On the campaign trail in the primaries, Obama spoke of living in a post-partisan, post-Bush world, one where the President works with everyone to bring about changes to fulfill the hopes and dreams of American people. While I agree in principle with Obama's rhetoric, I agree to disagree on which candidate will best fulfill the ideal Obama proposed.
Both candidates can talk about reaching across party lines and cite examples, but McCain has shown a record of reaching across party lines under any circumstance. Obama can claim to have worked on bipartisan measures, but he cannot say the same when people agree to disagree.
When the United States Senate was on the brink of chaos over the filibustering of court appointments, when Republicans were ready to invoke the nuclear option and Democrats were ready to respond in kind, when Congress could have deteriorated into a state even worse than it is now, McCain joined the Gang of 14, seven Republicans and seven Democrats, to establish a compromise ending the crisis.
When McCain worked across party lines with Ted Kennedy to sponsor comprehensive immigration reform, he angered a lot of people, myself included, and almost lost the primary over the issue of immigration. But while he drew my ire in the short run, he nonetheless drew the respect of not only myself but many others in the big picture for his ability to work with others.
Meanwhile, on the issue of immigration, Obama voted not only opposite McCain, but also Ted Kennedy on several different "poison pill" amendments to the immigration plan, including the one, S.A. 1316, that passed and effectively killed the fragile compromise on the bill.
McCain does whatever it takes for the good of the country. When the financial crisis struck, he even suspended his campaign to contribute what he could to the solution. Obama, on the other hand, could offer plans to address the crisis if he became President, but he hardly showed the same enthusiasm for fixing the present problem on the campaign trail. Knowing that the financial crisis would help his campaign, he spent more time blaming the crisis on Bush and McCain.
And in spite of the financial crisis, Obama still thinks he can propose $800 billion in new spending, reduce taxes for the 95 percent of people, and somehow reduce our deficit. He says he will pay for it by taxing the rich and redistributing wealth (feel free to insert your favorite Joe the Plumber reference), but even then the numbers still do not add up.
If you tax anyone too much, rich or poor, it will hurt the economy, which is the last thing we need. McCain, despite his limited economic expertise, understands that you have to balance less taxes with less spending, not more, and has proposed a tough but necessary spending freeze as a result. It may not be the most glamorous plan, but McCain will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
McCain keeps his promises. Anybody remember Obama's pledge to accept public financing if McCain did the same? And Obama has the audacity to say that McCain's Straight Talk Express lost a wheel?
Obama will inevitably counter, however, that the large influx of money he has received from the common man validates his decision, but let me put it in perspective: Internet fundraising and contributions from average Americans make it possible for Obama to forgo public financing; gazillion-dollar fundraising dinners and big-time donors make it advantageous to forgo public financing.
And as a result of breaking his pledge, Obama can purchase 30-minute ads and go on a spending spree that not even venture capitalist Mitt Romney could match with his wealth. McCain worked with liberal Democratic Senator Russ Feingold to legislate campaign finance reform in 2002, and he now risks losing not only the election, but any bipartisan progress he made on campaign finance reform.
Obama will do anything to win this election, even labeling legitimate attacks on him as "smears" and posting them to fightthesmears.com. For example, on Obama's connection to ACORN, an organization caught in the act of vote fraud, fightthesmears.com states as a fact that "ACORN was not part of Project Vote", but Obama himself said, "Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drives in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it."
Now I will not linger on the association between Obama and radicals like Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers and Rashid Khalidi, but I will discuss it briefly. Although I may want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, it's hard to do so when his surrogates are blocking access to library records about Obama, Ayers, and the Annenberg Challenge, or when The L.A. Times obtains a video of a party for Khalidi attended by Obama on the condition that said video cannot be released to the general public.
And finally, on the issues of abortion, Obama considers the question of when life begins above his pay grade, but as a state senator it apparently was not above his pay grade to support funding abortions using taxpayer dollars. While he acknowledges that good people exist on both sides, I cannot help but notice how that logic applies only one way.
Many people treat Obama as if he were a Messiah, yet many of them will later feel betrayed if he gets elected and does not turn out to be the hero they think he is. Already, many staunch liberals feel betrayed by Obama and gave up on him when he vigorously pledged to oppose the NSA wiretapping bill but reneged on that promise.
As for McCain, while I do not always agree with him, there is something about his character and integrity that transcends that disagreement. And above all else, I know exactly what I am getting when I vote for a straight-talking McCain administration. He may not be the second coming of Reagan (nor is he eight more years of Bush), but he is the right man for this country.
Mike Wacker is assistant web editor at The Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wack Attack appears alternate Fridays.