Scratch Pad

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Reasons I'm Uncomfortable with Barack Obama

[I'm updating this post continually, so the original publication date isn't entirely accurate.]

Single-issue voting isn't healthy. It encourages wedge issue thinking and closed-mindedness. I think party platforms are a great place to start in understanding a candidates views. I don't think our evaluation of the candidates should end with the party platform. I'm keeping an ongoing list in this post of issues that make me uncomfortable with Barack Obama as our country's president. We'll weigh the positives and negatives of each candidates and then we can make a more informed decision.

Obama's voting record (extreme pro-abortion) doesn't jive with his rhetoric (moderation in abortion policy)
As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama twice opposed legislation to define as "persons" babies who survive late-term abortions. Babies like Gianna. Mr. Obama said in a speech on the Illinois Senate floor that he could not accept that babies wholly emerged from their mother's wombs are "persons," and thus deserving of equal protection under the Constitution's 14th Amendment.
Obama has since argued that he had legitimate reasons for voting against that legislation, but his assertion has been disproved.

Obama's position on Iraq is irresponsible. He seems unwilling to own the current situation on the ground and instead argue about what we should have done.

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

Affiliation with a church for apparently political purposes, exposing his children to blatant racism in a time when healing is needed.

Obama hasn't thrown himself fully into anything. I wonder if he's an "idea person" without the ability to see things through to completion. David Brooks elaborates on the difficulty in placing him in any community of practice. He was a law professor who was liked by students, but who never produced scholarship nor engaged with the other faculty. He was a community organizer who had ideas about improvement, but didn't stick around long enough to see them through. He joined a church for political reasons, never really became a part of that community, and then abandoned it when higher political aspirations beckoned. He skipped through the state legislature without really getting into it. His career in the US Senate was nothing more than a stepping stone to the presidency. He hasn't really engaged with his colleagues there on either side of the aisle save a handful.

By his own standard of judgment, Obama lacks sufficient experience for a high and responsible post. When asked about Supreme Court justices, Obama singled out Justice Thomas. He said, "I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation." The Wall Street Journal editorial board responds to the accusation of insufficient experience.

So let's see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General's office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's second most prominent court. Since his "elevation" to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.

They sum it up by noting, "Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's Presidential résumé by any measure."