Obama vs. McCain: Who’s Better ?

Nick Bradley has an interesting piece at Lew Rockwell’s blog where he essentially argues that, from a libertarian point of view, Barack Obama might just be better President than John McCain would be:

In the grand scheme of things, Obama is far less statist than Hillary (socialism at home, hegemony abroad) and McCain (fascism at home, endless warfare abroad). If Obama wins the democratic nomination, I suspect he’ll run with Bill Richardson (who likes market solutions on pragmatic grounds as well), as he can help shore up Obama’s dismal support among Hispanics, which could cost him Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada (19 electoral college votes). Don’t get me wrong: in a hypothetical match up in the fall between Obama and McCain, I’ll either abstain from voting or write in Paul’s name. But for the electorate as a whole, Obama would be the more liberty-minded choice over the statist, warmongering, ill-tempered and possibly unstable John McCain.

Like Bradley, and unlike Mark at Publius Endures who clued me in to Bradley piece, I am unlikely to vote for Obama in the General Election based largely on his statist economic policies and the fact that an Obama Administration would, of necessity, be populated by left-liberal Democrats who are already salivating at the prospect of increasing the power of the state. That said, like Bradley and Mark, I find myself thinking that I’d much rather live in President Obama’s America than President McCain’s.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    I’m not sure. A lot depends on what we get in Congress. A Democrat in the Oval Office, whether Hillary or Obama, isn’t as big as a threat if we have a Republican Congress. But Clinton/Obama with a Democrat Congress is likely to be even worse than Bush with a Republican Congress.

    Given that we’re very likely to have a Democrat Congress, I’d rather have gridlock with McCain. With a Republican Congress, I might actually prefer a Democrat in the White House, as that gives our Congress someone to fight against, and thus we won’t have the profligate spending that we’ve had over the last 7 years.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    The unfortunate fact seems to be that we will get both a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President for at least 2 years.

    And, this time, I’m not counting on another “Contract with America” to change things come 2010.

  • http://trumpetbob15.blogspot.com/ trumpetbob15


    The other side of this is that even McCain in office can’t be considered actual gridlock. How often has McCain ended up siding with Democrats on issues and gotten rewarded in the media for being a maverick? With Obama, at least Republicans might get their act together and get back to conservatism, but that can’t happen if McCain undercuts them at every turn.

  • UCrawford

    Anal fissures vs. hemorrhoids: which is better?

    Point being, I wouldn’t want either of them. Obama’s a statist who’ll have a friendly Congress and McCain’s a statist who seems to want to expand the war in Iraq. Neither of them are candidates libertarians should consider voting for.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany


    I’m not sure what Doug is going to do, but if the choice is McCain vs. Obama (or McCain vs. Hillary), I’m voting for the Libertarian.

    That doesn’t mean that there’s no value in discussing whether McCain or Obama is worse for the country (I disagree with the title of the post because I’d rather portray the negative, “Who’s worse” than the positive, “Who’s better”, with these statist political whores).

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    I’m voting Libertarian as well, as is Nick Bradley apparently. But I think his point (that, in some sense, libertarians have less to fear from Obama than the other remaining candidates) is worth considering.

  • http://freedomdemocrats.org/ FreedomDemocrats

    Brad, while I’m usually sympathetic to divided government arguments, I’m not sure if it holds in this situation.

    The Democratic Congress has already shown itself to be an utter failure in creating gridlock and stopping the worst aspects of the Bush Administration: Iraq, FISA, etc. I don’t see how they’d show more spine to a President McCain.

    A Democratic House and Democratic Senate would be very supportive of both a President Clinton and President Obama, but I could see how an active minority of Republican Senators could provide balance.