The extent of the president's powers, although hardly mentioned during the general election campaign, is probably the most important consideration in choosing between McCain and Obama. It is tied to all the other major issues, including the Iraq war, the fight against terrorism, and the government's response to the current economic situation.
The crucial question is which matters more: a president's theory of executive power or the political environment he faces. If the former, Obama is the less risky choice. If the latter, McCain is, since he would face a less compliant Congress.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Battle of the Lessers
Jacob Sullum of Reason writes a great article summing up which of the two major party candidates is actually the lesser of two evils. Link
I agree with Mr. Sullum's assesment of the choice that is presented to the American people this election. One thing I would add is that a vote for McCain is also a vote for the continuation of President Bush's "politics of fear". Where the main tool that is used to accomplish political goals is manipulating the inherent fear that people have of things that are unknown or different. I think this factor is ampliphied even more if you assume that Senator McCain will not complete his full term in office due to his age and that Sarah Palin will take over at some point.
If I happened to live in a swing state the combination of executive power and politics of fear would be enough to swing my vote for Senator Obama and against Senator McCain. Luckily, I live in Illinois, where Senator Obama is sure to win, so I'll be voting for Bob Barr this presidential election.