PostHeaderIcon Contrarian Wisdom

Frequently, when my own take on a political event or new issue differs from the herd, I look forward to Charles Krauthammer’s always thoughtful and insightful, if often contrarian, remarks on the matter.  If we differ, he usually articulates a cogent reason for me to at least rethink my position.

In an article entitled, “McCain the Stalwart,” he offers one of the most succinct arguments for voting against Obama that I have seen. After chastising “wet-fingered conservatives”:

I stand athwart the rush of conservative ship-jumpers of every stripe — neo (Ken Adelman), moderate (Colin Powell), genetic/ironic (Christopher Buckley) and socialist/atheist (Christopher Hitchens) — yelling “Stop!” I shall have no part of this motley crew. I will go down with the McCain ship. I’d rather lose an election than lose my bearings.

…and then dispatching handily the conventional talking points and canards against McCain, he makes his case:

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who’s been cramming on these issues for the last year, who’s never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of “a world that stands as one”), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as “the tragedy of 9/11,” a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

There’s just no comparison. Obama’s own running mate warned this week that Obama’s youth and inexperience will invite a crisis — indeed a crisis “generated” precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?

And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he’s been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success.

The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor.

Today’s economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I’m for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.

Put that way, and given no viable alternative, I couldn’t agree more. â—„Daveâ–º

6 Responses to “Contrarian Wisdom”

  • Daedalus says:

    There is a lot of good thought out there, but it is lost in the hurricane of the hedonist lie, cheat and steal generations—pragmatism rules.

  • Phil says:

    I think this sinking ship is not so much that of Conservative politics but more of the Neo-Conservative. The economy is in shambles and it has been fed by Neo-con philosophy and overly generous Liberal Programs. Self correction, either politically or economically, could well open the door to Ron Paul or his ilk. Just a thought.

  • Neo-con philosophy and overly generous Liberal Programs

    Isn’t that saying the same thing, or at least a distinction without a difference?

    We could only wish that a Ron Paul type could ever get traction; but the MSM would never permit such a thing. This year, they won’t even give Ralph Nader a chance to speak, much less Bob Barr. How much have we heard from either of them? Can you even name their running mates? I can’t. I have never heard Nader’s mentioned, if he has one, and have not heard Barr’s mentioned even once since seeing him nominated on C-Span last summer. â—„Daveâ–º

  • Phil says:

    I tend to view most Progressive Programs sprang forth from the liberal agenda and the neo-cons continued to feed it along with their own agenda and you are absolutely right, “distinction without a difference.”
    Barr or Paul in 2008 do not have a chance. I think we are about to be Obamasized for the next four years. I do not know how competent we will be governed but if it is as bad as we have these past eight years, a door may open for Paul. We both know people are frightened and angry. Smooth talking and “Joe the plumber” will not fix the problem. We have been offered nothing this cycle except a black man and an old man. Other than appointment of Supremes there will be little impact on our lives. We are just too indebted to do much else. I did see the nominee for the Socialist Party on Colbert tonight. He thought both McCain and Obama were capitalists. MSNBC also ran a small clip on Barr, 30 seconds I think.

  • Hi Phil,

    The Supremes are a biggie though. Enough to vote against Obama, for Palin, and secretly ponder evil possibilities. 🙂

    I would support Ron Paul in a heartbeat; but he is too old and charismatically challenged to win. He had the right idea to try to take over the Republican Party, however. The Libertarians are hopeless. I say we spend the four years completing Palin’s education (toward libertarian/objectivist ideals) and build a campaign around her and a whole new slate of Republican “mavericks” with a moderate small government agenda. â—„Daveâ–º

  • Phil says:

    Dave said. “The Supremes are a biggie though. Enough to vote against Obama, for Palin, and secretly ponder evil possibilities. ”

    HaHa, You must have your own bag of emoticans! Another forum, another time.
    Palin’s impact for me rates right up there with Dan Quail’s. I know you read her differently. I really liked McCain till he sold out and Palin just confirmed it. I am glad I will not be in the workforce much longer and can just drift away into the Mexican Border and contemplate options. Politics, like the economy, needs a correction. Maybe our Country needs an Obama to wake us up to the need to break “business as usual”. Perhaps the Repub;s can find someone who is not consumed with fairy tales and who can channel power rather than lust for power. This election represents a shift in our Country that will be forever with us. No easy answers.

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