Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cross-Party Endorsements

Republicans for Obama is a grass-roots effort, but it's a good looking site. It has video, blogs, Republicans for Obama T-shirts and an inspiring quote ("Senator Obama is the one candidate who can unite the American majority that wants to move forward and improve the long-term economic well-being and independence of our nation."). It also has a good list of prominent Republicans who have endorsed Obama. The list includes four former governors, three former congressmen, one sitting congressman, Colin Powell, Francis Fukuyama, Scott McClellan, Christopher Buckley and Ken Adelman.

Contrast this with Wikipedia's list of Democrats who have endorsed John McCain. Other than Joe Lieberman (who doesn't really count, since he is no longer a Democrat), there isn't a single name on the list that I had ever heard before. Wikipedia's editors could only find 14 Democrats for the list, including four state legislators, the former mayor of Concord, N.H. (population 40,000) and the president of a local chapter of the National Organization for Women, one of several bitter Hillary Clinton supporters on the list.

Why are these lists significant? Because McCain's last, desperate campaign strategy is to paint Obama as so far to the left that he'll drag the country toward socialism. But Obama has always been a politician of the center, who has worked with Republicans and respected their opinions. McCain is the one who wants to wrench America towards the fringe. And Obama has the endorsements to prove it.


Brian said...

Mark, I hate to keep making negative comments on your blog but you have made a statement that is simply not true.

"Obama has always been a politician of the center, who has worked with Republicans"

Obama has worked with Republicans on 13% of the bills he has sponsored. McCain has worked with Democrats on 55% of his bills.

Obama has voted with his party 97% of the time. McCain has voted with his party 82% of the time.

The record does not show that Obama has been anything but a partisan Democrat.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Mark said...


Don't feel bad about the negative comments. I didn't start this site to preach to the choir. Keep them coming and I'll keep answering.

When I wrote that "Obama has always been a politician of the center" I was referring to his entire political career. In his 12 years in the Illinois Senate, he reached across the aisle at every opportunity, bringing Republicans on board to help shape and pass his bills.

But you are correct - in the hyper-partisan environment of George W. Bush's Washington, Obama has not violated his principals and succumbed to the Bush agenda the same way that some Democrats (and most Republicans) have.

Are you saying that you wish that Obama had voted with Bush more often?

Brian said...

His Illinois State Senate record is actually very liberal. Please let me know what a libertarian would find pleasing about his voting record.

Some highlights:

Voted to raise the minimum wage in Illinois from $5.15 an hour to $6.50 an hour over two years. (2003)

Helped pass a 5 percent earned-income tax credit for low-income working families in 2000; made the credit permanent in 2003.

Voted to end $300 million worth of tax breaks for businesses. (2004)

Voted against making permanent the repeal of the state’s 5 percent sales tax on gasoline. (2000)

Successfully sponsored the Health Care Justice Act, a study of ways to implement a universal health care system statewide. (2004)

Voted against restrictions on public funding of abortion. (2000)

Voted against letting people argue self-defense in court if charged with violating local weapons bans by using a gun in their home. (2004)

Successfully sponsored law enforcement study of the race of people pulled over for traffic tickets. (2003)

Unsuccessfully sponsored limit of one handgun purchase per month. (2000)

Voted against making gang members eligible for the death penalty if they kill someone to help their gang. (2001)

Voted against giving tax credits to parents who send their children to private school. (1999)

Mark said...

Obama's most significant legislative achievements:
In Illinois
- Introduced and passed (with overwhelming bipartisan support) a landmark law to protect the Constitutional rights of people accused of capital crimes by requiring that their interrogations be videotaped.
In the U.S. Senate
- Introduced (with Republican Dick Lugar) a bill to secure nuclear material in the former Soviet Union.
- Introduced and passed (96-2) bipartisan ethics and lobbying reform.

These are the laws he wrote, not just voted on. Which of these laws do you consider excessively partisan?

Brian said...

You listed 3 items. I listed over 10 that showed Obama's record was very liberal and anti libertarian.

Did you hear his 2001 interview with Chicago Public Radio?

If so, how could you possibly call yourself a libertarian and be supporting this man.

I'm almost in tears that someone is smart as you could be so deceived by Obama.

Mark said...

I listed three bills that Obama sponsored (and got passed). You listed 10 that he voted for. Big difference.

Yes, I did listen to the 2001 interview. The whole interview. In context, it's pretty clear that Obama is saying that the court shouldn't be used to bring about "redistributive change." He's actually making some great libertarian points. Take another listen.

Brian said...

Hi Mark,

There is just no way you can make a case that libertarian principles will be advanced by Obama in the White House and a majority Democrat Congress.

It is totally illogical to believe that total control of the federal government by the current Democrat Party will do anything but set back individual freedom.

Do you seriously believe Obama will pick judges who are strict constructionists?

Obama's rhetoric and voting record are clear that he is a typical liberal Democrat. Why you seem to think he's not is just beyond me.