What is an “Obamacon?” The phrase surfaced in January to describe British Conservatives entranced by Barack Obama. On March 13, the American Spectator broadened the term to cover all “conservative supporters” of the Democratic presidential candidate. Their ranks, though growing, feature few famous people. But looming on the horizon are two big potential Obamacons: Colin Powell and Chuck Hagel.
Novak’s using the term Obamacons, but I’m not sure it applies. Powell has never been a conservative; he’s a Republican but not a conservative. Hagel can be called a conservative. (Lifetime ACU rating: 84.67%) A better term might be “Obamacans” or the unwieldy “Obamalicans”.
That danger was highlighted in a June New Republic article on “the rise of the Obamacons” by supply-side economist and author Bruce Bartlett, a middle-level official in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. He expressed “disgust with a Republican Party that still does not see how badly George W. Bush has misgoverned this country” — echoing his scathing 2006 book, “Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.” While Bartlett says, “I’m not ready to join the other side,” his anti-Bush furor characterizes the Obamacons.
I think we see it, but our personal liking of Bush, plus the need to support any President in war time, keeps a lot of our criticism muted. McCain’s not a savior, he’s not terribly conservative (lower lifetime ACU rating than Hagel), but he’ll prosecute the war on terror, rather than negotiate with those who wish to kill us. (“Instead of killing us, what if you just chopped off our arms?”) Unlike McCain, Obama seems to think the hippies and flower children had a point.
McCain’s not perfect and doesn’t deserve conservative support, but to a greater extent Obama doesn’t deserve to be President, so conservatives should lean McCain, while reserving the right to abandon him if he abandons us.