The Impact of “Obamacons”

Monday, June 09, 2008

I have personally heard from a half-dozen strong Republican voters who are planning on voting for Obama in November. They include my in-laws, a couple Lansing area Republican lobbyists and others. There is even a name for it now: “Obamacons”, or conservative Obama supporters.

Who are these people? Why are they supporting a lefty, like Obama? Are they a large enough group to impact the election?

Last week, in an article by E.J Dionne Jr. of the Washington Post discussed this issue in relation to Douglas Kmiec, a pro-life activist and former employee of the Justice Department under the Reagan administration, who is an Obama supporter. The article, which was written in response to Kmiec being denied communion because of his Obama support, said that Kmiec was supporting Obama: “…despite the candidate's position on abortion, not because of it, partly in the hope that Obama's emphasis on personal responsibility in sexual matters might change the nature of the nation's argument on life issues.” In the article, Kmiec also stated that conservatives find Obama's call for a new approach to politics appealing.

Is this a trend or just merely a few disenfranchised conservatives? Has Bush’s failures pushed conservatives to Obama, or are there things about Obama that draw conservatives to him?

What do you think?

3 comments:

Smitty 9:32 AM  

I think that some of these self-described hardcore Republicans are much more centrist (read: moderate) than not. What I mean is that they call themselves hard Rs because that fits and feels better than a Moderate or strong D, but when it comes right down to it, if someone appeals to their sensibilities, they will gladly go that way.

Case in point is Kmiec: "despite the candidate's position on abortion, not because of it, partly in the hope that Obama's emphasis on personal responsibility in sexual matters might change the nature of the nation's argument on life issues."

Kniec is, say, Pro-Life. But the way Obama approaches the issue, as Kmiec sees and says, is much closer to how he actually feels about the issue. If we just phrase it as "personal responsibility" rather than this with-us-or-against-us crap, maybe the goal some pro-lifes are after will actually be achieved.

ANd it's this with-us-or-against-us policy that comes directly from the Right To Life organization, straight from Rovian politics and right from the Bush Admin. Most people stuck with that, though, becaue in their minds it was better to be in the tent than out of it.

Obama gives them a whole new kind of tent. With music. And better food.

Mike 8:33 PM  

A lot of Cons I know in NY -- who tend to be of the fiscal conservative/fairly socially liberal variety are all planning to vote for Obama or not to vote/vote third party.

I don't know one (actually I do know one) who will vote for McCain.

steves 4:26 PM  

I am one of them, though I never considered myself a hardcore Republican. I am more of a pragmatist that sees some good (and bad) ideas from all the major and some minor parties.

I tend to vote based on some specific issues. I don't agree with Obama's abortion stance, but there is more to being pro-life than abortion. Not surprising, but I also don't agree with his stance on guns. I do agree with his stance on all sorts of other issues and I am willing to take a chance that he is sincere when he says he wants to unify.

I also don't like the direction the Republican party has gone in the last decade or so. I'd like to see them abandon the neocons and start respecting civil rights and having some semblence of an intelligent foreign policy.

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