January 18, 2009

"I think those of us who voted for McCain are going to be a lot happier with Obama than the people who voted for him."

A quote from an article about the American mood on the eve of the new presidency. I agree with the quote, although it lacks the complexity to acknowledge that some of us who might have voted for McCain thought we saw that this would be the case and actually voted for Obama.

64 comments:

traditionalguy said...

It works for me.

Beldar said...

The quoted statement may be true. It's still not a justification for voting for Obama if one's principles were more closely aligned with those espoused by McCain. Rather, it's simply an indication of how dramatically Obama may disappoint some of his own supporters.

Of even that, however, I remain unconvinced, preferring to see what Obama and his team do after the inauguration, which is, after all, when he will be in a position both to act and to be held accountable. During the election, people of very diverse political stripes, including the esteemed proprietress of this blog, projected onto Obama that which they hoped he would do and be. He can't possibly do or be them all, because many of them are fundamentally inconsistent with one another. And that's continued to happen during the transition, with people insisting that, for example, Obama is going to be a "fiscal conservative" even while the best actual evidence is that he's pushing the largest pork give-away in history by an order of magnitude, roughly comparable to the way he blew out campaign finance limits via illegal untraceable internet contributions and outspent McCain by many hundreds of millions of dollars. You can have your cognitive dissonance, thus, measured merely in hundreds of millions, or in hundreds of billions.

Eventually the glib sound bites will waft away in the breeze, and we'll be left with deeds to consider. I'll wait for those before deciding just how much "happier with Obama" I am than the people who voted for him.

Expat(ish) said...

Without making this some sort of ad hominem remark, Ann, you were about as likely to vote for McCain as my wife would be to buy me an AR-15.

Not too darn, in other words.

To the article.... I am happy that most of Obama's infrastructure (that we can see) is made up of career pols who cut their teeth in the Clinton I/II era. For all their negatives they are not nearly as bad as they could have been. (See also Albright and many of Carter's GA Mafia.) But Holder? And the thought of the Supreme Court. Ugh.

Not that McCain would have been any better 90% of the time, but I'll take a 10% edge in poker and politics any day.

-XC

downtownlad said...

Other big donors also had personal encounters with Obama. Houston businessman Bill Perkins, who held a fundraiser in November 2007, relaxed with the candidate afterward, talking about taxes, watching football and engaging in a spontaneous pull-up competition, which Obama won.

"They were the kind where you wrap your hand over the bar, not under the bar," Perkins said. "He did eight of them. That's not easy."


I can do 25 pull-ups. I am not impressed with Obama.

garage mahal said...

Even when Democrats win, they still lose.

AllenS said...

Oftentimes when I'm watching football with friends, we have a pull-up contest. I'm not impressed with Obama either.

downtownlad said...

Maybe the other guy did 5 pull-ups and Obama stopped at 8 so as not to completely embarrass him. After all - he still needed his money.

Fred4Pres said...

Chavez says he smells something

Ralph said...

Those of us who voted for McCain are going to be a lot happier abusing Obama for doing some of the same stupid shit McCain would have done.

AJ Lynch said...

Daily over-analysis of Obama's presidency before he even takes office is what the dickhead "official" talking heads are paid to do.

IMO Obama has a nanny-state worldview. That will not change one bit. He always will have that worldview (i.e Has Jimmy Carter's wolrdview changed in 35 years?). This is the predominant indicator that tells you how Obama's policy will be developed.

Althouse I know you have your fingers crossed now but look back after 180 days and see if I am right.

Also Obama continues his strategy of saying things that are not true because he knows many people will believe it. Obama said yesterday the stimulus package was developed by both Dems & Reps. That is just not true.

AllenS said...

We're talking about pulling up the tabs on beer cans aren't we? Downtownlad, 25 pull-ups, I'm impressed.

downtownlad said...

Question - What do you call a gay man who drinks beer?

Answer - A lesbian.

somefeller said...

"I think those of us who voted for McCain are going to be a lot happier with Obama than the people who voted for him."

Like I've said before, it seems like the tactic a lot of Republicans are using these days is a variation of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em", namely "if you can't beat 'em, claim 'em as one of yours". That's mildly annoying, but no big deal from where I'm sitting. If more sensible Republicans want to play ball with the winning team, that's fine with me. There's a spot at the table for them.

Anyway, I'm off to the inauguration. Should be fun, if a little cold. Yes we can!

EnigmatiCore said...

"I agree with the quote, although it lacks the complexity to acknowledge that some of us who might have voted for McCain thought we saw that this would be the case and actually voted for Obama."

If you voted for Obama because you sensed you would be happier with Obama than the lunatic fringes of the left would be with him, then that doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. That might be the reason the article eschewed that complexity.

On the other hand, if you sensed you would be happier with Obama than you would have been with McCain, regardless of how the fringes felt, then that would be a sensible way to vote.

AllenS said...

"Question - What do you call a gay man who drinks beer?

Answer - A lesbian."

I just laughed so hard, I almost peed my pants. Good thing I wasn't drinking beer. But, wait! Football games today, so let the pull-up contest continue.

Ann Althouse said...

Expat(ish) said..."Without making this some sort of ad hominem remark, Ann, you were about as likely to vote for McCain as my wife would be to buy me an AR-15."

You are wrong. I mistrusted Obama. I thought he was inexperienced and the enthusiasm for him was inane and I didn't trust him on national security and I hate left-wing politics. I didn't particularly like McCain, but at least he was right on the national security matters. Read my "How McCain lost me" post, which is a true account of how I thought about it. But you want to call me a liar, so screw you.

Ann Althouse said...

Beldar said..."The quoted statement may be true. It's still not a justification for voting for Obama if one's principles were more closely aligned with those espoused by McCain."

My principles were not well-aligned with either candidate. I voted for the man I believed was more likely to make the better President.

By the way, I am not one of those conservatives who are hot to see another conservative or 2 on the Supreme Court. I can see how someone with a big pro-life principle would feel compelled to vote for McCain. I am not locked in like that. I weighed everything.

Ann Althouse said...

What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?

ricpic said...

I suppose for those who have secured sinecures in institutional settings socialism is a good thing. For them the Obama years will be honky dory. But for those who freely choose to take their chance in the free market it will be bad, very bad. Ain't nothin' socialists hate more than freedom.

montana urban legend said...

Shorter summary:

"Slow learners experience a satisfaction derived from the greater exertion required of their efforts."

Darcy said...

I have to say that I think that was an unfair statement too, Expat(ish). In hindsight, John McCain was pathetic and almost scary in articulating the case for electing him. I can definitely see where he lost Althouse now, and I'm hoping she's right about Obama being the safer choice, all things considered. It's really going to be interesting to find out.

AJ Lynch said...

A Phyllis Harden was quoted in the NYT story. I found this tidbit from South Carolina insurance fraud report. If it is the same person, I wonder if she is even eligible to vote?

"Grooms and Bride - On August 24, 2002 in Richland County, a rental car driven by Phyllis Harden allegedly rear-ended another vehicle containing the passenger Joseph Grooms. Mr. Grooms submitted to bodily injury claim to Cambridge Integrated Services, the insurance carrier for the rental car company. Mr. Grooms and Ms. Harden denied knowing each other when questioned by police and the insurance company. However, it was revealed that Mr. Grooms and Ms. Harden were in fact married. An expert in accident reconstruction examined the vehicles and determined that the damage to the vehicles was completely inconsistent with the accident scenario related to law enforcement and the insurance company. On 03/19/07, Ms. Harden pled guilty to Presenting False Claim for payment over $1,000. She was sentenced to one year in prison suspended to time served. There was $1,225.31 due in restitution to the victim in the case. The restitution was converted into a civil fine."

Paul Snively said...

Darcy: In hindsight, John McCain was pathetic and almost scary in articulating the case for electing him. I can definitely see where he lost Althouse now, and I'm hoping she's right about Obama being the safer choice, all things considered. It's really going to be interesting to find out.

I absolutely agree with all of this. My concern is simply, and solely, that conducting the experiment of Democratic executive and legislative branches at a time when we're fighting a two-front war and experiencing a recession is probably unwise, given that the last time we had such a political configuration was during the Carter years, and we all know how well that went.

Expat(ish) said...

@ann: But you want to call me a liar, so screw you.

Hmmm, I don't think I called you a liar (I avoid that kind of talk in person and online - having lived through usenet flame wars galore). I also think I've been pretty civil here these last six+ months, so I'm not sure why you are so reflexively hostile.

What I actually wrote was: you were about as likely to vote for McCain as my wife would be to buy me an AR-15.

I can imagine circumstances where she'd go down and get me a Pelosi scaring eeeeevil rifle. Riots in the street, breakdown of civil authority, etc. (Baby, if you're reading this, get it in a .308 upper!)

So I can imagine circumstances where a midwestern ultra liberal divorced female law professor would choose the irregularly liberal conservativish McCain over the first or second most liberal midwestern black senator. But I wouldn't bet on them.

Just like I wouldn't bet on "youths" rioting in our suburban streets and causing my wife to reverse her stand on high-capacity quick pointing carbines.

-XC

PS - And I did read your post on where McCain lost you, which is not germane to my perception that 99% of people with your social markers were alway going to vote for Hilary or Barack. Just like 99% of the people with my characteristics were going to hold their nose and vote McCain (or stay home).

Expat(ish) said...

@darcy: John McCain was pathetic and almost scary in articulating the case for electing him.

I've felt that way about McCain for years. Illegal restriction of our first amendment rights (McCain-Fiengold), illegal restriction of our second amendment rights (AWB), stupid global warming claptrap taxes, and on and on.

But you gotta choose A or B in the presidential race, and I thought that since nobody really knows what to do about the financial crisis, at least with McCain the Islamo-Fascists would be sh*t scared to try anything. Ain't nobody scared of Barry, so we'll just have to hope it's a more typically futile but painful gesture than the last time they smacked us around.

And we'll have to hope that BHO is smarter than Kennedy and Johnson when that happens.

-XC

Ann Althouse said...

"My concern is simply, and solely, that conducting the experiment of Democratic executive and legislative branches at a time when we're fighting a two-front war and experiencing a recession is probably unwise..."

On this point, which I thought about a lot, I concluded that Obama was more likely to stand on his own and distinguish himself and McCain was more likely to seek the love of the congressional Democrats with whom he has worked and colluded with for so many years.

Anthony said...

I agree with Beldar and will wait until he actually does something. Talk is cheap and The One (PBUH) has shown no qualms about having ten different and contradictory opinions. So far $350 billion in pork and election give-backs isn't inspiring much confidence.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hmmm, I don't think I called you a liar (I avoid that kind of talk in person and online - having lived through usenet flame wars galore). I also think I've been pretty civil here these last six+ months, so I'm not sure why you are so reflexively hostile."

You tried sugar-coat it. I prefer straight talk, and I intended to cut through the bullshit. My response was an (apt) interpretation and a model of clarity.

Beth said...

What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?

A woman with entirely too much time on her hands.

J said...

"What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?"

Sir.

mcg said...

What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?

A pansy.

mcg said...

"I think those of us who voted for McCain are going to be a lot happier with Obama than the people who voted for him."

The people who are going to be the happiest are the ones who don't fool themselves into taking every political issue personally. That has pretty much always been true.

Ralph said...

Althouse is ultra-liberal?
Then WTF am I doing here?

McCain would have done even more damage to the conservative brand than the two Bushes. I'm leaning toward a one term presidency, and term limits for everyone else, too.

chuck b. said...

I voted for McCain and I'm already liking Obama. It was a hard choice for me. I picked McCain in the moment of decision because I thought his foreign policy instincts trumped Obama's, and I couldn't see how either one had anything good to offer the economy. But we got Obama and I think there is much to be happy about. Or at least content. For now.

Big Mike said...

I wish people wouldn't get so excited when the inaugural is still a few days away. Everybody is still only guessing how Barack will turn out. He could be fine -- though that's not the way I bet last November -- or he could be so terrible that for years afterwards no black person will dare to run for major office (not a good bet either).

I've often wished that the voting procedures allowed one line for "none of the above" because both candidates had major flaws. The reason for voting against Barack Obama is that he likes to be liked. And presidents have to accept that they are going to piss a lot of people off during their tenure in office. Clearly Bush didn't care who got mad at him, and when historians look back in 40-50 years I suspect they will say that Bush was the better president. But right now it's all a big guess.

Expat(ish) said...

@ann: You tried sugar-coat it. I prefer straight talk, and I intended to cut through the bullshit. My response was an (apt) interpretation and a model of clarity.

Straight talk? Bullsh*t?

Ann, in your world polite disbelief may be considered b/s and your personal rhetoric may be as acerbic and straightforward as your online is, but I hope not.

So you are welcome to believe that you are apt and clear, and I will certainly agree to one of these.

I've enjoyed the blog.

-XC

rcocean said...

Amazing how people were impressed by McCain Foreign Policy since that's why I refused to vote for him.

McCain had the following characteristics:

- A 72 year old egoistical hothead;
- "doesn't play well with others";
- makes important decisions off the cuff;
- has no executive experience;
-thinks the Vietnam war was a good idea;
-sings about bombing Iran;
-calls for a new cold war and thought the Goergian crises was the most important FP event since WWII;
-is willing to be in Iraq for 100 years;
-considers people who oppose him on matters of "Honor" evil;
-won't take contrary advice when his mind is made up;
-often treats those who disagree with contempt.

"President" McCain would have been a Foreign Policy disaster waiting to happen.

melchizedek said...

As far as 8 pull ups not being very many, the type of pull up was missed by most people on this post. They were doing those hang style inverted pull ups where the open part of the hand is facing away from your body. This is way different and harder than traditional style pull ups you are thinking of in your mind.

Go try it yourself to see. One day face your hand toward yourself and the next day face your hand away on the bar you'll see the difference. If Obama can do 8 of those inverted pull ups, he can do at least 30 traditional pull ups.

To me this exercise of brawn says more about the mind of the man. He knows his strengths and the weaknesses of others. Even strong people don't necessarily practice the inverted pull up. He knows that and uses it to his advantage. I bet he looses very few pull up contests for this very reason. Very few people will catch these little nuances, that he has developed using his great people knowledge.

EnigmatiCore said...

"My response was an (apt) interpretation and a model of clarity."

I believe you think you might have voted for McCain.

And I believe you will think of voting for Republican Presidential candidates in the future.

But I think there is a zero percent chance, even though you believe there is in your heart, that you will vote for a Republican until one of Scalia, Thomas, Alito, or Roberts has been replaced with a reliable liberal justice.

It will probably take longer than this blog will exist to find out, but I feel confident in my 'bet'.

Eric said...

What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?

Someone looking for an easy win?

class-factotum said...

I know a 51-year-old guy who can do 27 hands-out pullups. I am not impressed with Obama's 8.

Ann Althouse said...

"But I think there is a zero percent chance, even though you believe there is in your heart, that you will vote for a Republican until one of Scalia, Thomas, Alito, or Roberts has been replaced with a reliable liberal justice."

Then why did I vote for Bush in '04?

Matt Eckert said...

"What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?"

Somebody that I want to buy a drink.

orthodoc said...

How about, "I think those of us who voted for McCain are going to be a lot less unhappy with Obama (PBUH) than the people who voted for him?"

As long as he's a Clinton retread, and not a Carter retread, I can live with the guy.

veni vidi vici said...

"I bet he looses very few pull up contests for this very reason. Very few people will catch these little nuances, that he has developed using his great people knowledge."

I've heard that Hillary's already making diplomatic moves to bring Obama and Achmedinejad together for a pull-up contest that'll settle this whole "Great Satan" thing once and for all.

veni vidi vici said...

What do you call a lesbian that can kick DTL's ass?

"Twink"

blake said...

Though I registered a protest vote for McCain, I'm glad he didn't win, and I agree with Althouse's assessment of the two candidates.

I don't think Expat(ish) was calling Althouse a liar, but a lot of people did and rather unfairly. Althouse was unlikely to vote for McCain, but not because she was lying about her "cruel neutrality", but because McCain was unlikely to (and didn't) actually show himself as a clear alternative.

So she bet that Obama was posing leftward and that McCain was posing rightward--and by all accounts she was right.

For myself, after eight years of Bush enacting liberal policy after liberal policy and being demonized as a conservative, I'm enjoying all the frantic realignment as Obama's administration takes shape.

TRO said...

"What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?"

The average fifth-grader?

bobby said...

Uh, guys, (and maybe I'm using that term optimistically), I don't know where y'all grew up, but 'round here, since second grade, the official designation was "guys' pull-ups" - palms out - and "girls' pull-ups" - palms in.

So, yeah, Obama's eight is pretty good, if he's really a guy trapped in a woman's body.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Then why did I vote for Bush in '04?"

Because Alito wasn't on the bench in 2004. O'Connor was a pro-choice vote.

Darcy said...

That was well said, blake.

And I hope you didn't leave the blog, Expat(ish).

Ralph said...

"Then why did I vote for Bush in '04?"
JF Kerry?

Would Althouse and others have voted differently if the Iraq war had still been in doubt? We all assume O isn't stupid enough to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Shahid said...

By the way, I am not one of those conservatives who are hot to see another conservative or 2 on the Supreme Court. I can see how someone with a big pro-life principle would feel compelled to vote for McCain. I am not locked in like that. I weighed everything.

This may be the first time I've seen you suggest that you consider yourself a conservative. A fair take?

I consider myself a Republican-leaning small-government liberal who voted McCain as the devil I know. While its hard not to feel a certain schadenfreude for those who were expecting bigger changes with Obama, I still find it disturbing that we can go through a two-year election cycle with the lack of examination that Obama received.

Regardless of what Obama or his administration happens to accomplish or not from a policy perspective, this election was more reminiscent of what you find in immature democracies where electoral politics is little more than battles between personalities and machines.

bobby said...

Something isn't registering correctly about Obama's Pragmatic Surprise.

Yeah, he's done some things initially here that sort of warm my "remember "conservatism"?" cockles, and there's certainly been some amount of emotional uplift watching the "I don't CARE if he's the only one here who knows how to grow food, kill him and take his stuff!" types shift right on over to ODS, but still . . .

Unless it's just a line that gets trotted out every four years by my party, Obama was, according to some, "the most liberal" in his class. Now, we heard the exact same line about Kerry (favoring the "party line BS" judgment - each election, we get THE most liberal . . .?), but I thought the evidence proferred supported both characterizations. But, hey, I've been fooled before. So, maybe true.

But, if even close to being true, then he's either come to a very significant crossroads in his life and simply turned around, or he's just funnin' us.

My vote is that he's a sharp enough guy to realize that signing all of us conservatives up on his ride-along Chautauqua and winning us over with his new "no, not every tax increase is a good thing" personal epiphany will buy an awful lot of credibility down the road, when he gets into the serious business of sharing my stuff with all those people who spent their shoulda-been-going-to-school ages getting high and slamming brewskis.

We'll be sitting there thinking "nah, this is our Barack! He's a great guy! He's one of us!", and then one day someone will look at us and point us out to his kids and say "see - those are kulaks!"

john said...

Why is there so much discussion about pull ups? For many here, Depends might be a better topic.

Ann Althouse said...

Darcy said..."And I hope you didn't leave the blog, Expat(ish)."

Me too!

Shahid said "This may be the first time I've seen you suggest that you consider yourself a conservative. A fair take?"

Sure. I'm a conservative and a liberal.

Meade said...

Ann Althouse said...
"What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?"

So you're a conservative, a liberal, AND a lesbian?

Mark said...

"What do you call a lesbian who kicks downtownlad's ass?"

A cherry picker.

melchizedek said...

My point was not that 8 was a great pull up count. It is an effective number for the people he hangs around with and does little strength tests to help establish himself psychologically. He hangs around with government types and how fit are they?

The other point is that he knows there is a difference in the styles of pull ups. Just walking up to the bar cold turkey people can generally do more of one than the other. Whether you call the pull ups girls/boys or traditional/inverted there is a difference that can be exploited.

He is use to the harder one, so is more prepared than his competition before the game starts. Better than his rivals in America and hopefully able to deploy that kind of subtly against our enemies. This is why pull ups are useful as an example. He can establish himself with little expenditure of effort. Most will not even realizing a grand game has begun. Very Sun Tzu if you ask me. Win the war before your enemy knows it has begun.

Meade said...

"conservative, liberal, and lesbian"

I mean really, what could be hotter than that?

AllenS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Mel--

Army paratrooper pull-ups are done with the palms facing you. It's got nothing to do with which type of pull-up is harder, but to build up your arms so that you can grab a riser (one of four, or you can grab two at a time) and pull it down to pitch the chute in a direction that you want to go. You cannot climb a riser with your palms facing out. Usually tilting the chute into the wind will slow your speed.

Obama is a leg.

DaveW said...

Marine pull-ups are done with palms out and you have to come to a dead drop between each rep. There was a day when I could do well over 20 (20 is a perfect score on that part of the PFT) but alas those days are many years and pounds ago.

I've never thought of Professor Althouse as ultra-liberal. Then again, I read what she says fairly carefully and have done so for a long time. If someone described her as a classic liberal I wouldn't see that as too far off. But I see classic liberalism as in the mold of JFK and FDR. Which today's "progressives" are decidedly not. I am far more classically liberal than most of what I see being passed off as liberalism today.

I've been a good bit reassured by Obama's appointments. I hope he is successful because I love my country and I want us to be successful. I have serious disagreements with what I think Obama's core beliefs are regarding the proper role of government in our everyday lives.

I think there's hope that Obama will be a good president, that he'll shrug off or pacify his lunatic supporters and protect the country while enacting left of center - though not radical - policies.

The problem I have is, based on what he said repeatedly through the campaign, I think it is equally likely he's going to force my daughter to be registered with the selective service and drafted into an Obama Youth that will be required to go around putting up Obama flags on every corner, and that when my wife has to go for her next cancer checkup I'll find us waiting in a filthy government clinic with a widescreen TV running a continuous loop of the Obama Channel.

Natalie said...

Re: "By the way, I am not one of those conservatives who are hot to see another conservative or 2 on the Supreme Court."

I don't think Barack Obama is one of those conservatives either.

Or Dennis Kucinich for that matter.