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Opening Arguments

A conservative for Obama

Here's one of those "lifelong conservatives" who are voting for Barack Obama, Larry Hunter, who worked in the Reagan White House and helped write the Contract With America. He's against McCain because that would be to endorse George Bush's foreign policy of "unjustified war and unconstitutional abridgment of individual rights." But what about Obama's domestic agenda, which goes against just about everything conservatives stand for?

Plus, when it comes to domestic issues, I don't take Obama at his word. That may sound cynical. But the fact that he says just about all the wrong things on domestic issues doesn't bother me as much as it once would have. After all, the Republicans said all the right things - fiscal responsibility, spending restraint - and it didn't mean a thing. It is a sad commentary on American politics today, but it's taken as a given that politicians, all of them, must pander, obfuscate and prevaricate.

That does sound cynical, profoundly so. But there's also a practical consideration. If you don't "take Obama at his word" domestically, why would you assume he's being truthful on foreign policy matters?

Listening to all of the candidates' foreign policy statements, I have the feeling McCain might be too quick to intervene when there were still other options available, Obama too slow to intervene when it became obvious there was nothing left to do. Each of us will have to decide which of those faults is the most acceptable. And when it comes to the Constitution and individual rights, I'm not sure I trust either of them.