Just this weekend, I came down to the point where I'm just going to have to swallow a lot of things I've said before and swallow some things I don't like and be convinced that unless Barrack Obama pulls out a miracle I'm just not going to get any candidate I really want. On the basis of that, I think I'm gong to have to go over to Middle Earth Journal this week and write that I will vote for whoever the Democrats put up, even if it's Hillary Clinton.
I have to tell you... those last five words were like poison in my mouth, but now they are out in the room and I don't think I can allow myself to back away. I prefaced those remarks by noting that I still consider myself a small government, fiscal conservative, and I hold no illusions about a Democratic president with a majority Democratic Congress doing anything substantive to shrink the size of government and responsibly reduce spending, thereby allowing us to reduce taxes in a non-damaging way. I also have very serious concerns about the health care proposals being put forth by the Democratic contenders.
But I also noted that, over the course of the primary season thus far, I feel that I may have lost sight of the forest for the trees. One of my chief issues of concern has been -and remains - the war in Iraq. I have opposed it from the beginning and I oppose it today. But the luke warm statements from both Clinton and Obama concerning ending this war led me to believe that I simply would not get my wishes in that area, so I would need to look at all the other issues when selecting a candidate to endorse. In many of those other areas I found John McCain to be a very attractive candidate and had been considering endorsing him.
However, Ron put the test to me over the last couple of weeks and I found my response to be coming up short. One of the key areas is in the matter of Supreme Court appointments. I have watched with dismay the steady drift to the right on SCOTUS and some of the alarming decisions handed down since John Roberts and Sam Alito donned their robes. In the next four to eight years, anywhere from one to possibly three court seats may come open, including those held by some of the remaining progressive, liberal voices on the court. Did I, Ron asked, really want a conservative Republican filling those slots? I have to admit, at the bottom of my dark and twisted little heart, that the answer is no.
And as for Iraq, while I do not anticipate a vigorous effort by either Obama or Clinton to really end this war, I do believe that they would at least move in the correct direction with far more alacrity than any Republican currently in contention for the GOP nomination. (For the record, however, I still predict that Hillary Clinton will not get us out of Iraq any faster than Bush would were he to remain in office indefinitely.)
So, with those factors in mind, I will repeat my assertion that I am troubled by the prospect of a Democratic president in a number of policy areas. But those concerns will not overcome my reservations on those two key areas. We will have a possibly poor president with us for four or perhaps eight years. A bad pick for SCOTUS will stay with us for as much as four decades. The risk is simply too great. I will not be happy with my choice if Hillary Clinton is the nominee (and I still believe she will be.) But this November, I will cast my ballot for whomever the Democratic party nominates. I wasted my vote on a third party candidate in 2000 and have had seven long years of a waking nightmare to regret it. I shall not make that mistake again.