The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

What it Means to Root for Obama

I suspect that my initial arguments for why I would “root” for an Obama victory have not been received without criticism. Humor me for a moment with some additional explanation.

First, I am not rooting for an Obama victory in the sense that I want him to win over any and all other options. Notably, I am not even voting for him. I am voting, rather, for a Third Party candidate. If the Third Party candidate can win, then I want him to win. He is the person I am really rooting for.

Second, I am not rooting for an Obama victory in the sense that I think he alone is better than Mitt Romney alone. This needs to be put into perspective–a perspective I had hoped to have made clear originally, but maybe not.

It is political ignorance to think that the election comes down to Obama versus Romney, alone on their own merits. The United States of America are not ruled by a king with absolute power; they are ruled by a three-branched government that is self-limiting. As a result, Obama is elected WITH the Congress, just as Romney is.

Therefore, I am either rooting for an Obama victory WITH a Republican Congress, or I am rooting for a Romney victory WITH a Republican Congress. The fact of the matter is that in American history, especially its recent history, the three-branched federal government is more conservative when it has a Democratic president and a Republican Congress. It is more conservative in that arrangement than it is in ANY other arrangement: Republican president with Democratic Congress, or Republican president with Republican Congress. Now that could change with any future administration, but historical precedence is on my side here.

So I am not saying that a second-term President Obama is the lesser of two evils in comparison with a first-term President Romney. I am saying that a second-term President Obama WITH a Republican Congress is historically preferable to a first-term President Romney WITH a Republican (or Democratic) Congress. Assuming historical precedence stands, I’d take my chances with the former scenario rather than with the latter.

One more point of note, the choice isn’t between four years of Obama (with a Republican Congress) and four years of Romney (with a Republican Congress). It is between four years of Obama (with an increasingly Republican Congress) and four years of Romney (with a Republican Congress that will likely become Democratic in 2014–following historical precedence) followed by four more years of the same or his replacement by another Democratic president. Thus, I have to follow my conscience and vote for the Third Party candidate (all the while hoping he’ll win), but expecting that if a major party candidate is going to win, the better scenario is for a President Obama with a Republican Congress (that will likely grow more Republican in the 2014 elections) than any other political arrangement in Washington.

I am neither saying that Obama is not evil, nor that he is the lesser of two evils. I am saying that tied to his Congress, that arrangement is the preferable arrangement.

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4 thoughts on “What it Means to Root for Obama

  1. Given what we have seen, I think this is a pretty naive analysis. Branches of government are only interdependently limiting if each stays within their constitutional bounds. This president, more than any before him, has not just pushed past those boundaries, but said from beofre his rule (and I use that word intentionally) that the Constitution is not what he wants.

  2. Tom, I think you raise an interesting point–a point with which I agree, but which fails to take into account what I have purposed in this post.

    You are right, the branches of government are only interdependently limiting if they stay within their constitutional bounds. Thus, they are only self-limiting insofar as they want to be self-limiting.

    What is missing is that I am proposing the scenario in which they most desire to be self-limiting is the scenario I’ve proposed. A Republican Congress is far more limiting with a Democratic president than they are with a Republican president, or than a Democratic Congress is with either a Republican or a Democratic president. Thus, I actually take into consideration their failure to be self-limiting and take into consideration historical precedence and past experiences. Rather than suspending the existential, I am acknowledging it.

  3. But Matt, how effective has this Republican congress been at limiting Barack Obama? Not very it seems to me.

    • Justin, that depends what you mean. He didn’t have a Republican Congress the first two years, so they couldn’t limit him. After that, when he did have a Republican Congress, there were certain things they wouldn’t limit. Those same things they won’t limit under Romney either.

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