According to George Packer, Ken “Cakewalk” Adelman is the latest Obamacon. Aside from my paleo complaints about neocons playing both sides and trying to rehabilitate their reputations at the expense of the rest of the right’s, something else jumps out from Adelman’s endorsement: the usual Obamacon failure to make a substantive or detailed, policy-based argument for Barack Obama. In his e-mail to Packer, Adelman wrote:
Why [am I voting for Obama], since my views align a lot more with McCain’s than with Obama’s? And since I truly dread the notion of a Democratic president, Democratic House, and hugely Democratic Senate?
Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.
When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.
Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.
That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office-I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign-Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.
I sure hope Obama is more open, centrist, sensible-dare I say, Clintonesque-than his liberal record indicates, than his cooperation with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid portends. If not, I will be even more startled by my vote than I am now.
Other than Adelman’s support for the Iraq war, it doesn’t sound much different from Christopher Buckley’s endorsement. John McCain’s campaign and Sarah Palin give him the heebie-jeebies; Barack Obama has a nifty temperament; maybe Obama will govern in a more responsible manner than his record and campaign promises suggest. I think temperament and judgment are important, and I certainly can understand conservative opposition to McCain. But it’s kind of rich to hear people who use such subjective, evidence-free criteria for their presidential choices lecture talk about the importance of reasoned judgment.