I completely agree that Obama has shown a willingness to listen to other experts, and if he is elected, I will be cheering for him as much as anyone. I just can't vote for him on the basis that, whatever his willingness to listen to outside opinions, I think his whole mindset is one of distrust for dispersed market forces and a belief that the first and best solution to any problem involves government planning and/or interference. I believe the exact opposite, and I think if he tries to implement his vision in the current fiscal environment, we are going to have an Argentina experience. McCain is probably not much better, and I don't think he has Obama'a innate intelligence, but he at least values freedom over equity. Events are virtually guaranteed to overtake the best-laid plans of both candidates, so if you are voting on the basis of a health-care plan or a tax plan [or an environmental plan], you are wasting your time. You have to fall back on the core political philosophy of the candidate, and under that litmus, I can't back Obama.
That said, Lexington has an interesting take on conservatives supporting Obama. Worth a read. I certainly agree with sentiments about libertarians and the Republican party - part of me hopes the Republicans get completely destroyed this round. The party could use a few years in the wilderness reexamining exactly what it stands for.
Another short but excellent column worth your time is this one from Art Laffer, creator of the famous (or for liberals, infamous) Laffer Curve. He talks about some of the basic economics, which seem obvious but also seem to always get lost in the political discussions. He also has some plaudits for Bill Clinton.
The Clinton experience gives me some hope for Obama. They both share a pragmatic streak, and when it came down to making policy, Clinton took on his party and championed some relatively conservative policies. Besides the hints of pragmatism, though, I don't see any evidence in Obama's past that he would take on his own party or to suggest his economic ideas have ever traveled outside the fences of left-wing orthodoxy. So I have some hope, but not much.
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