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Check out my previous blog and the comments. If you use the ranking feature you can see the top several arguments for voting for McCain versus Obama. I found it fascinating to see which arguments were most persuasive to the extra-smart readers of this blog.

Personally, I think neither McCain nor Obama meet the minimum requirements to be president. I think we're hosed either way. But I am inspired by your arguments to come up with my own best case for each candidate. First, McCain:


Argument for McCain


You've heard the saying, "Only Nixon could go to China." If not, here is some background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_in_China_(phrase)

Likewise, only McCain, the ultra-hawk, can make peace with Iran or North Korea or Cuba. No one could accuse him of being soft. If a hawk like McCain decides to make peace, it must be because peace is clearly the best option.

Likewise, only McCain could draw down troops in Iraq without it appearing to be a defeat. All he'd have to say is, "We'll be back tomorrow if needed," and it would seem credible. That promise wouldn't be credible coming from Obama. And the threat of return is the only thing that would make a withdrawal work.

McCain went hard to the right to get the nomination. And he appears to have been inconsistent on some issues just to get elected. That proves he is a practical guy who knows how to get the job done. Once elected, he could be expected to drift back to the middle, where things can be accomplished in this country. Even if you like more of Obama's plans compared to McCain's, only McCain could get the support from congress to get anything done. Obama will be stonewalled, especially when he tries to pay for his plans by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy. Even if you like that idea, it can't happen in this country because corporations and the wealthy control congress.

If you like any two ideas from McCain, and you like ten ideas from Obama, you're still better off voting for McCain because his two ideas can happen. Obama's ideas are too left to get the support needed.


Argument for Obama

McCain is simply too old to be trusted with his finger on the nuclear button. While it is entirely possible that one particular 70+ guy could defy the rules of aging and remain sharp, it is a fool's bet for voters when so much is on the line. He's clearly sharp enough today, but at that age, the drop will come quickly.

McCain supported the gas holiday over the objections of every economist. That proves he's either dishonest or willing to ignore experts, even when all of them are on the same side. Either explanation disqualifies McCain for the job of president.

Presidents don't have much impact on the economy. And as different as Obama and McCain seem on Iraq and Iran, they would end up in the same place: stuck in Iraq and talking tough with Iran but doing nothing. So you can discount the economy and foreign affairs in your voting calculation. Presidents make their biggest impact on how we feel. That was Reagan's gift and Kennedy's too. Obama makes people feel inspired and hopeful, and those things have a huge impact on the economy and even education. The very existence of an African-American president would change who we are as a country in a way that everyone agrees is positive.

If you agree that presidents have little power over economics, and both candidates will end up on the same place with international affairs, you have to decide between the inspiration of Obama and the senility of McCain. Those are the two most predictable elements.

And if you happen to be a social lefty, you need Obama to nominate the next few Supreme Court justices.


Summary

I reiterate that I don't think either man meets the minimum qualification I would like in a president. I just like the challenge of coming up with good arguments. How'd I do?

 
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Jun 9, 2008
Amazingly enough, I agree with your conclusion - neither of them is going to make a very good president. I do not intend to vote for either of them.

However, your 'arguments' are pretty weak, once again showing what a good thing it is that you don't vote. Not that that matters in this election, and maybe never again.

Your arguments for Obama seem to boil down to a single argument against McCain; to wit: McCain will definitely become senile over the next four years, so Obama is the best choice because he definitely won't. That's not a very good argument, for two reasons: first, it relies on your ability to predict the future state of both Obama's and McCain's mental facilities. Second, it's strictly based on the emotion of fear, rather than the reason of intellect.

You could make the case that Obama isn't all there, too, or is too ignorant to be president (the "all 57 states" comment being one of the most telling examples). You say that McCain has "drifted hard right" to get the Republican nomination. Hardly. He refuses to meet with Billy Graham, which every presidential candidate, Democrat and Republican, has done in the past, thereby snubbing the so-called "religious right." He supports the cap and trade agreement, which would have the effect of gutting the US economy in the name of the religion of global warming; he is pretending to support sealing the borders, but everyone with an "R" after their name knows he's full of crap, and really supports open borders and free passage for illegal aliens.

Also, the thing that got McCain the nomination was Democrats who crossed party lines to vote for him in the early primaries, rather than any support from the rank-and-file Republican party members. That was coupled with the lack of any viable candidate - once George Allen got knocked out of the Senate because of "Macacagate" in Virginia, there was nowhere else to turn.

It's also unusual to have a presidential candidate who has not had executive (read, "gubernatorial") experience - but here we have two of them running. Being an executive is much different from being a member of Congress.

So what's going to happen in the election? It depends on what Hillary's women voters do. They feel that there was a battle between the black's Democratic victim minority candidate and the women's Democratic victim minority, and the Democratic party decided to choose the black over the woman. This, they think, resulted in Hillary being unfairly treated in the mainstream press, and ultimately led to her losing the nomination. They're pissed, and if that translates into them not turning out to vote for Obama, then McCain will win.

Glad to know that the corporations and the wealthy (read, "wealthy Republicans") control Congress. I guess that means that people like George Soros, trial lawyers and !$%*!$%* like the AFL-CIO don't have any clout. That's why we have a heavily Republican Congress, right, Scott? Because all those rich people and corporations push the Republicans into office, huh? And everyone nows rich people are all Republicans, huh? Wrong again. The uber-rich, those who have really big big bucks (in the billion-dollar range) are 60% Democrats.

Your are a smart guy, but politically, you couldn't debate your way out of a wet paper bag. Go to the web site of the two parties and see what the average contribution is to each. You'll find that the Republican's average is around $145. Do you know what the Democrat party's is? Neither do I - because they don't post it on their site, nor do they make that knowledge publicly known. If you want to see the party controlled by big money, then look to the "D."

You really shouldn't weigh in on things like this - it's an area where you have little knowledge and even less ability to present cogent ideas. The majority of the people who responded to you on this post are in the same boat, but unfortunately, unlike you, they vote. Even though they, like you, have little idea of the actual issues and have little depth of knowledge about the parties and the politicians. They just want to feel good and not have to worry, which is what the Democrats promise. They just don't tell you what the price is going to be, because that would make you feel bad, and we all know it's all about how we feel, right?
 
 
-6 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
Sorry, I can't support McBush act II, especially when the best you can say for him is that he will be better than Bush, saying that there's nowhere to go but up is damning with faint praise to the max.

One has to also consider that the chances are very good that you're not exactly voting for John McCain, but for the person that political considerations to kiss the ass of the right wing will push into place as the vice president to succeed him when McCain is blowing dust farts. Or dragging his limp right arm and leg around and drooling when he speaks from a stroke.

Obama is an unknown item, a wild card that I'm not liking all that much, but at least a step in the right direction. A weak choice "B", but with the (in theory, anyway) two party system jammed up our collective asses, he's all we have to work with.

http://boskolives.wordpress.com
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
I think you accurately summarized my biggest concern with Obama: "If you like any two ideas from McCain, and you like ten ideas from Obama, you're still better off voting for McCain because his two ideas can happen. Obama's ideas are too left to get the support needed."

Like the guy and his policies or not, they're all just ideas until you can get the rest of the folks on the Hill to pass them.
 
 
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
- Your arguments for McCain are convincing.
- Your arguments for Obama are not much, as everyone else's, the only thing to say is "inspiration".
- If people agree with your arguments, the obvious outcome of the election is McCain.

- A quote from Stephen Colbert : "McCain will have an easy ride to the white House, and it's not because he drives less than 35 !$%*! an hour...".
- People are afaid to talk about race. Would the 70% majority like to have a minority to represent them?
You said it's a positive thing. I don't agree.
- Many dems will vote cross the party line (they're moderate/center/not left) while all reps will make sure their policies are in place.


 
 
Jun 9, 2008
Personally I think focusing on "the issues" is wrong-headed. Leaving aside that you have no idea where a candidate stands on a particular issue (only know where they say they stand), the fact is, there is very little chance that you agree with a candidate on every issue. Which means, to choose based on their stances, you hae to choose one or two issues, i.e. become a single-button voter, or in technical jargon, an "idiot". And since they are just as likely lying about their stance, voting on it is even more idiotic.

Take, for example, gay marriage. All three (well, two now) candidates are officially opposed to it, though at least the Dems (not sure about McCain) support a "civil ceremony" alternative. I don't believe for a second that HRC is opposed to gay marriage. But she can't say that, because although being anti-gay-marriage isn't a hot-button for many people, being pro-gay-marriage is. That is, those who want gay marriage generally understand that a candidate can't come out and say that and so won't hold it against them (at least so far as casting their votes), but those who are opposed would never, ever vote for a candidate that came out for it.

So, issues aside, and hoping that you're not voting based on height and/or hair thickness, how do you decide? The only characteristic that matters to me is character. I don't have to agree with what the president thinks or does, so long as I believe that they believe they are doing the right thing. After all, I'm not perfect, and their opinions are just as good as mine -- probably better. And they have better information sources and advisors. Who am I to second-guess? So character it is.

This clearly leaves HRC completely out of the picture, and thank God for recent events in that vein. But between Obama and McCain, how to choose? McCain has his "maverick" history, i.e. he hasn't always done the "safe" or "expected" thing, which leads me to believe that he follows his principles perhaps slightly more often than most politicians. Obama's history has examples where he has done things that were clearly not in his self-interest but could be expected to spring from principles, so I think, history-wise, it's a tie.

The only recent example where we can compare both candidates' performance was the gas tax holiday. This is clearly one of the stupidest ideas in a while, but it was popular because, well, most people are stupid. Both McCain and Obama are obviously smart enough to understand what a dumb idea it was, but McCain supported it anyway, in a shameless act of pandering. Obama did not. Tie-breaker goes to Obama.

Hey, look at that, I've turned into a single-issue voter, too!
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
Hi Scott,

I don't see any TV spots coming from your arguments, unless this becomes a negative campaign. But you summed up people's comments fairly well. I guess this means that in spite of people saying they don't want negative ads, that is how most people are defining their support for either candidate.

Give the people what they want,
dsg
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
You left out the whole thing about whether or not the president must obey the rule of law, even in times of war.

This issue may not be quite as sexy as the gas-tax holiday, McCain's age, or Obama's charisma, but it's kind of important in terms protecting our freedoms against a power-hungry executive branch. Lots of people arguing against Obama talked about the perils of big government, but when it comes to the government actually wielding its self-appointed power to spy on its citizens, there's a pretty huge difference between the two candidates. Obama's against it, and McCain is not (though he used to be).
 
 
Jun 9, 2008
Hard to the right? Are you high? Visit *any* of the conservatives blogs and you'll find plenty of griping even from the center right, much less hard right. Take a look at his energy and immigration policies for starters.
 
 
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
Why don't you think Obama meets the minimum requirements?
 
 
Jun 9, 2008
Take another look at Obamas campaign. Hillary was crowned the winner before it even started. The only reason he won it is that he ran one of the smartest toughest campaigns in history. This may not be enough for you but it is impressive.
I'm sure someone that meets your criteria for president would do a better job, but many voters would see him/her as a smartypants jerk no one wants to have a beer with .
I
 
 
-10 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
I believe the winning ticket for the presidency is:

McCain / Clinton.

Why you ask? It solves the problem of having an old guy in office that could drop dead at any point and having a capable leader waiting in the wings. There is nothing that says you can't have a Rep and Dem running on the same ticket. Moreover it gives the Dem's a slam dunk at getting into the whitehouse. McCain has already said he probablly won't run for a second term, putting Clinton in stronger position to run again in 2012 and have actual whitehouse experience other than throwing tea parties. Not to mention having Clinton residing over the senate while being the VP.
 
 
Jun 9, 2008
You did as well as most of us did with what we had to work with which wasn't much. On the one hand, we have business to take care of that McCain is better suited to handle; and on the other, there's a chance to make and shape history with Obama who can hopefully get us some new Supreme Court Justices to safeguard our existing rights.

But a few big messes got made in the last 8 years and who I vote for (in any office) will be driven by who can best help clean them up. I hope that doesn't mean I have to pick the old white guy, but I will if I have to. At this point I'm still waiting for more insightful information from these two before I make up my mind. I know how to read a map if either one wants to show me theirs.
 
 
Jun 9, 2008
I have to say I agree with you 100%. Somehow we managed to get stuck with the least qualified canidates. On a side issue.....If Obama selects Hillary to be VP we'll have definative proof the guy doesn't have any brains. He'd have the shortest life expectancy of any president since William Henry Harrison.
 
 
Jun 9, 2008
"I reiterate that I don't think either man meets the minimum qualification I would like in a president."

o.k., PLEASE tell me you are NOT a Hillary kool-aid drinker - I don't remember anything you've said in the past that would make me think so but the above statement makes me nervous...

did she have applicable experience? sure, but given the unique/unprecedented nature of it I think she had the burden of proof to elaborate (WHICH policy decisions did she swing & HOW?) and not only failed to even make an attempt to do so but so grossly/arrogantly overplayed her hand it just boggles the mind (at least this undecided independant's one - leaning Obama FWIW). the best analogy I heard was Yoko Ono - did she influence John and by extension The Beatles? sure - could she have fronted them? um, I don't think the English language contains words emphatic enough to do that question justice...

hopefully I totally missed your point...
 
 
-10 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 9, 2008
I'm still sticking with that Ronald McDonald should run for President.
But then again, McCain is better. I mean he hasn't worn lipstick, like Ronald here. One reason that people won't vote for McCain is that he's old. It's like how kid's don't like their parents, people younger the McCain hate McCain because he's wiser. Then again, I'm younger than McCain. Maybe I think of him as a fun Dad, then.
 
 
Jun 9, 2008
I think if you could eliminate fame and prestige from the position, you'd have a much better crop of candidates. They still need power to get the job done though.

--KurtRoedeger
 
 
Jun 9, 2008
Pretty good. Although, I have to say, your argument for McCain seemed a little more convincing to me . . . maybe that's my own bias seeping in though.
 
 
 
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