Saturday, October 25, 2008

The conservative case for Obama

The last few weeks I have tried to get my head around this one idea – is there a conservative argument for supporting Barak Obama?

I have read alleged conservative columnists come out in support for Obama, and yet, their case for support never seems to be based on any known conservative principle which is easily recognized as conservative. If anything, the varied arguments employed give the appearance of columnists not wanting the political gravy train to pass them by.

Normally, the suggestion that only an Obama presidency has enough clout or charisma to ‘restore’ or ‘repair’ American relations with the international community would have me rolling on the floor laughing my ass off – if such a statement wasn’t made in direct defiance and in absolute ignorance of modern (not ancient, modern) history. And for the historically challenged Canadians among us, I would ask you to read a recording Gordon Sinclair made in 1973 called “the Americans”.

The closest conservative intellectual argument for supporting Obama I could come up with can be aptly characterized as tough love and summarized this way - cutting off your nose to spite your face. Let Obama win and let the left overdose on an excess of what passes for progressive modern liberalism; which is all well in good, if the rest of America didn’t have to pay a price for indulging the progressive whims and notions of creating a just and fair society.

As a Canadian conservative I admit there is a certain charm in an Obama presidency in so far as Obama-mania has gripped our country (or at least our media). We might just have our first election in decades where anti-Americanism will not be used to tar and feather Canadian conservatives. Can you imagine the Toronto Star columnists equating Harper = Obama or even suggesting Harper is Obama’s lapdog? Nope, me neither.

As a conservative blogger I am sure an Obama presidency would provide lots of grist for the blog. As a pro-Israeli blogger, and Obama presidency could potentially be the straw which finally allows a strong Israeli leader to finally break free of the American yoke which has often layed in direct contradiction to the best interests of Israelis. But these are not conservative arguments or necessarily conservative principles at play.

PS: For the record, John McCain wasn't my first pick, and yes, I truly do believe George W. Bush is a liberal.


Chris Taylor said...

Well, I am glad you have such a robust opinion of the IDF.

On the other hand I think the Muslim states would absolutely love to see the end of the US-Israeli security alliance, and I have absolutely NO doubt that it will be broken not on Israel's terms, but on the Arabs'.

In other words, not when she's fully armed and ready to take on 15 other aggressors simultaneously... but when the aggressors have let flown their nukes, accepted the inevitable and fierce Israeli response, and seen their ground troops roll into Judea nonetheless.

Personally I don't wish for that alliance to ever be severed. I think it's one of the few things keeping massively unhinged peoples from doing seriously screwed up things.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

The American alliance comes at great cost to the Israelis and always has. If Ronald Reagan hadn’t saved the PLO from the Israeli death blow, there would never have been the Oslo Accords, which even you must agree hasn’t worked out so well for the Israelis.

The American alliance hasn’t saved the Israelis but it has made the Israel capitulate to defeated enemies over and over again. For example, the Americans demanded the Israelis give up control of the Philadelphia Corridor which hasn’t worked out so well for the Israelis, and of course, the arms smuggled in under the corridor will never be aimed at US troops.

Nor have the rockets of the Gaza Strip fallen on the heads of American civilians but the Americans have brought great pressure to bear against a military solution to those rockets and don’t even get me started on the US pressure to reach a two state solution with Palestinians which will just be more death by slow motion for Israeli civilians.

Tell me what kind of friend's arm one's enemies - which is what the Americans are doing for the PA right now. One day in the near future those guns will be turned against the Israelis and what responsiblity will the Americans take for it?

If Israel was unfretted by the American alliance it would be free to make alliances elsewhere and would gain the freedom to act in her best interests rather than what works for the Americans.

Furthermore, Israel acting unfretted by the American yoke would be far more frightening to the neighbors than Israel under the yoke today is.

Chris Taylor said...

I am not saying that America has always acted in Israel's best interests... but then that's not the way Great Power politics typically play out.

A lot of countries are under the delusion that the Jewish-Muslim problem (and that is specifically what it is, not "Israeli-Palestinian") can ever be sorted out in the absence of genocide of one or the other.

My sense is that both parties are impassioned and distrustful to the point where neither can make rational decisions about long-term coexistence, nor has history given us any reason to believe that such coexistence is possible.

And, I'll be blunt, I think most of the problem lies with the ummah, not the Jews.

Nonetheless, short-range rockets are better than area-denial NBC weapons. My sense is that those will be employed within Israel within my lifetime, and with unfavourable results to both sides. However, the ummah has much more expendable fodder available than Israel, and in cold hard military calculus, it will be the one left standing. Or crawling, as the case may be.