Posted by: iam0nly1 | July 13, 2008

McSame v.s. OBush: Obama’s ‘Change’ Makes McCain Viable Option

In light of Obama’s sprint to the Right (not the center), he and his surrogates and supporters should probably jettison the “McSame” meme along with public financing, opposition to NAFTA, FISA, mental health exceptions, separation of church and state, etc.  Because if McCain is McSame, then Obama is OBush. Senators McCain and Obama are remarkably aligned on a multitude of political and policy stances.  Which begs the question; what “change” will Obama bring?

The LA Times reports:

Stem-cell research and nuclear weapons are just two examples of a surprising but little-noticed aspect of the 2008 campaign: Democrat Obama and Republican McCain agree on a range of issues that have divided the parties under Bush.

On immigration, faith-based social services, expanded government wiretapping, global warming and more, Obama and McCain have arrived at similar stances — even as they have spent weeks trying to amplify the differences between them on other issues, such as healthcare and taxes.

Even on Iraq, a signature issue for both candidates, McCain and Obama have edged toward each other.

The result is that in many areas of policy, the general direction of the next White House seems already set, even if the details are not.

“It debunks the common view that Obama is the most liberal Democratic senator,” Isaacs said. “And it debunks the view that McCain is really the third Bush term.”

Soon, the Iraq War  will just be another issue on which the two candidates agree:

Initially, the war in Iraq was one of the hot-button disagreements. Obama made his early opposition to the war a cornerstone of his candidacy; McCain’s calling card has been his support for the war and last year’s troop increase. But in the course of the campaign, their differences have narrowed over the choices facing the next president.

McCain has repeatedly opposed setting timetables for withdrawing U.S. forces, but more recently he has said he wants most troops out by 2013 — the first time he has mentioned a specific date.

Obama has repeatedly said he would withdraw troops within 16 months of taking office, but he has hedged in ways that would give him wide latitude: He says he will listen to military commanders, will react to events on the ground and may “refine” his plan after his upcoming trip to Iraq.

So far, Iraq has been Obama’s trump card, but once he cedes it (which he will) he will remove all incentive to vote for him, except for those who will vote simply for a Democrat-in-name-only. 

The LA Times gives us a nice summary of their similarities:

* Both McCain and Obama favor combating global warming with a “cap and trade” system. Under this plan, the government would set limits on emissions. Companies and others who emit gases below those limits would be able to sell credits to those unable to meet the targets.

* On the future of nuclear power, the candidates are in the same neighborhood. McCain has laid out a plan to build 45 nuclear power plants. Obama has offered more general support, along with the caveat that a nuclear power expansion be coupled with a resolution on how to safely dispose of waste. 

* Both have parted ways with Bush and advocated stepped-up negotiations with Russia and other countries to reduce the world’s nuclear arsenal.

* Both twice voted for legislation — which Bush twice vetoed — that would have eased federal restrictions on human embryonic stem-cell research.

* Obama voted in the Senate on Wednesday for a bill, bitterly opposed by many liberals, to expand the government’s eavesdropping authority and to protect telephone companies that cooperate with the program from being sued. McCain was not present for the vote but has said he supported the bill.

* Both embrace the idea of continuing Bush’s faith-based initiative, a program that funnels federal money to religious charities for social services.

So what does all of this mean?

Well, first and foremost, Obama is not the progressive his blogosphere cheerleaders would have us believe. Second, McCain isn’t the nasty, typical conservative he’s made out to be.

Ultimately this is bad for Obama because his campaign has been running to the Right with the assumption that we Democrats “don’t have anywhere else to go.”  It’s clear they have miscalculated their competition. McCain supports stem-cell research, renewable energy, fighting global warming and nuclear non-proliferation, while opposing drilling in ANWR, and upon Obama’s public financing flip, has more credibility on campaign finance reform, among other things.

With the political climate as it is, voters are more willing to accept conservative policy stances from a liberal conservative, than from a supposed progressive. A progressive abandoning progressive ideals for votes is not nearly as appealing nor admirable as a liberal conservative holding to his progressive stances to the chagrin of his Party.   

For Democrats who are finding it hard or impossible to support or to continue to support Obama, a remarkably liberal Republican may prove too much to resist. We have the power to move the Republican Party not just to the center, but to the political left. 

If McCain was good enough for Kerry in 2004, he’s good enough for Democrats in 2008.

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Responses

  1. […] (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton) (convention, Devo, Just Say No Deal, PUMA) Barack Obama, like his political twin, George Bush, is all hat and no cattle.  In another sign that the candidate values style over substance and […]

  2. […] check out this excellent article over at DoneDems.com In light of Obama’s sprint to the Right (not the center), he and his surrogates and supporters […]


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