Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

May 12, 2008

Open Thread: Who’s Worse For President

by Kevin Boyd

Which Presidential candidate is worse for liberty, John McCain or Barack Obama?

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  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    ‘spose I can’t pick all of the above eh?

    If so, then Obama.

    Divided legislative and executive good. Less than a total socialist, good. Everything else, pretty much bad.

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

    I’m with Kevin, I’d pick NOTA.

    McCain’s negatives are easy to recount. McCain-Feingold, support for the Patriot Act, supports the War on (Some) Drugs.

    Obama might be slightly worse only because it’s evident that there isn’t going to be a Republican Congress to restrain him and, if he wins, he’s going to come into office with pretty much the whole country in the midst of a full-blown Obama-gasm.

  • http://publiusendures.blogspot.com Mark

    I’ll pick McCain, for several reasons (FWIW, as much as neither of them will be “good” for liberty, they will both represent an improvement over the current occupants of the executive branch):
    1. Obama is likely to be far better with respect to Executive Power issues, which are in my mind by far the greatest threat to liberty. A President with an expansive view of executive power is a Pre
    2. “War is the health of the state.” ‘Nuff said.
    3. Many of Obama’s more anti-liberty positions have evolved or hardened as a result of the vicious primary with Hillary, who is far and away the most anti-liberty candidate of the bunch. I suspect that Obama would not govern in the populist direction that Hillary has pushed him in.

  • http://www.kipesquire.com KipEsquire

    Three words: John Paul Stevens.

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

    Kip,

    Point taken.

    And I’ll add three more words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg — her health hasn’t been all the good lately.

    I know the kind of crap justices that Obama is likely to appoint, but I don’t know why I should trust McCain either.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    Which Presidential candidate is worse for liberty, John McCain or Barack Obama?

    Well, that would be hard to say. They’re each outstanding in their own way. Have either of them delivered medical school cadavers to the press club dinners?

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    It’s a close match. I’m really not a fan of “national greatness conservatism”. It really offends the anarchist side of my psyche.

    But Obama worries me more. Either McCain or Hillary are cranky old politicians, and recognized as such. This makes their horrific policies easy to oppose. Obama has this cult-like thing about him that it seems like he’ll get people to gladly follow him down the rabbit hole, no matter what he’s proposing.

    I agree with Chris, divided government is good. Hillary doesn’t worry me as much, because she’s so hated by Republicans that NOBODY will actually work with her if she’s elected. But Obama, with a Democratic Congress and Republicans who are probably too scared to stand up to him– that’s a recipe for him to get his policies enacted.

    Obama is the guy who can bring us European-style socialism, and convince everyone to run along happily down the path.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Well, that would be hard to say. They’re each outstanding in their own way. Have either of them delivered medical school cadavers to the press club dinners?

    Easy, there, UC. With Bush in office, glib statements like those might get you put on “double secret probation”. It’s like being expelled, but with free waterboarding thrown in!

  • John V

    It depends on what kind of liberty you’re talking about. IOW, freedom from what?

    Depending on what one favors in terms of liberty, the answer could be either.

  • http://www.tom-hanna.org Tom Hanna

    Obama: Cult of personality; tax increases; socialized medicine; just as much war just under UN auspices; Hillary in the Cabinet or at Number One Observatory Circle; the CIA can’t torture foreigners but the IRS and the EPA can torture Americans; the economy goes so far in the tank that Weimar Germany looks like the good ole days with predictable consequences.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    Mark,

    1. Obama is likely to be far better with respect to Executive Power issues, which are in my mind by far the greatest threat to liberty.

    Just like Republicans were better with respect to Executive Power issues in the 1990s.

    2. “War is the health of the state.” ‘Nuff said.

    Instead of war with Iran, we’ll have war with Sudan and Burma under UN auspices in the name of “human rights”. Plus, I don’t think Obama will pull out of Iraq once he’s elected.

    3. Many of Obama’s more anti-liberty positions have evolved or hardened as a result of the vicious primary with Hillary, who is far and away the most anti-liberty candidate of the bunch. I suspect that Obama would not govern in the populist direction that Hillary has pushed him in.

    That we actually agree on.

    Tom:

    Obama: Cult of personality; tax increases; socialized medicine; just as much war just under UN auspices; Hillary in the Cabinet or at Number One Observatory Circle; the CIA can’t torture foreigners but the IRS and the EPA can torture Americans; the economy goes so far in the tank that Weimar Germany looks like the good ole days with predictable consequences.

    Just swap out “Obama” for “McCain” and the paragraph would still fit.

  • uhm

    I think they are tied. I prefer Obama because Republicans need a good kick in the ass for rejecting their principles.

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