No Reason For Conservatives To Jump Ship
By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
Contrarian that I am, I'm voting for John McCain. I'm not talking about bucking the polls or the media consensus that it's over before it's over. I'm talking about bucking the rush of wet-fingered conservatives leaping to Barack Obama before they're left out in the cold without a single state dinner for the next four years. I stand athwart the rush of conservative ship-jumpers of every stripe - neo (Ken Adelman), moderate (Colin Powell), genetic/ironic (Christopher Buckley) and socialist/atheist (Christopher Hitchens) - yelling "Stop!" I shall have no part of this motley crew. I will go down with the McCain ship. I'd rather lose an election than lose my bearings.
First, I'll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory. The "erratic" temperament issue, for example. As if McCain's risky and unsuccessful but in no way irrational attempt to tactically maneuver his way through the economic tsunami that came crashing down a month ago renders unfit for office a man who demonstrated the most admirable equanimity and courage in the face of unimaginable pressures as a prisoner of war, and who later steadily navigated innumerable challenges and setbacks, not the least of which was the collapse of his campaign just a year ago. McCain the "erratic" is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.
Nor will I countenance the "dirty campaign" pretense. The double standard here is stunning. Obama ran a scurrilous Spanish-language ad falsely associating McCain with anti-Hispanic slurs. Another ad falsely claimed McCain supports "cutting Social Security benefits in half." And for months Democrats insisted that McCain sought 100 years of war in Iraq.
McCain's critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What's astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers.
Moreover, the most remarkable of all tactical choices of this election season is the attack that never was. Out of extreme (and unnecessary) conscientiousness, McCain refused to raise the legitimate issue of Obama's most egregious association - with the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Dirty campaigning, indeed.
The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.
Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the last year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?
Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory? There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis - indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?
And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he's been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success. The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor.
Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.
IBD/TIPP Tracking Poll: McCain close: "McCain has cut into Obama's lead for a second day and is now just 1.1 points behind. The spread was 3.7 Wednesday and 6.0 Tuesday. The Republican is making headway with middle- and working- class voters, and has surged 10 points in two days among those earning between $30,000 and $75,000. He has also gone from an 11-point de?cit to a 9-point lead among Catholics. An analysis of Final Certified Results for the 2004 election showed IBD's polling partner, TIPP, was the most accurate pollster of the campaign season."
AP presidential poll: All even in the homestretch: "The presidential race tightened after the final debate, with John McCain gaining among whites and people earning less than $50,000, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that shows McCain and Barack Obama essentially running even among likely voters in the election homestretch. The poll, which found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race narrowed after the third debate as GOP-leaning voters drifted home to their party and McCain's "Joe the plumber" analogy struck a chord.
Leftist hate again: "The home of a Central Florida Republican headquarters manager was shot up and damaged over his support of Sen. John McCain, the man told police. The Republican manager said he is convinced he was targeted because of new McCain signs he added around his home. "All I can tell you is this, I have a very good relationship with my neighbors," Coverely said. "I mow my lawn. The only thing that has changed is I have two McCain signs in my front yard."
In Obamaland: Black Chicago: "Dozens of mailboxes remain empty after the post office suspends service in one south suburban neighborhood. Some people get angry when their mail is late. But in Harvey, people have been waiting for days and days. They're not getting any mail at all. CBS 2's Dana Kozlov reports that one mail carrier in Harvey feels threatened. The U.S. Post Office seems to think that this is one of the most dangerous blocks in the country. People who live on it say they haven't gotten any mail delivered to their homes in almost two weeks. Venus Jones is one of them. "Between robberies and shootings and delayed police response, several things going on, that would make it unsafe," said Harvey resident Venus Jones. One of those shootings on the morning of October 10th reportedly happened yards away from the mail carrier. That's when the mail stopped on Marshfield between 151st and 152nd streets, but the post office didn't tell anyone. "Some of the people didn't even know that it was being held at the post office," Jones said. Now Jones, who says her own home has been broken into three times in 30 days is talking to her neighbors about the mail problem and what should happen next."
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH (2), TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)