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Objectivists for Obama?

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Given Barack Obama's well-known positions on politico-economic matters (higher taxes, nationalized/guaranteed healthcare, greater environmental regulation, expanded welfare state), and his propensity for blatant hypocrisy, I find it difficult to separate his from any other pragmatic (ie. creeping) socialist doctrine. And given his recent pronouncements on the role of religious groups in government, it seems the conclusions of the DIM hypothesis (as I understand it) are being turned on its head. I mean, how can intellectually honest Objectivists support this guy with a straight face?

Like the Christian leaders who supported the formation of the state of Israel, hoping it would speed the Armageddon/Rapture/Second Coming/End of Days (whatever), are Objectivists trying to "force" an "Atlas Shrugged" scenario? :)

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Who said anything about support? A vote for Obama may just as well be a vote against McCain.

Obama will replace super-liberal Justice Stevens with another super-liberal. No change.

McCain will replace super-liberal Justice Stevens with someone his base will approve - someone of the Scalia/Alito/Roberts/Thomas faction on abortion and the Establishment Clause. Goodbye abortion, goodbye separation of church and state (literally - state - Scalia and Thomas have both suggested disincorporating the establishment clause, thereby allowing the states to have official churches), goodbye secular laws.

A Republican nominated replacement for any of the 5 liberal judges (of whom Stevens is the oldest and expected to retire before he turns 90, which he will do during the next president's first term) would have long-reaching disastrous effects. I don't like the liberal judges, but they are at least pro-secularism.

~Q

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I mean, how can intellectually honest Objectivists support this guy with a straight face?

Playing factions against each other.

Obama is a far leftist, yes, that much is on his record. He'll surely try to brutally expand government power over the economy, starting perhaps with oil or healthcare. He'll raise taxes. He'll further the cause of multiculturalism. He'll try to do all that and worse.

When he does it's very likely the GOP will oppose him for two reasons 1) partisan grounds (which is a pretty bad reason, but you can count on it) and 2) some Republicans still favor smaller, limited government.

Partisan grounds, though, are the most important reason. The GOP would largely support a president McCain in almost everything for the same reason; as it supported Bush on his prescription drug governmental expansion. McCain is a big government conservative. he will expand the powers of government, too, but in a more modest fashion than Obama. But he'll do it nearly unopposed. democrats would press him for even more, if they press him for anything. So with Obama as president there is more oppposition in the right direction. it may even work.

That's domestically (BTW if you favor an immigration bill, electing Obama nearly insures nothing will be done about it).

As far as foreign policies go, Obama will likely not pull the troops from Iraq prematurely (certainly not at once), but he likely won't pressure Iran and other terrorist states. And there's little GOP opposition can do to change that. McCain probably would conduct a more agressive policy towards Islamism, but he will be fiercely opposed by the Democrats and the the far left.

Like the Christian leaders who supported the formation of the state of Israel, hoping it would speed the Armageddon/Rapture/Second Coming/End of Days (whatever), are Objectivists trying to "force" an "Atlas Shrugged" scenario? :)

I hope not. I see no hope of something like that doing any good even if it does happen. Reasons to be provided on request.

Regarding the Supreme Court, McCain would likely settle for an Anthony Kennedy type figure.

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When he does it's very likely the GOP will oppose him for two reasons 1) partisan grounds (which is a pretty bad reason, but you can count on it) and 2) some Republicans still favor smaller, limited government.

Partisan grounds, though, are the most important reason. The GOP would largely support a president McCain in almost everything for the same reason; as it supported Bush on his prescription drug governmental expansion. McCain is a big government conservative. he will expand the powers of government, too, but in a more modest fashion than Obama. But he'll do it nearly unopposed. democrats would press him for even more, if they press him for anything. So with Obama as president there is more oppposition in the right direction. it may even work.

Given that the Congress and Senate are already Democratic majorities, and that those majorities are predicted to strengthen, I am not sure that GOP backing will be that helpful. If anything, a divided government will allow little to be done, and that, generally, is the best scenario (IMHO).

I am loathe to give a Democratic Congress to Obama to do with as he sees fit. Given the charismatic aura (reminiscent of JFK) surrounding him, he will likely do a lot of damage. The kind of damage that builds institutional bureaucracies that are difficult (at best) to undo. :)

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I don't agree with the assessment that socialism is dead. Why do I constantly meet people who have no qualms about calling themselves socialists? Why do we need organizations like FIRM?

With Obama's promise to establish a cabinet committee to control churches (sure, he doesn't put it that way, but I predict this to be the end result), what about the religious left?

This post is not an endorsement of any particular voting strategy.

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Given that the Congress and Senate are already Democratic majorities, and that those majorities are predicted to strengthen, I am not sure that GOP backing will be that helpful.

There's ample precedent. Clinton came into office with a Democratic majority and got stopped his first two years by GOP threats of filibusters (notably Hillary-Care got kileld then). W. Bush kept a GOP majority after 2004 and couldn't even get federal judges confirmed.

If anything, a divided government will allow little to be done, and that, generally, is the best scenario (IMHO).

Oh, yes. If only it could be made permanent!

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If you are counting on he republican to restrain an Obama White House, you can forget it.

If Obama beats McCain and the democrats retain or increase their control over congress, there will be one word you will hear over and over again: mandate. Obama, it will be said, has a mandate for change. How will that manifest itself? Any way he and the dems want it to. Whatever Obama proposes, no matter how far out of the mainstream, will be portrayed as exactly the type of change he ran on and the American people voted for. Any republican opposition will be portrayed as obstructionism or outright defiance of the will of the American people. The left, of course, will not be afraid to play their racist trump card either. Just how much, it will be wondered, of the republican opposition to Obama is nothing more than a desire to see the first black president fail? Is their opposition is really philosophical, or is it just racial? Under that type of pressure, don't expect many republicans to pop their heads up.

In short, I suspect that in the first year or two of an Obama administration, whatever Obama wants, he will likely get.

Edited by fletch
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McCain is not a conservative and his base does not consist of conservatives.
This is true. Nevertheless, McCain seems to figure this is the one thing that he can throw to the conservatives. They don't like him on economics, nor on his campaign-finance ideas. However, they're smart enough to realize that if they sit out the election, Obama will seal in the current 5:4 balance on the SCOTUS. From their perspective, that's the "best" that an Obama victory will bring; at "worst" something could make a current GOP judge leave and the balance may actually switch back to the Democrats.

Guliani tried to play the same card, but was a bit wishy-washy when asked what he meant by judges that are constitutionalists. Mc Cain, has been saying that he does not want judges to be judged by ideology, but that he wants so-called strict interpretation. "...because I think strict interpretation of the Constitution is not an ideological position. I think strict interpretation of the Constitution is in keeping with the views of our founding fathers, ..." This is basically a way of saying that he will appoint judges in the mode of the recent GOP appointees (i.e., Scalia/Alito/Roberts/Thomas).

Ever the compromiser, there is a possibility that McCain backs down from this when he's confronted with objections from the Senate. I suppose it will finally depend on whether or not he thinks he will run for a second term.

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If you are counting on he republican to restrain an Obama White House, you can forget it.

If Obama beats McCain and the democrats retain or increase their control over congress, there will be one word you will hear over and over again: mandate. Obama, it will be said, has a mandate for change. How will that manifest itself? Any way he and the dems want it to. Whatever Obama proposes, no matter how far out of the mainstream, will be portrayed as exactly the type of change he ran on and the American people voted for. Any republican opposition will be portrayed as obstructionism or outright defiance of the will of the American people. The left, of course, will not be afraid to play their racist trump card either. Just how much, it will be wondered, of the republican opposition to Obama is nothing more than a desire to see the first black president fail? Is their opposition is really philosophical, or is it just racial? Under that type of pressure, don't expect many republicans to pop their heads up.

In short, I suspect that in the first year or two of an Obama administration, whatever Obama wants, he will likely get.

This is precisely the nightmare scenario I see as a probability. This will essentially transform "Objectivists for Obama" into " Objectivists for Socialism". Who'd'a thunk it?!? :thumbsup:

No, the way I see it, we should place our bets on a divided government over a rubber-stamp Democratic government. This isn't 1993-94. We can't count on the Democrats to put any kind of restraints on their "Rock Star" given the deep partisan divisions that have developed since the Great Republican Reformation.

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Who said anything about support? A vote for Obama may just as well be a vote against McCain.

Obama will replace super-liberal Justice Stevens with another super-liberal. No change.

McCain will replace super-liberal Justice Stevens with someone his base will approve - someone of the Scalia/Alito/Roberts/Thomas faction on abortion and the Establishment Clause. Goodbye abortion, goodbye separation of church and state (literally - state - Scalia and Thomas have both suggested disincorporating the establishment clause, thereby allowing the states to have official churches), goodbye secular laws.

A Republican nominated replacement for any of the 5 liberal judges (of whom Stevens is the oldest and expected to retire before he turns 90, which he will do during the next president's first term) would have long-reaching disastrous effects. I don't like the liberal judges, but they are at least pro-secularism.

~Q

I've never seen this. Could you direct me to a case, or something they said, that would indicate thsi?

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Obama is horrifyingly socialist on the surface. But he's moved vigorously away from that, and towards the center, in the past few weeks. Most important maybe, he's quite young, flexible, energetic, perceptive, clever, intelligent, and rational relative to McCain. He could easily be the more pro-freedom candidate!

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It's a possibility you can bet on. ;) I'd be less surprised to see Michael Moore do a fitness video than McCain appoint a conservative justice.

Unfortunately, McCain doesn't have to appoint a "conservative" justice to throw off the Establishment Clause balance.

I've never seen this. Could you direct me to a case, or something they said, that would indicate thsi?

E.g., Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, 542 U.S. 1, 45-46 (2004) (Thomas, J., concurring) (emphasis added):

"I would take this opportunity to begin the process of rethinking the Establishment Clause. I would acknowledge that the Establishment Clause is a federalism provision, which, for this reason, resists incorporation."

Id. at 49 (emphasis added):

"I accept that the Free Exercise Clause . . . applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. But the Establishment Clause is another matter. The text and history of the Establishment Clause strongly suggest that it is a federalism provision intended to prevent Congress from interfering with state establishments.

Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 641 (1992) (Scalia, J., dissenting) (emphasis added):

"The Establishment Clause was adopted to prohibit such an establishment of religion at the federal level (and to protect state establishments of religion from federal interference)."

Id. at 646:

"To deprive our society of that important unifying mechanism, [public, state-sponsored prayer,] in order to spare the nonbeliever what seems to me the minimal inconvenience of standing or even sitting in respectful nonparticipation, is as senseless in policy as it is unsupported in law."

Edited by Qwertz
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Obama is horrifyingly socialist on the surface. But he's moved vigorously away from that, and towards the center, in the past few weeks. Most important maybe, he's quite young, flexible, energetic, perceptive, clever, intelligent, and rational relative to McCain. He could easily be the more pro-freedom candidate!

What, a candidate starts moving to the center as soon as he wins the nomination--and you believe this is *genuine?*

I'd rather believe that he sat in that church for 20 years because he agreed with the socialist multiculturalist nihilist anti-American pastor.

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Obama is horrifyingly socialist on the surface.

He has the most liberal voting record of any Senator. That tells you what the guy will do when in power.

But he's moved vigorously away from that, and towards the center, in the past few weeks. Most important maybe, he's quite young, flexible, energetic, perceptive, clever, intelligent, and rational relative to McCain. He could easily be the more pro-freedom candidate!

I don't agree with much of that.

I likely won't vote for either, but more "pro-freedom" is a floating statement for which you need to provide a foundation.

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Obama is horrifyingly socialist on the surface. But he's moved vigorously away from that, and towards the center, in the past few weeks. Most important maybe, he's quite young, flexible, energetic, perceptive, clever, intelligent, and rational relative to McCain. He could easily be the more pro-freedom candidate!

Even if he moves toward the center now (likely just for show), his core supporters remain the same people, as do those to whom he has made promises in exchange for campaign financing. If he were elected, he would spend the next four years paying back those people, not the people whose support was late in coming.

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  • 1 month later...

I would not be certain of the idea that Obama will be given a free pass to expand government to whatever size he wants. Populism still seems to be the bee's knees when it comes to Congressional legislation, and if he remains solid on such policies as the restriction of domestic oil drilling, then he will probably receive a substantial amount of heat in his first year or so in office.

Although I initially backed McCain as the lesser of the two evils, my own research into the two candidates has led me to favor Obama as the less anti-human candidate to support. His economic policies are as rancid as his character, but McCain's only saving grace is a handful of tax cuts and spending bills. I still have a good deal of "investigating" to do before I can reach a sealed conclusion, but I would be skeptical of anyone that declares McCain to be the obvious choice.

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Obama is horrifyingly socialist on the surface. But he's moved vigorously away from that, and towards the center, in the past few weeks. Most important maybe, he's quite young, flexible, energetic, perceptive, clever, intelligent, and rational relative to McCain. He could easily be the more pro-freedom candidate!

That just means he is a lying socialist.

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Socialism is a dead duck - environmentalism is a fad.

I couldn’t disagree more. Look at the news and the issues of today. Environmentalist are using the global warming scare to create laws to control industry, politicians calling for socialized medical care, even rumblings about nationalizing the oil companies or price-fixing. Not to mention that nearly all of the Universities are teaching socialism as a superior form of government and moral ideal. When the media and politicians are using the word “big” attached to industries as a derogative term you know freedom and capitalism is in trouble. The news and politicians are even screaming about the oil companies “record profits” they had the company executives appear at congress to explain themselves!!! The media and the government thinks that profits for a company is wrong!!??! If this does not turn the socialism warining light on nothing will.

Were as prayer in school, abortion and other interest of the right have been placed on the back burner. Look at the news…hell look at the board on OO many of the topics are about socialism creeping in the US culture. A lot of Objectivist (at least it seems to me) have some how missed the transition and continue to work on attacking an out of date enemy. I worry that a lot of Objectivist the ARI included are still tackling issues that have not been relevant since the ‘90s.

It seems almost inconceivable to me that Objectivist today would say that socialism today is a non-factor.

Edited by Rearden_Steel
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I couldn’t disagree more. Look at the news and the issues of today. Environmentalist are using the global warming scare to create laws to control industry, politicians calling for socialized medical care, even rumblings about nationalizing the oil companies or price-fixing. Not to mention that nearly all of the Universities are teaching socialism as a superior form of government and moral ideal. When the media and politicians are using the word “big” attached to industries as a derogative term you know freedom and capitalism is in trouble. The news and politicians are even screaming about the oil companies “record profits” they had the company executives appear at congress to explain themselves!!! The media and the government thinks that profits for a company is wrong!!??! If this does not turn the socialism warining light on nothing will.

Were as prayer in school, abortion and other interest of the right have been placed on the back burner. Look at the news…hell look at the board on OO many of the topics are about socialism creeping in the US culture. A lot of Objectivist (at least it seems to me) have some how missed the transition and continue to work on attacking an out of date enemy. I worry that a lot of Objectivist the ARI included are still tackling issues that have not been relevant since the ‘90s.

It seems almost inconceivable to me that Objectivist today would say that socialism today is a non-factor.

Thank you. It amazes me when I hear people talk about the overpowering threat of the "religious right". This country is more secular now than it ever has been. Socialism is a much bigger threat to freedom.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Can someone tell me why Obama's 35% tax versus John McCain's 35% tax makes them so distinctively different?

Though you select a total non-essential to compare the two candidates, you are correct in assuming they are fundamentally the same. Craig Biddle authored an article recently that makes the case:

http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues...-vs-america.asp

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