16 September, 2008

Republicans for Obama

There was Rep. Jim Leach, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention. There was Jim Whitaker, an Alaska mayor. Former Senator Lincoln Chafee. Former Senator Lowell P. Weicker Jr. Former Rep. John Anderson. Mayor Lou Thieblemont of Camp Hill, PA. They all have one thing in common: they're Republican politicians (sometimes now former Republicans) who endorsed Obama.

There's room for more:

Former GOP governor Linwood Holton today endorsed a Democrat for president for the first time and is going to stump critical areas of the state for him.

Linwood Holton is the hero of moderate Republicans in Virginia. He defeated the segregationist Democrat for governor and fought GOP rightwingers. Holton is widely regarded as the father of the Republican party in Virginia. When Richmond public schools were ordered integrated Holton enrolled his children in the AA school close to the governor's mansion and walked them to school.

He supported his son-in-law Tim Kaine for governor but has never supported a Democratic presidential candidate.

Hot damn. Maybe this will make me old dad feel better about switching party allegiance.

As I was researching this, I ran across boatloads of Republicans throwing their support to Obama. Prominent Republicans, staunch conservatives, who went for Obama for the same reason I did: because this country needs him.

Google "Republicans Endorse Obama" and you'll come across a lot of good Republicans talking about how they're supporting a liberal because they believe that salvaging this country transcends liberal vs. conservative. They know Obama's got the right grasp on the economy and foreign relations. They went for him for the same reason I did: because they know he'll do right by America. They know he'll rescue our standing in the world. They know that after eight years of neocon bloodshed, America needs a man who can pull us back from the brink of catastrophe. They, like me, believe Obama is that man.

And they're willing to hit the campaign trail to tell voters that very thing. I think that'll hold some water with those right-leaning independents and undecideds. It makes a difference when someone with the same political inclinations as you says, "Vote for this Democrat. Never mind that he's liberal. We need him in charge."

Just listen to what former Reagan adviser Dr. Larry Hunter says, after hoping Obama will reneg on every liberal policy he's espoused on the campaign trail:

But here's the thing: Even if my hopes on domestic policy are dashed and Obama reveals himself as an unreconstructed, dyed-in-the-wool, big-government liberal, I'm still voting for him.

These past eight years, we have spent over a trillion dollars on foreign soil - and lost countless lives - and done what I consider irreparable damage to our Constitution.

If economic damage from well-intentioned but misbegotten Obama economic schemes is the ransom we must pay him to clean up this foreign policy mess, then so be it. It's not nearly as costly as enduring four more years of what we suffered the last eight years.

(Psst., Larry - I hate to tell you this, but in light of what happened to the markets today, it may be time for a New Deal Democrat and an "activist government." Just sayin'.)

Strong stuff. I've believed for a long time now that Obama bridge that chasm between Republican and Democrat without betraying everything liberal Democrats stand for. Who knows? Maybe folks like Dr. Larry will swallow their bitter progressive pill in the interests of America and find out they like it.

Hey. I can but dream.

So we've got staunch Republicans swinging for Obama in respectable numbers. These aren't Democrats-in-disguise: they're the real McCoy. The fact that a liberal candidate won them over by the power of his vision is pretty damned impressive.

You know what, Johnny? You can keep Lieberman and the pathetic few PUMAs. We'll just hang on to the higher-quality defectors, thanks.

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