America's Last Conservative, Paul Craig Roberts, tells us why we should vote for Ron Paul. Long story short, "(o)nly Ron Paul understands that if the Constitution cannot be resurrected from its public murder by Congress and the executive branch, then Americans are lost to tyranny." Mr. Paul's positions on Bush/Obama abuses of power are, of course, impeccable, though his general opposition to the safety net repels most liberals, myself included, and I suspect Mr. Roberts thinks less of the effectiveness of American people's opposition to that "public murder" than I do. Mr. Roberts also argues that a President Paul would be so isolated from Congress that he wouldn't be able to get rid of Social Security, Medicare, et al if he wanted to, and anyway he doesn't want to until we can restructure the economy so that we don't need them. I'm not inclined to believe that restructuring is possible, though I don't doubt Mr. Paul thinks it is (and he was one of only four House Republicans to vote against the Ryan budget, you may remember). But I'd be more inclined to agree that our elites would, in fact, prefer to raid the safety net under cover of a Democratic Administration and a Democratic Congress -- though, after the events of the last three years, they'd be foolish to push for that again in 2013.
Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan tells us why we should vote for Barack Obama. Long story short, "given the enormity of what he inherited, and given what he explicitly promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb. Their short-term outbursts have missed Obama’s long game." I wouldn't call extending the Bush tax cuts or cutting Medicare "accomplishments," and I value some accomplishments more than others anyway -- I don't think killing Mr. bin Laden, for example, would rate a full paragraph in any lengthy assessment I'd make. Having not expected that much from Mr. Obama to begin with, I'm more frustrated with him than disappointed, and though I've long entertained the notion that Mr. Obama is playing a "long game," I've also long suspected that believing in the "long game" is a way of excusing his failures of courage, and if you don't do everything you can while you have a 70-seat House majority and a 20-seat Senate majority you might not even get to play a long game. I'd quarrel with Mr. Sullivan, also, on whether the GOP really understands "the language of victory and defeat," unless losing 20 House seats, eight Senate seats, and the Presidency in 2008 humbled Republicans in a way I somehow missed. At least I rate as "purist" in Mr. Sullivan's eyes, rather than "unhinged." That's something.