Election 2008: Charles Barkley, you are America

FROM JASON’S POLITICAL SOAPBOX — Sir Charles Barkley is jump-fading away from the Republican party, and that’s worth 3 points.

A few years ago, Barkley drew double-D from liberal politicos for taking a very pro-Republican stance, but now The Round Mound of Rebound is changing teams — like so many other former conservatives — and endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president.

Friday, he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the Republican party is full of “fake Christians” who hypocritically judge the rest of America. He couldn’t be more right. That’s why so many, including myself, are turning from the Right and running full-steam this election season for the Left.

BARKLEY: “Hey, I live in Arizona. I have got great respect for Senator McCain. Great respect. But I don’t like the way the Republicans are taking this country. Every time I hear the word “conservative,” it makes me sick to my stomach, because they’re really just fake Christians, as I call them. That’s all they are. But I just — I’m going to vote Democratic no matter what.”

Later, clarifying what he means by “fake Christians”:

BARKLEY: Well, I think they — they want to be judge and jury. Like, I’m for gay marriage. It’s none of my business if gay people want to get married. I’m pro-choice. And I think these Christians — first of all, they’re supposed to be — they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in this country. And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like their Christians. And they’re not forgiving at all.

Disenfranchised Republicans, fed up with Bushism and the abandonment of praxeological economic conservatism, are turning to Clinton and Obama. I’ve been a Republican for years for practical reasons — the party has traditionally supported small-scale government, low taxation, balanced budgets, open markets, and individual freedoms.

No longer. In the past… um… eight or so years, the party has trampled on those ideals and bloated. Republicans have been disproportionately rocked by scandal. Republicans have made bad power plays. Republicans have waged a foolish and expensive two-front war, and above all, Republicans have made themselves publicly notorious for being anti-science, anti-rationalism (read: pro-religion), and anti-civil rights.

Intellectual Republicans are becoming intellectual Independents and turning to Democrats for help — because as long as both parties are levying huge taxes and pissing money away, you might as well endorse the one that won’t discriminate against the hungry, the poor, the gay, the non-believers, and the disabled.

I’m not endorsing Obama, here — I’m actually much more enamored with Sen. Hillary Clinton’s stances — but that’s hardly the point. When you look at the Democrats, you can’t help but be terrified of the Republican presidential candidates. And Barkley and the rest of America seem to agree.

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