Monday, March 24, 2008

A Bizarre Endorsement

If you were reading NRO during the GOP primary contest this year you may have come across an article or two from GOP lawyer Douglas Kmiec.  He was a prominently featured supporter of Romney, asserting (in an unenviable square-off with Steven Calabresi) that Romney was a better choice for originalists than McCain.  Well, with Romney long out of the race Kmiec has finally come around and made a replacement endorsement:

Today I endorse Barack Obama for president of the United States. I believe him to be a person of integrity, intelligence, and genuine good will. I take him at his word that he wants to move the nation beyond its religious and racial divides and that he wants to return the United States to that company of nations committed to human rights.

Perhaps most odd is that Kmiec basically admits that a President Obama would be a strong opponent of conservatism and originalism:

As a Republican, I strongly wish to preserve traditional marriage not as a suspicion or denigration of my homosexual friends but as recognition of the significance of the procreative family as a building block of society. As a Republican and as a Catholic, I believe life begins at conception, and it is important for every life to be given sustenance and encouragement. As a Republican, I strongly believe that the Supreme Court of the United States must be fully dedicated to the rule of law and to the employ of a consistent method of interpretation that keeps the court within its limited judicial role. As a Republican, I believe problems are best resolved closest to their source and that we should never arrogate to a higher level of government that which can be more effectively and efficiently resolved below. As a Republican and a constitutional lawyer, I believe religious freedom does not mean religious separation or mindless exclusion from the public square.

In various ways, Sen. Barack Obama and I may disagree on aspects of these important fundamentals, but I am convinced, based upon his public pronouncements and his personal writing, that on each of these questions he is not closed to understanding opposing points of view and, as best as it is humanly possible, he will respect and accommodate them.

Now, Kmiec's endorsement is actually not much of a surprise: he's been saying some bizarre things on the net about Obama in the last couple of months.  Still, it's difficult to understand how a man who didn't support McCain because he was (allegedly) insufficiently committed to appointing originalist judges could now endorse Obama, and his post offers little justification (other than his entirely lame and milquetoast "he is not closed to understanding opposing points of view" comment) on the matter.

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