Friday, October 31, 2008

Tiger Stripes

I've heard everybody's reasons for voting for Obama, and I can't blame people for doing so. As I have said multiple times, he is a rare combination of inspiration, intelligence, and charisma, and he could be a truly great president.

But I still can't vote for him, and my reasoning reminds me of that old canard about a tiger being unable to change its stripes.

Obama has been documented to be the most liberal member of the Senate. While the individual details of his associations with Ayers and Rev. Wright and others are not the big scandals Fox News and others would have you believe, where there is smoke, there is at least a flame. I firmly believe as a younger man Obama was very left-wing in his thinking, and while his campaign rhetoric is certainly more moderate, I have seen no real evidence that he has abandoned this core leftist view of the world. I think his campaign has been a marketing creation, a poll-tested facade that has told us very little about Obama's core political philosophy.

McCain, on the other hand, has been all over the map this campaign, and his occasional pandering to the evangelist right has been disgusting. He bears the scars of his thrashing by GWB, and I think he has tried to structure his campaign to (wrongly) learn from the lessons of that campaign. But I think behind all the campaign maneuvering, he is still the same man he has been for most of his life. I was a McCain fan for years, and although I have been thoroughly unimpressed with his campaign, I think he is still the same man he was, the man Aztec referenced in his article.

Since it is starting to look like a foregone conclusion that Obama is going to triumph, I am hoping I am wrong on all of this. A tiger can't change his stripes, but he can cover them up for a while. If Obama 08 is actually the same guy as Obama 88, I am quite worried about the damage he and a compliant Democratic Congress can create.

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