Jim Antle notes that he fits the Obamacon profile pretty well, and I have to say that the same goes for me, except for the small problem that neither of us supports Obama’s election. You’d think that a paleo in Hyde Park would be the quintessential Obamacon, but that is not so. A repeal or amending of the PATRIOT Act is not likely forthcoming under an Obama administration, when he voted to reauthorise the Act in 2006. Jim’s reservations about Obama’s position on Iraq and mine are very similar. Here is Jim’s point:
Second, given that Obama’s proposed Iraq exit is conditional upon there being no ”security vacuum filled with terrorism, chaos, ethnic cleansing and genocide that could engulf large swaths of the Middle East and endanger America,” he might not actually end the war in any meaningful sense.
As I speculated a few months ago:
Indeed, this is another case where Obama’s instinct for interventionism will probably prevent withdrawal from Iraq, or will require an immediate re-deployment for the sake of “stopping genocide.” A hardened realist might wash his, our, hands of Iraq and refuse to be drawn back in; Obama’s foreign policy-as-moral preening would demand another intervention. Immediately the political debate would be inverted, as progressives suddenly discovered the virtues of interventionist warfare once again and Republicans would be outraged at the “distraction” from our real security threats.
Discussing Bruce Bartlett’s article on the “rise” of the Obamacons, which I suppose must go beyond a trend and consitutes an entire movement of at least eleven people, Jim writes:
Finally, there isn’t much evidence that Obamacons exist in large numbers at the grassroots level. Most polls show McCain winning twice as much Democratic support as Obama wins Republican support. In past elections, it has tended to be the least conservative Republicans who have voted Democratic. Bloggers, columnists, academics, and other conservative elites are important, perhaps more so than the average voter. But if Obamacons are men (and women) without a country, their “rise” won’t have much impact on the election.
What is notable is how concentrated the Obamacon phenomenon is among bloggers, columnists, academics and conservative elites. Or perhaps a better way to put it is “limited to” these people, since there is no groundswell of pro-Obama sentiment on the right. As Jim suggests here, the “Obamacan” (i.e., Republicans for Obama) phenomenon is more electorally significant, and yet is ultimately not much greater than typical levels of crossover voting for the Democratic nominee. Where Kerry got 7%, Obama typically gets 10%. As I’m sure others have noted, there are fewer self-described Republicans out there, so there are a lot of former Republicans, some of whom may be supporting Obama, thus increasing his numbers among independents. The reason why the Obamacon phenomenon is so small is that it requires a tremendous act of imagination and equally tremendous trust in a major party politician for a conservative to rationalise supporting a Democratic candidate for President, and most people haven’t the time or inclination for either one.