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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Since my withdrawal of the endorsement for John McCain, I have endeavored to maintain (at least officially) a certain level demeanor about the whole thing. If I have an ideological point to make, I'll make it. But I think people who don't know me intimately could only guess for whom I'll vote. You'll pardon me then while I speak bluntly about Obama's nomination acceptance speech Thursday night in Denver: I hated it. And darn near every second of it. I felt alienated; I felt the crushing weight of impending statism. I felt that important discussions about the market economy (and the rationale for a decidedly free one) were being sidestepped or minimized. I also felt that profound moral questions were likewise minimized, with little thought to the weight or validity of opposing arguments. (Abortion is by far Obama's biggest weakness.) The criticism of John McCain was fairly harsh and personal, especially for one who claims to desire a new kind of politics. I would hasten to add that President Bush is not running in 2008. It may be desirable to invoke "the failed policies of George W. Bush" to excite the large crowd of his supporters, but I would venture to say that a not insignificant portion of what would be the winning electoral coalition for Obama are/were Bush supporters. The fatal flaw in the strategy of tying McCain to Bush is that a Bush voter in 2000 was motivated in some part by disdain for McCain. I remember (as a Bush supporter) reviling McCain. We felt that any Republican beloved by the media, as McCain was, was suspect. He has always courted Democrats and Independents, and I believe that his formidable challenge to Bush was due to these groups, not to committed Republicans. Therefore, Obama needs to stop moving left. Every time Obama has had the chance to claim the center, he's moved left. Obama's greatest strength this year (foreign policy) was barely mentioned. Liberal laundry lists on economics, like we heard Thursday, will cost Obama the election.

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