Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jumping the Sinking GOP Ship

As the election nears, the intellectual base of the GOP is jumping ship while conservative newspapers continue to endorse Obama.

Conservatives columnists, government officials, and elected officials who have endorsed Obama include:

Colin Powell, Four-star Army general, was national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan; chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf war, when George H.W. Bush was president; and was President George W. Bush’s first secretary of State
I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities -- and you have to take that into account -- as well as his substance -- he has both style and substance. . . .He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.

Now that we have had a chance to watch [Palin] for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president . . . And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made
Christopher Buckley, Son of National Review founder William F. Buckley & former NR columnist - stating:
John McCain has changed. He said, famously, apropos the Republican debacle post-1994, “We came to Washington to change it, and Washington changed us.” This campaign has changed John McCain. It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget “by the end of my first term.” Who, really, believes that? Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis. His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking? . . .

As for Senator Obama: He has exhibited throughout a “first-class temperament,” pace Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s famous comment about FDR. As for his intellect, well, he’s a Harvard man, though that’s sure as heck no guarantee of anything, these days. Vietnam was brought to you by Harvard and (one or two) Yale men. As for our current adventure in Mesopotamia, consider this lustrous alumni roster. Bush 43: Yale. Rumsfeld: Princeton. Paul Bremer: Yale and Harvard. What do they all have in common? Andover! The best and the brightest. . . .

So, I wish him all the best. We are all in this together. Necessity is the mother of bipartisanship. And so, for the first time in my life, I’ll be pulling the Democratic lever in November. As the saying goes, God save the United States of America

Buckley, in another column further explained:

While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case. So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me. Thanks, anyway, for the memories, and here’s to happier days and with any luck, a bit less fresh hell.

Jeffrey Hart, National Review Senior Editor, former speechwriter for Nixon and Reagan, a founder of the Dartmouth Review

It turns out that these political parties are not always either liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican. The Democrat, under certain conditions, can be the conservative.

Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University

The conservative ascendancy that began with the election of Ronald Reagan has been largely an illusion. During the period since 1980, certain faux conservatives—especially those in the service of Big Business and Big Empire—have prospered. But conservatism as such has not....For conservatives to hope the election of yet another Republican will set things right is surely in vain. To believe that President John McCain will reduce the scope and intrusiveness of federal authority, cut the imperial presidency down to size, and put the government on a pay-as-you-go basis is to succumb to a great delusion. The Republican establishment may maintain the pretense of opposing Big Government, but pretense it is. . . .For conservatives, Obama represents a sliver of hope. McCain represents none at all. The choice turns out to be an easy one.

David Friedman, Economist and son of Milton and Rose Friedman

I hope Obama wins. President Bush has clearly been a disaster from the standpoint of libertarians and conservatives because he has presided over an astonishing rise in government spending.

Andrew Sullivan, Columnist for the Atlantic Monthly

Obama's legislative record, speeches, and the way he has run his campaign reveal, I think, a very even temperament, a very sound judgment, and an intelligent pragmatism. Prudence is a word that is not inappropriate to him.

Wick Alison, Former publisher of the National Review

[T]oday it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don’t work. The Bush tax cuts—a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war—led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his “conservative” credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.

Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world “safe for democracy.” It is John McCain who says America’s job is to “defeat evil,” a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.

This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.

Barack Obama is not my ideal candidate for president. (In fact, I made the maximum donation to John McCain during the primaries, when there was still hope he might come to his senses.) But I now see that Obama is almost the ideal candidate for this moment in American history. I disagree with him on many issues. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. Nobody can read Obama’s books (which, it is worth noting, he wrote himself) or listen to him speak without realizing that this is a thoughtful, pragmatic, and prudent man. It gives me comfort just to think that after eight years of George W. Bush we will have a president who has actually read the Federalist Papers.

Jim Leach, Former Congressman from Iowa

For me, the national interest comes before party concerns, particularly internationally. We do need a new direction in American policy, and Obama has a sense of that.

Lincoln Chafee, Former United States Senator from Rhode Island

As I look at the candidates in order who to vote for, certainly my kind of conservatism was reflected with Senator Obama, and those points are that we're fiscally conservative, we care about revenues matching expenditures, we also care about the environment, I think it's a traditional conservative value to care about clean air and clean water.

Richard Riordan, Former Mayor of Los Angeles

I'm still a Republican, but I still will always vote for the person who I think will do the best job.

Lowell Weicker, Former Governor and Senator from Connecticut

At issue is not the partisan politics of two parties, rather the image we have of ourselves as Americans. Senator Obama brings wisdom, kindness, and common sense to what is both his and our quest for a better America.

Jim Whitaker, Fairbanks, Alaska Mayor

If we are as a nation concerned with energy, then our consideration should be a national energy policy that is not predicated on crude oil 50 years into the future. We need to get to it, and I think Barack Obama is very clear in that regard.

Linwood Holton, Former Governor of Virginia

Obama has a brain, and he isn't afraid to use it.

Douglas Kmiec, Head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Reagan & Bush 41

I was first attracted to government by Ronald Reagan, who lives in our national memory as a great leader and an inspiring communicator. Senator Obama has these gifts as well, but of course, more rhetorical flourish without substance would be worth little. Is there more to Senator Obama? I believe there is

Jackson M. Andrews, Republican Counsel to the U.S. Senate

Barack Obama is a thoughtful visionary leader who as President will end the decline of American law, liberty, and fiscal responsibility that are the hallmarks of the extremist policies of the current Administration, now adopted by John McCain.

Susan Eisenhower, Granddaughter of President Eisenhower & President of the Eisenhower Group

Given Obama's support among young people, I believe that he will be most invested in defending the interests of these rising generations and, therefore, the long-term interests of this nation as a whole.

Francis Fukuyama, Advisor to President Reagan

...Obama probably has the greatest promise of delivering a different kind of politics.

Rita Hauser, Former White House intelligence advisor under George W. Bush

McCain will continue the wrong-headed foreign policy decisions of Bush, while Obama will take us in a new direction.

Larry Hunter, Former President Reagan Policy Advisor

I suspect Obama is more free-market friendly than he lets on. He taught at the University of Chicago, a hotbed of right-of-center thought. His economic advisers, notably Austan Goolsbee, recognize that ordinary citizens stand to gain more from open markets than from government meddling.

Bill Ruckelshaus, served in the Nixon and Reagan administrations

I'm not against McCain, I'm for Obama.

Lilibet Hagel, Wife of Republican Senator Chuck Hagel

This election is not about fighting phantom issues churned out by a top-notch slander machine. Most important, it is not about distracting the public-- you and me-- with whatever slurs someone thinks will stick.

Conservative newspapers/ newspaper that endorse Bush in 2004 that now endorse Obama include:

Chicago Tribune, Obama is the first democrat the paper has endorsed ever (over 161 years)

It is, though, hard to figure John McCain these days. He argued that President Bush's tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, but he now supports them. He promises a balanced budget by the end of his first term, but his tax cut plan would add an estimated $4.2 trillion in debt over 10 years. He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.

McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.

We do, though, think Obama would govern as much more of a pragmatic centrist than many people expect. We know first-hand that Obama seeks out and listens carefully and respectfully to people who disagree with him. He builds consensus. He was most effective in the Illinois legislature when he worked with Republicans on welfare, ethics and criminal justice reform. He worked to expand the number of charter schools in Illinois--not popular with some Democratic constituencies. He took up ethics reform in the U.S. Senate--not popular with Washington politicians.

His economic policy team is peppered with advisers who support free trade. He has been called a "University of Chicago Democrat"--a reference to the famed free-market Chicago school of economics, which puts faith in markets. Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S. He has risen with his honor, grace and civility intact. He has the intelligence to understand the grave economic and national security risks that face us, to listen to good advice and make careful decisions.

When Obama said at the 2004 Democratic Convention that we weren't a nation of red states and blue states, he spoke of union the way Abraham Lincoln did.

The Salt Lake Tribune -

Then, out of nowhere, and without proper vetting, the impetuous McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. She quickly proved grievously underequipped to step into the presidency should McCain, at 72 and with a history of health problems, die in office. More than any single factor, McCain's bad judgment in choosing the inarticulate, insular and ethically challenged Palin disqualifies him for the presidency.

Still, we have compelling reasons for endorsing Obama on his merits alone. Under the most intense scrutiny and attacks from both parties, Obama has shown the temperament, judgment, intellect and political acumen that are essential in a president that would lead the United States out of the crises created by President Bush, a complicit Congress and our own apathy.

Kansas City Star

But the six issues highlighted below illustrate why we believe Sen. Barack Obama is the right person to lead the country forward. He is a man of strength, empathy, energy and intelligence…The world is watching and hoping Americans will choose a president who will reach out to allies. Obama will restore America’s reputation as a land of civil liberties, educational opportunities and good faith. Obama’s ascendancy is a tribute both to him and to the ideal that the United States is a land of opportunity for all. His achievements are the result of hard work and merit. His election as America’s first biracial president would be a milestone in the nation’s long journey toward racial equality. The Obama-Biden ticket offers the best hope of recovering from today’s economic difficulties, reclaiming leadership in the world and moving forward to a more promising future.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Leading the country in such a time will require someone of intellect, creativity, honesty and passion for those traits that have made America great. That person is U.S. Sen. Barack Obama . Those are new approaches, crafted by a new generation of leaders drawn to Obama by the chance to write their own chapter in the American story. Their time has come. His time has come. Obama is a leader of rare potential, and that’s precisely what the job of our 44th president demands.

Seattle Times

Obama should be the next president of the United States because he is the most qualified change agent. Obama is a little young, but also brilliant. If he sometimes seems brainy and professorial, that's OK. We need the leader of the free world to think things through, carefully. We have seen the sorry results of shooting from the hip. . . . American optimism has been wracked by President George Bush and a previous Republican Congress. If you want change, you do not keep what is essentially the same team in power. You try something different. You vote for the stronger matchup, Obama and Sen. Joseph Biden, a smart and steady hand on foreign policy and other matters.

Chicago Sun-Times

Our endorsement for President of the United States goes to Sen. Barack Obama, Chicago's adopted son. He has the unique background, superior intellect, professional accomplishments and first-rate temperament to lead our nation in difficult times.

The Denver Post, backed Bust in 2004 and is owned by Republican-leaning William Dean Singleton

[Obama is]better equipped to lead America back to a prosperous future. . . .In unsteady times, it may seem obvious to gravitate toward the veteran politician, but in this campaign, it's been the newcomer who has had the steady hand

While this list is extensive, it is not exhaustive. Other conservatives and former Bust endorsing papers have also endorsed Obama and/or expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the state of the Republican Party and McCain/Palin ticket (See Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker's comments). While I do not see Obama as the ideal candidate, he is the best available choice.


Anonymous said...

I'm confused do you guys really plan on voting for Obama?

Chris and Mari Spiker said...

What is confusing? I think I made it pretty clear that I support Obama. If you can articulate a good reason not to feel free to do so. As for Mari, I am not sure who she supports.

Spiker said...

Either way it goes I see lot's of funny Saturday Night Live skits in the future! I still think you should start a political blog! ~ Linda

Chris and Mari Spiker said...

I am voting for myself. I have several quotes of people who support me:
"An inspiration! A country led by Mari is blessed beyond measure"
-Steven Colbert
"In these dark times, Mari Spiker is the bright light we all have been waiting for"
-Christopher Spiker esquire-to-be
"Wicked Awesome!"
The list goes on, but I don't think its necessary..however, feel free to google me. This message has been approved by me, Mari Spiker.

The Risdons said...

Do you know Obama is ok with killing babies? I'm not a hug McCain fan but that alone makes my decision. And of course the media supports Obama...they always lean liberal. You've been brainwashed in law school:-)

the organic kitchen said...

Hey Karlie I am not in law school and I am totally riding the fence on this one. While I love Palin's personality and charm she is as fit to be the President as I am, and old John could kick the bucket anytime...And BTW even Mitt surrorted Roe Vs wade...Linda

the organic kitchen said...

Mari I endorse goes " Mari Spiker has the charm and 'hotness' of Sarah Palin with the wisdom and good sense of a much older person like,... um John Mayer, and although she can't play the guitar she would always be wearing cute headbands at press conferences! Vote Mari Spiker for President!" Linda Spiker~ The Organic Kitchen

Chris and Mari Spiker said...

Ah, the abortion issue. The extreme elements in both parties have truly done us a dis-service by mis-characterizing the issue as pro-life v. pro-choice. Most pro-life politicians pay but lip-service to the pro-life cause--they do nothing reduce the number of abortions each year. In fact, most of the rhetoric surround the issue essentially comes down to "overrule Roe v. Wade".

Let us imagine that McCain wins this election. During his administration, 2 of the liberal justices either die or retire. Thus, he can select 2 new, conservative justices, making a very conservative Court. What is the likely result? Probably nothing. It is extremely unlikely that even a conservative court would overrule Roe v. Wade.

But what if the Court did overrule Roe v. Wade? Even in the unlikely event that the Supreme Court overrules the long standing precedent--not going to happen-- what would be the result? Well, abortion would no longer be constitutionally protected at the Federal level. BUT LOSING FEDERAL PROTECTION WILL NOT MAKE ABORTION ILLEGAL! The states will then decide the issue; the vast majority would still protect a woman's right to abortion as they did before Roe v. Wade.

But let's assume that no state protects abortions. It is now illegal to abort a fetus in all 50 states. What is the result? We simply push abortion to the black market. A recent World Health Organization found laws prohibiting abortion do not reduce abortions. Countries with laws legalizing abortion have the same abortion rates as those countries where abortion is illegal. But illegalizing abortion does increase mother mortality, as they will procure unsafe abortions in the black market.

So if making abortion illegal does not reduce abortion rates, what does? It turns out, sex education and availability of contraceptives actually reduce abortion rates. The WHO found "The wealth of information that comes out of the study provides some striking lessons, the researchers said. In Uganda, where abortion is illegal and sex education programs focus only on abstinence, the estimated abortion rate was 54 per 1,000 women in 2003, more than twice the rate in the United States, 21 per 1,000 in that year. The lowest rate, 12 per 1,000, was in Western Europe, with legal abortion and widely available contraception."

So if you are serious about reducing abortions, you cannot cling to ideas of abstinence only education and illegalizing abortion. Instead, you seek to prevent pregnancies through sex ed and availability of contraceptives.

What do the Candidates support?

McCain "believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned." McCain's position will not reduce abortion in America.

Obama: Does not support overturning Roe v. Wade. But he does support policies which will reduce the number of abortions each year. "Barack Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods."

So you can choose - the candidate who gives lip service to the pro-life position--or you can choose the candidate that will actually take steps to reduce the abortion rate. The real question is whether one chooses to be an ideologue or to seek a pragmatic solution. I choose the pragmatic solution.

Chris and Mari Spiker said...


Spiker said...

Well said son! Obviously none of us agree with abortion, it is ugly and horrible and just the word makes me cringe. having had 6 beautiful babies it is an emotional issue for me as a moral one. But the Roe v wade decision will never be overturned. that horse is out of the barn, that bell can not be unrung and to base who you vote on by that alone leaves very few people to vote for.By the way, people are probably going to stop leaving comments on your blog...~ mom

lauren said...

I won't stop commenting! I love it! AND I agree... VOTE FOR MARI! CHris you should start a political blog! Listen to your mother already!

the organic kitchen said...

Thanks for the support lauren!~ Linda

Chris and Mari Spiker said...

If people stop commenting that is just lame- Chris is allowed to express his opinion & people are allowed to disagree...its silly if they dont comment simply because they disagree with what he says..REALLY!? Plus, he doesn't get offended if someone disagrees so why should they? Lets hope you aren't right Linda ~oh ya, and VOTE FOR MARI!

Rachel said...

Just out of curiosity, where do you stand on Prop 8?

Chris and Mari Spiker said...

Yes on Prop 8. Walked last week. Will be walking again this week.

Rachel said...

Good to hear... makes me happy!

grandmoffspiker said...

your post is too long... RJ

Cardon & Whitney said...

Hey Chris, I came across your blog and am glad you have the political discussion going!

What I don't understand about these conservatives endorsing Obama is their reasoning. They mostly say "The conservatives during the past eight years were not conservative, so i'm going to vote for the other party, who is not conservative."

Most of them do not base their decision to vote for Obama on his policy positions or on any substantive aspect of what he will do as president, but because he is a "transcendental" figure who "inspires."

Those are fine reasons to vote for Obama, it's just surprising that the conservative organizations who support him do so for reasons unrelated to whether or not he supports their ideology.

McCain/ Palin is a disastrous ticket no doubt. McCain shouldn't have gotten the nomination, and Palin is a joke, period. This election has me having to choose the lesser of two evils and I am tired of the endless pandering of both sides.

I would like to hear from Chris his affirmative reasons for voting for Obama, if he has a minute to respond.

First, are you generally more liberal and would have supported the dem ticket regardless of Obama, or are you, like the people cited in your blog, generally conservative and voting for Obama based on the current situation?

Are you voting for Obama b/c of any specific policies, or is it more based on his personality traits like his leadership and inspirational qualities?

I consider myself a moderate and am having a hard time with both parties this election. Good think CA is in the bag for Obama.

Chris and Mari Spiker said...

Hey Cardon. Good to hear from you. I hope you and Whitney are well.

Regarding my political ideology: On social issues I am generally libertarian. On other issues, my opinion ranges from slightly left of center to moderate.

I am supporting Obama for both what Obama promises and for what McCain lacks. I find many of Obama's policies favorable, especially in comparison to McCain's proposed policies.

1. Tax Policy - I favor Obama's tax plan

Economists agree that supply-side economics is a myth. The idea, popularized by Reagan, and implemented by the Bush’s, essentially theorizes that lower tax rates will lead to great tax revenues through increased business investment. Unfortunately, empirical evidence proves the opposite. A number of studies have found that for every dollar in revenue we lose through tax cuts, we gain only about 10 cents through increased business. Thus, for every dollar of tax cuts, government revenues decline by about 90 cents.

We are already facing massive annual deficits, and are drowning in national debt. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have vastly increased our deficits. Bush spent trillions on these wars, and did not ask American’s to help pay for the war through increased taxation (like our leaders did in WWII). Instead, he cut taxes (mostly for the highest income earners) and we borrowed the difference. Then we are hit with a credit crisis. So what do we do? We inject trillions of dollars into the economy in an attempt to stabilize the financial markets. Again, we do not raise taxes. Instead we borrow, and exacerbate our deficit.

In the near future we are going to be faced with ballooning deficits because of social entitlements (Medicaid and Medicare, social security). The costs of these programs will dwarf the costs of the wars and the financial crisis. Even with increased taxes, we will probably have to cut benefits.

Obama will allow the ill-conceived Bush tax cuts to expire. He will return tax rates to near the levels they were under the Clinton administration. This means increasing the the top tax bracket from 35% to 39%. He will also increase capital gains from 15% to 20%. These are not huge increases. Obama will also lower taxes for 2/3's of America, and provide much needed tax credits to the poorest Americans

McCain, though he criticized the Bush tax cuts as irresponsible, now proposes extending and increasing those tax cuts.

The magazine the Economist recently reported that Obama's tax increases are unlikely to substantially distort behavior, stating:

"There is no evidence that Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax increases stopped the wealthy from working harder. Mr Bush’s own Treasury estimated that all his tax cuts would boost GDP a tiny 0.7% after many years, and then only if they were paid for by spending cuts, which they weren’t.
Moreover, the beneficial impacts of McCain’s tax cuts on investment could be entirely canceled out by the borrowing that would be needed to finance a bigger deficit. The Tax Policy Centre estimates that his tax plans would boost the national debt by $758 billion by 2018, assuming that Mr Bush’s tax cuts remain in place and the Alternative Minimum Tax, a parallel tax system aimed at the wealthy, doesn’t ensnare a growing share of the middle class. Such borrowing pushes up interest rates and thereby crowds out more productive private investment.

Mr McCain has promised to balance the budget in his first term (ie, by 2013)but offers no credible way of doing this, especially since the deficit is already projected to top $400 billion, or about 3% of GDP, next year. Mr Obama’s tax plans, relative to the same projections, would reduce the debt by $748 billion."

It is irresponsible to continue to cut taxes. At least Obama is honest enough to tell us he is going to tax us to help pay for the increased spending.

2. The Economy - I favor Obama

This is related, but it warrants some explanation. Obama has gathered some of the worlds greatest economic minds to be his economic advisors. The man taught at Chicago, where free-market principles and modern economics was born. This is the school that recently named a building after Milton Freidman. While Obama has used some protectionist rhetoric on the campaign trail, I believe he will be the better choice for the economy. Obama has respect for free market principles, but understands that free markets do fail, and will support regulation where needed.

McCain himself admits that he does not understand economics (“I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.”). His response to the economic crisis would have been comical if not so disturbing. First he called off his campaign to deal with the crisis. He then went to Washington, where he accomplished nothing (though he hurt negotiations that were underway), only to then re-start the campaign before the congress had reached any agreement. Now he is calling for the government to buy back bad mortgages at face value! Why should taxpayers pay for these people to retain houses they never could afford?

3. Abortion - I support Obama's position - see my discussion above

4. Energy Independence - Here too I support Obama

Most people now realize that our addiction to oil is a bad thing. Obama’s policy will “Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.” Basically, in my opinion, if we are to become energy independent, we must seek alternative energy sources. Obama pledges to do just that.

McCain on the other hand adopted the position of “Drill, baby, drill!” He hopes to alleviate our addiction to oil by increased domestic drilling. In short, he hopes to ditch oil by drilling for more oil. “According to the US Energy Information Administration, oil production from drilling offshore in the outer continental shelf wouldn’t begin until around the year 2017. Once begun, it wouldn’t reach peak production until about 2030 when it would produce only 200,000 barrels of oil per day. This would supply a meager 1.2% of total US annual oil consumption (just 0.6% of total US energy consumption). And, the offshore oil would be sold back to the US at the international rate, which today is $106 a barrel. So, the oil produced by offshore drilling would not only be a “drop in the bucket”, it would be expensive, which translates to ‘no relief at the pump.’”

5. VP choice – Biden is clearly better than the idiot hockey mom Palin. Any explanation needed?

6. Foreign Policy - Obama

Here, some may disagree, but I view Obama as stronger on foreign policy than McCain. Obama was one of the few American’s who opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. Iraq has distracted us from Afghanistan, and set the stage for a defiant and soon to be nuclear Iran and resurgent Russia. Obama will get us out of Iraq and focused back on finishing the job in Afghanistan.

Obama supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.

Moreover, Obama and Biden are willing to meet with the leaders of all nations, friend and foe. They will do the careful preparation necessary, but will signal that America is ready to come to the table, and that he is willing to lead. And if America is willing to come to the table, the world will be more willing to rally behind American leadership to deal with challenges like terrorism, and Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs.

McCain on the other hand will continue the arrogant militaristic foreign policy that has alienated most of our allies. The International Herald Tribune reported: “McCain's most extensive foreign policy outline since he won his party's nomination in March would, if carried out, antagonize China, worsen already strained relations with a resurgent (and nuclear-armed) Russia, undermine the United Nations and set the United States against the majority of countries not fully under democratic rule - and that includes a good number of its allies. ‘We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact - a League of Democracies - that can harness the vast influence of the more than 100 democratic nations around the world,’ McCain said. Foreign Policy Magazine, an independent publication, described such a league as one of his 10 worst ideas.” Lastly, McCain cannot be counted on to engage in meaningful diplomacy; he famously refused to meet with President Zapatero of Spain. If McCain cannot even declare he is willing to meet with an ally, can we expect him to meet with an enemy?

6. There are other policy issues where I favor Obama’s position to McCain’s, chief among them Health Care, education, and poverty reduction. But this post is already too long for anybody to actually read.

Mark and/or Lisa said...

Wow Chris. I'm impressed. You're obviously very informed. While I'm probably not quite as pro-Obama as you are, I've had to stick up for him a few times when talking with people who see him as the worst possible thing that could happen to America.

I also love how your mom is ever the referee/peacemaker.

Chris and Mari Spiker said...

hahah. Mark I love you! When are we all gonna hang out anyway?

Cardon & Whitney said...

Hey Chris thanks for the response. Keep up the politics on your blog if you can, I think any political post I would put on mine would get vetoed!

Spiker said...

Thanks for the props mark! I am the cheerleader mom! I have a smart, well informed son and am very proud... but I do, on ocasion need to remind him to be gentle!