I've been waiting anxiously for this – the Presidential endorsement by the Arizona Republic, a very liberal paper, and whether it's due to self-preservation (their circulation dwindles monthly despite Phoenix being the fastest growing city in the country), or the fact that at least a few people see things clearly there, they have endorsed John McCain.
And it's not a tepid endorsement, it's full-throated. They cover every aspect of concern to voters and the welfare of the country…
"Even McCain mischaracterizes his noble willingness to stand up and stand alone. He contends it is the "maverick" in him. Well, he's wrong about that. It is the leader in him."
And the Republic didn't just dwell on McCain's positives, they also dealt with Obama's negatives, which I felt was equally important, since some people actually think of him as capable.
"Obama is barely four years removed from the Illinois State Legislature. And even that thin record in public office is obscured to us by the senator's proclivity for voting "present," often on knotty issues like abortion. For a candidate seeking the world's greatest political challenge, Obama presents an extraordinarily lightly traveled trail."
And here's the singularly most important line in my opinion:
"Considering what we do know of his record, it is hard to envision Obama tamping down even the wildest leftist aspirations of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid."
The Republic also gives Joe the Plumber's concern it's proper weight:
"Obama's plan to reduce the taxes of "95 percent" of working families is most troubling. As many as 44 percent of "taxpayers" today pay no federal income tax at all. What Obama in fact is proposing is a direct transfer of wealth from top earners to those on the lower rungs. In short, he seeks to use the tax system as a revived form of welfare.
To be sure, the paper's endorsement is not without its flaws – for example, it regards global warming as an issue, and seems pleased that McCain will find a way to ruin the economy over that, but I guess I can't have everything
There is one thing the Republic says about Obama with which I completely and totally disagree – two actually, but it's like Doublemint Gum:
"No one will dispute that the Illinois senator's candidacy constitutes a historic moment in the life of this nation. In addition to his demonstrated capacity to help heal the greatest American wound, its racial divide, Obama has inspired millions of Americans to see anew the value of public service."
While I would agree the Obama candidacy is an historic moment, I regard it as historically bad – it's the worst sort of precedent – that a man, solely because of race and having not a single other qualification, can be on the verge of becoming President.
What next to celebrate for its own sake, the first woman? The first Hispanic, How about the first Indian? Wouldn't that be something?
And if Obama were qualified, his race shouldn't even come up – just he's here, he's black, now lets get on with it…
Furthermore, the election of Obama would not heal this so-called "greatest wound," it would exacerbate it. Blacks have demonstrated that they are gearing up to gain all they can from the first black President, and his record suggests he'll indulge them. The security detail scandal involving Governor Paterson in New York may serve as an indicator of what we can expect from Obama.
Finally, the endorsement's conclusion is worth noting as the key difference between the two candidates:
"McCain speaks with a voice of credible authority. It is not as mellifluous a voice as Obama's. But it is a voice we in Arizona know well. It is one we trust."