Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gilchrest Endorses Obama

Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), who recently lost a primary election after coming out against the Iraq war, and more recently seen endorsing the Democrat running to replace him, has now jumped ship entirely and is supporting Barack Obama for President.
Justifying his endorsement of Obama, Gilchrest said that "we can't use four more years of the same kind of policy that's somewhat haphazard, which leads to recklessness."

Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), "have the breadth of experience. I think they're prudent. They're knowledgable."

Matt Yglesias wonders why this isn't getting the attention that the objectively far less meaningful Lady Rothschild endorsement of McCain is. For my part, the primary reason I'd suspect -- beyond media mendacity, which is always contender -- is that Gilchrest is from Maryland, and Maryland's vote was not exactly in doubt this or any other year.

That being said, the number of prominent moderate Republicans -- particularly those no longer beholden to the Party leadership -- who have bolted to Obama's camp is striking. Chafee, Leach, and now Gilchrest are only some of the more prominent members. Add that to the ones simply withholding support from McCain (Powell, Hagel, Paul), and there is a legitimate story there to be written.


Cycle Cyril said...

What I find interesting is that many of these Obama supporting Republicans are far from pro-Israel.

David Schraub said...

I haven't seen anything supporting that. Most of the claims I've read alleging that these guys are "anti-Israel" actually just shows that they're not wild-eyed right wing hawks. Which I'm not either, and which I don't think is actually pro-Israel in any meaningful sense.

Gilchrest trying to promote an analysis of the Iran/Israel relationship that actually considers national interest, rather than painting (anybody!) as crazed irrational fanatics is I think a useful contribution to the conversation. Even if I'm not a 100% onboard with a peace delegation consisting of H.W. Bush, Clinton, and Carter, I don't think its an awful idea either, and not disqualifying of Leach. Nor does Chafee's generic claim that we need to put more "pressure" on Israel to follow the roadmap trouble me too much, especially given what seems to be the specific context -- modifying (not eliminating) the route of the security fence (which I definitely support). He's also more committed to the land-for-peace outlook than many GOPers, but once again, so am I.

Cycle Cyril said...

What you describe does support my contention.

Those Republicans supporting Obama have and are supporting positions that are far less supportive of Israel than Republicans at large. This continues a pattern in which many on the Left and also a good number of Democrats (at least those not trying to get gelt from Yids) are overtly anti-Israel if not anti-Semitic.