I'm voting for Bob Barr. I don't like Bob Barr because I doubt the authenticity of his libertarian credentials in light of his record as a Republican congressman. It seems like he's changed his positions on a lot of things to get this spotlight. But, then I think... what spotlight? What's he gained? There are things in this world worth selling your soul for, but being leader the Libertarian nominee for president really isn't one of them. It's not a position that brings fame, fortune, or respect. So, who knows? Maybe he really is a believer. I'm voting libertarian because they are the closest to my own philosophies, and in the areas where we diverge, I can take comfort in knowing it doesn't matter, they won't win anyway.
If I weren't voting for Barr, I'd probably be voting for Obama. I really can't think of anything I agree with him about, and during the debates I was struck by his slipperiness and evasiveness. But, last week at some event, he gave this stirring argument to some Republicans in the crowd: "You may as well vote Democrat. We can't do any worse." It was dangerously close to honesty, and, really, it is tough to see how he can possibly be worse than the present administration. Bush ran on a platform that said we wouldn't get US troops involved in nation-building. Now, we are in the most expensive and intrusive bout of nation-building you can possibly imagine. We probably spend in a month in Iraq what we spent in Somalia or Bosnia. Bush ran as a fiscal conservative, then ran up the largest budget deficits ever, doubled the national debt, and sent the tentacles of government deep into private industry first with the Drug Plan, then with the Wall Street Bank Bailout. And, finally, it's impossible to overlook the Kafkaesque turn our government has taken under Bush. This week, there was a story about prosecutors at Guantanamo dropping the charges against some of the prisoners there, because, since they were charged, the military actually had a timeline to bring them to trial soon. Dropping the charges means that they don't have to worry about deadlines for bringing them to trial but they still get to hold them prisoners anyway! Yes! Our government views not charging people with crimes as a better legal justification for jailing them than actual charges! This is evil of literary proportions.
We cannot just shrug off this wickedness.
McCain isn't Bush, but there has to be some accountability. Republicans are the primary drivers of this mess. The democrats helped too, of course. In a perfect world, they'd all be tossed out. If Americans were serious about democracy, there wouldn't be a single incumbent elected official returned to the Federal government this year. In this imperfect world, at least the Republican's should be seriously smacked down.
Obama's single virtue is that, as a senator, he hasn't done anything. Seriously, I think on his very first day in the senate, he filled out the paperwork to get his lunch room pass and business cards, then went home early. As near as I can tell, he's showed up for maybe a dozen votes, and hasn't exactly put any thought into these, just voting straight party line on any significant issue. In his legislative career, he's shown absolutely no interest at all in legislating, and I think that's actually a fine virtue for a politician to possess. With any luck, he'll bring this same work ethic to the White House and spend four years touring the country giving speeches. He'll be very popular, and when people ask four years from now what he actually accomplished, everyone will just shrug, and say, "Well, he wasn't George Bush."
I predict he'll sweep to a second term in a landslide.