Buckley did not claim that Obama's policies are better. Indeed, he wrote that he will "pray, secularly" for Obama to betray the traditional left-wing politics he espouses. Powell told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he supported Obama "because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America" -- not because of Obama's position papers.
When Obamacons explain why they are deserting the GOP nominee, you don't hear them arguing that Obama will do better by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. They don't say that Obama has the best ideas for the economy. They instead lean on the belief that Obama can bring people together.
They gloss over the fact that McCain will settle for nothing short of a successful military policy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or that Obama sees Iraq as a place where the U.S. government spends $10 billion a month that could go to social programs at home. They count on Obama to do what is expedient, not what he has pledged to do.
They tend to agree more with McCain's emphasis on limiting taxation to encourage job creation than Obama's zeal to spread around affluent people's wealth. So they don't dwell on the policy questions.
They don't care that McCain has a history of working with Democrats, while Obama has a history of talking about working with Republicans. Because they have lined up behind the Democrat, they have determined that Obama will bring people together.
This isn't about ideology -- moderate or conservative. It's a personality contest.