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Dueling Democrats
by J. F. Kelly, Jr. 3/28/08

By way of full disclosure, I’m a conservative in most matters, which should come as no surprise to readers of these commentaries. So despite misgivings regarding some of Sen. John McCain’s past positions, I will have few qualms about supporting him against either or both of the two dueling Democrat contenders unless Mr. McCain does or says something incredibly stupid or another Ronald Reagan comes along. Neither of the latter being likely, I, like most conservatives, can scarcely contain some degree of glee over the continuing debilitating dog-fight for the Democratic nomination.

Having no dog in that fight, it is a matter of serene indifference to me which of the two junior Democratic senators emerges as the candidate. It will be a victory of sorts for all Americans just to have a women or an African-American as a major party presidential candidate. I hope both are on the ticket for that reason. It’s unfortunate, though, that these two history-making candidates for the most important and powerful elected office in the world are so seriously deficient in actual experience in running anything. In my view, it’s unfortunate also that their positions on governance lie so far to the left of most Americans on the political spectrum. If you doubt the latter, just review the voting records they have compiled in their brief Senate careers and Barack Obama’s record while serving in the Illinois legislature.

J.F. Kelly, Jr.

J.F. Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive who writes on current events and military subjects. He is a resident of Coronado, California. [go to Kelly index]

It will come down, therefore, to a choice between a moderately conservative candidate with extensive Senate and military experience plus a record of reaching out to the opposition party to break deadlocks and enact compromise legislation against either of two extremely liberal candidates with voting records that clearly portend an expanded role for government in the solution to all our problems, meaning higher taxes, greater government spending on social programs, reductions in the percentage of GNP spent on defense and homeland security and a diminished international role for the United States.  To me, at least, that’s a pretty clear-cut choice. The world is too dangerous for an amateur commander-in-chief.

Democrats must have a death wish. The unpopularity of the administration of George W. Bush and the mismanagement of the post-Saddam Hussein nation building efforts in Iraq presented them with their best chance to recapture the White House since Richard Nixon resigned in disgraced, leaving Gerald Ford to stumble through the rest of his second term to be defeated by Jimmy Carter, arguably the least effective president ever elected.. Rather than uniting behind a candidate, they instead settled down to a mutually-destructive fight between two candidates who, despite obvious differences in race, gender, generational appeal and temperament, are virtually identical in terms of political philosophy and inexperience.

Because there is so little to distinguish them in terms of politics and philosophy, it was almost inevitable that character, race and gender would somehow get infused into this too-lengthy and increasingly desperate campaign where wining becomes all-important and party unity is abandoned.  Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign seemed caught by surprise by the coverage of the hateful, racist, anti-white, anti-American ravings of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. who Mr. Obama acknowledges was his spiritual advisor and minister for many years. Obama denounced the ravings while still professing to see goodness in the man, a goodness that most whites probably will find difficult to discern.

Rev. Wright’s unfortunate remarks were excused by some of the Obama campaign groupies and press darlings as just harmless, quaint remnants of old black religious church culture that white folks don’t really understand but that’s rather like excusing as harmless venting the anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish hate speech in the religious schools of our Arab allies which poisons the minds of their young while their leaders profess to be our friends. Mr. Obama says he doesn’t recall hearing such speech. Perhaps he dozed off during the sermons although the volume and emotion with which Pastor Wright’s words were delivered would certainly keep most people awake. No one seriously believes that Mr. Obama harbors racist views, of course, but the damage by association may prove irreparable. No candidate who is running to be president of all the people can afford to have a racist, anti-American hate monger for a spiritual advisor and expect a free pass by just denouncing his words.

Both Democratic candidates have baggage and the longer the fight for the nomination continues, the more will surface.  Meanwhile, Mr. McCain can just act presidential, remaining above the fray until the dust settles and a wounded opponent emerges. And it may take some time yet for that dust to settle, given the Democrats’ bizarre nomination process involving un-pledged super delegates, accountable to no one, who could tip the nomination either way in a process reminiscent of Tammany Hall and smoke-filled back rooms. The result may well inspire a rebellion either way. If Mr. Obama loses, his young, devoted, enthusiastic followers, new to the realities of hardball politics, will feel the nomination was stolen from their charismatic superstar. Clinton supporters will also feel put upon if they lose, especially if the Florida and Michigan delegates who supported her are not seated at the Democratic Convention because they defied party leaders by holding early primaries. It promises to be great theatre. Stay tuned. CRO

copyright 2008 J. F. Kelly, Jr.



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