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Embarrassing Yourself

In 1972 I cast my first vote in a presidential election. Richard Nixon. Within a couple of weeks I was in front of the White House demonstrating for the impeachment of Richard Nixon.

So when I talk about embarrassing electoral decisions I know whereof I speak.

Those of you voting for John McCain on the basis of fear of Obama are going down that path. A vote against Obama will embarrass you later in life. You're going to very quickly come to realize -- well, those of you who aren't just blinder-clad partisan tools -- that the McCain campaign's attacks on Obama were not just dishonest but ludicrous.

Let me put on my magic Slytherin predicting hat: Obama will govern from the center. He will appoint a cabinet that will be more genuinely bi-partisan, or more to the point non-partisan, than any we've seen in modern history. Respected technocrats at Treasury. A respected-by-the-military moderate, possibly a Republican, at Defense.

His inauguration speech will trouble the DailyKos.com but hearten TheModerateVoice.com.

He will reach out to Hillary as a force in the Senate to counterbalance Nancy Pelosi in the House.

He will focus on the economy and put more contentious issues on the back burner.

A year into his presidency the economy will have improved (it always does: we're the Americans, and this isn't 1929,) and he will have done nothing terribly radical or scary and the McCain smear and fear campaign will be a sort of vague memory. Those that fell for it will deny ever having done so.

We'll see whether I'm right. But I'll tell you this: what I've just described is the real right-wing fear. The GOP's hard right doesn't fear a radical Obama: they'd love a radical Obama. It's a successful Obama that terrifies them. Following a second failed Bush with a second successful moderate Democrat would doom the genuinely radical dreams of the far right. The GOP would be forced to the center. Forced to compromise on abortion and gay rights. Forced to choose between moving toward the center or letting themselves be entirely defined by the wingnuts.

The rest of you who cast a vote for McCain on the basis of your fears of Obama will feel like fools. And by the way, you will be. Just like I was in 1972.

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“Embarrassing Yourself”

  1. Anonymous MiM Says:

    I've believed for some time that Obama has steadily been moving to the center, and recent comments in the last week seem to confirm this. Pat Buchanan also made this point over the weekend speaking to Chris Matthews. Perhaps there's still some hope to your dream of a respectable government run by the Mighty Middle.