. I’m pretty distrustful of State but I think Bush has really hurt that area of government we need greatly.

    9. I think there will be a grace period for foreign relations under Obama that McCain won’t have. I think many overestimate this. In many ways Obama and McCain and even Bush are far more similar to each other than they are to the Europeans. And structural differences between countries lead to some conflict. But an Obama Presidency will allow a window of power that we need greatly.

    10. Change. A lot of problems are psychological. An Obama win will allow a sense of newness and change that I think will be immensely beneficial to the country and to the world. While McCain is a Maverick and in some ways also an element of change the psychology of a McCain win just isn’t the same as an Obama win.

    Hope that helps.

    Note none of the above excuses my many, many misgivings of Obama.

  32. Just to add since (1) seems like a vote against McCain. It’s really not. Those are huge positives for Obama as a person. In many ways I can respect someone who thoughtfully disagrees with me much more than someone who, for bad reasons, agrees with me. I honestly and sincerely think we need someone deliberative and thoughtful in office. Among the Republicans only Romney really had that quality (IMO).

  33. Boy am I glad that Clark lives in Utah. :)

    Ivan, I know Mike Parker pretty well and I can attest that he is definitely NOT a political liberal. You should see some of the threads on BCC where he is taking it to the liberals on economic issues. I love it. Mike is just a contrarian who is smarter than the average guy and likes to speak his mind. He and I will NEVER agree on foreign policy, where he is of the Taft (oops, Hitler and Tojo just took over Mexico and Canada, maybe it’s time to build a tank and an airplane) wing of the Republican party. I believe in peace through strength and let’s just say he doesn’t and leave it at that.

    Definitely NOT a liberal though.

  34. To so mindlessly repeat the inaccurate talking points of the left does not make you appear to be in any way accurate or free thinking. Next time, do a little research.

    I feel that way too often listening to people on both sides.

    BTW, where in Alaska are you from? Where in Texas are you now? I lived in Anchorage for four years, 1964 to 1968, went to Willow Crest Elementary and Romig Jr. High School.

    Live in Plano, Texas now, with a family that came down from Anchorage in my ward.

  35. I grew up in Homer, Alaska. Still return there for the summer. Spend Fall and Winter in Austin, TX trying to earn a PhD in Rhetoric.

    Also applying for jobs, as I should (knock on wood) be done with my dissertation in May.

  36. Clark: “We need more spending on research and a government that looks at the science rather than what they want to be true.”

    Amen!

    Science should never, NEVER dictate policy, but at the same time policy should never ignore science.

    It is interesting that a good amount of your argument for Obama is actually an argument for the Republican Party. Sort of a weird twist on the “My reasons for supporting Obama while not opposing McCain.”

  37. As someone who reads many blogs, but rarely makes a comment, I have to say that I found this thread very informative and helpful. While it hasn’t really changed my mind, I am not feeling as depressed about this election. Thank you.

  38. In response to Clark’s list:

    1. He may be educated, but I think the shockingly high number of relationships he has with bad people says something about his judgment. I don’t care how educated you are if you’re a horrible judge of character. Yes, he investigates his decisions, but he ends up deciding based on polling numbers- just like any other politician.

    2. So when Obama is elected, I’d better stop hearing about how Whitey is so racist. Think that will happen? No way. I read an extremely well researched article in NY Times Magazine that presented ample evidence that other than skin color, most African-Americans feel they have nothing in common with Obama.

    3. You may have kind of a point with that one. Kind of.

    4. Dem pres, Dem House, Dem Senate? Spending restraint? Are you crazy?

    5. The fact that influential members of both parties are in all kinds of pockets negates this point, IMO.

    6. This might be the only silver lining of an Obama presidency.

    7. I’m not up to speed on how much the respective administrations have spent on science. You must, or you would not have mentioned it. Is it really that large a difference?

    8. World leaders will walk all over Obama. World populations and leaders overwhelmingly favor him winning. Why do you think that is- because they have our best interest at heart? What if his fantasy-based utopian ideals, which will surely be the underlying theme of his diplomatic efforts, are not in America’s best interest?

    9. A small, small window. Before they start walking all over him and pretending all well with relations.

    10. This may be the weakest reason on the whole list. You admit that the “change” promised is psychological. So let’s vote for Obama so we can trick ourselves into believing a false premise.

  39. After the debate, I’m okay with Palin as a VP pick (Biden did well as well, but he’s clearly had a lot more practice and I never questioned him as a VP pick).

    Palin showed she can hold her own. Whether she would be a good choice to be a “heartbeat away” or not is another matter, and I’m not sold on that (Give her another few years as Governor and maybe then).

    However, after last night’s debate, I am now thoroughly sick of the words “Maverick” and “Change.”

  40. Ivan: It’s funny how politics can spoil words/phrases like that, even if you’re for the guy/gal. Maybe a new word is in order:

    “John McCain: the real chaverick.” (Although that leaves “mange” untaken….)

  41. Clark/Ivan, I’m in the Utah mountains near Fairview riding my horse around and helping round up some cows, so I only have access to the internet about 15 mins a day. I would like to answer Clark’s list of 10 reasons to vote for Obama and probably will in a different post next week when I’m back home. Meanwhile, I think Tossman makes some good points.

  42. Geoff, most of Tossman’s comments were agreeing with me. (1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10) He disagrees with the strength of some of the points but he seemed largely to agree. Even where he disagreed I think I could argue strong counter-arguments.

    But of course the point was to show positives about Obama. Even if you don’t like him you have to acknowledge he has strengths. The question of the cost/benefit analysis is a whole other issue and has a lot more to do with McCain’s negatives.

  43. Geoff –

    If you respond to Clark’s list, I would prefer it if, instead of refuting the list, providing your own list of reasons to vote for McCain. At this point, I’ve heard all the negative stuff about both candidates, and I’m more interested in reasons to vote for someone rather than vote against someone.

  44. Clark, I’m sorry you understood me to agree with you as much as you did. I must not have made my points well enough. You say you could argue strongly against my disagreements. Please do.

    Other than a presidential demeanor and the ability to read a teleprompter well, Obama has no strengths. None.

    Ivan, I think most of us here agree that this is a ‘lesser of two evils’ election, inherently based on who has fewer negatives. Thus, we’re not so focused on McCain’s positives as we are Obama’s negatives.

    Even so, I’ll humor you.

    1. McCain loves this country like I love this country, and he gave all but his life in defense of it.

    2. Thus, McCain is more likely than Obama to understand me, and to defend the values I hold dear.

    3. Three words: Supreme Court Justices.

    4. McCain may not understand the economy like, say, Mitt, but he seems to at least grasp conservative fiscality. Palin will have influence there, too.

    5. This is more of a gut thing and less an empirical one: I trust McCain more than Obama.

    These are just off the top of my head. If, Ivan, you are indeed still undecided on this, I’m not sure it’s worth anybody’s time trying to convince you.

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