I haven’t commented much on the Obama transition, so I’ll post a comment I made on Felix’s blog, under Special Open Thread Friday.
Felix said, “Another prayer for President-elect Obama is that he’d eventually take a ‘moderate’ pro-life position (like George Bush Sr.) and will eventually and unilaterally reject the concept of partial birth abortion in most circumstances.”
I responded: “I can see him doing that, Felix–probably not going as far as Bush, Sr., but doing SOMETHING for the sanctity of life. A lot of conservatives will probably look at me and say ‘What?! Look at his record! He wanted to finish off babies once they were born. He promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act!’ True, but Obama also voted to rescind the Bush tax cuts on those making over $45,000 a year, and now he’s planning not to rescind them. Actually, he’s giving people a tax cut. Obama voted for a lot of earmarks, but now he’s maintaining a no-tolerance policy on earmarks. He met with conservatives–not Hannity and Rush, but others like Bill Kristol. And he kept firm in inviting Rick Warren to give an inaugural prayer. So I have some hope for him–at least that things won’t be THAT bad.”
I’ve always thought that he would be more moderate than many conservatives thought he would.
It’s hard to judge these things. One can look at a person’s record, but that may not be what a person follows when he becomes President. Reagan was actually a fairly liberal governor of California–he raised taxes at one point, he signed tough gun control legislation, he signed the therapeutic abortion law. Yet, as President, he was about as conservative as you can get! Bush, Jr. as governor of Texas brought Republicans and Democrats together, and he appointed some liberal judges. Yet, as President, he was a polarizer, and he tilted the courts a little more to the right. So I wonder how we can predict what a candidate will do once elected. Do we look at someone’s demeanor? Indeed, Obama did come across as open-minded, in his speeches, debates, and books.