Hugh Hewitt

The Fourth of July celebrations will get underway for many Americans with an early getaway today. At picnics and backyard barbecues across the country the conversation will turn to politics, and particularly to Barack Obama.

If you find a young Obama voter at one of these gatherings, get their address and send them the "Letter to a Young Obama Supporter."

But if the conversation is among parents, neighbors, friends and siblings, here's the summary of what we know about election 2008. Print it off and take it along.

John McCain is a given. He's an American hero, a tough, ornery nationalist, a centrist maverick, strongly in support of victory in Iraq, hell on porkbarrel spending, not much on the social conservatism of the evangelicals but against abortion rights and gay marriage. He's not, as he likes to joke, as "old as dirt and as scarred as Frankenstein," but he's been a force in national politics for nearly three decades, and there is no doubt about his character or his courage, though many conservatives doubt his attachment to issues that drive them. He will fight for immigration reform, though this time with a much stronger set of border security measures.

The key: McCain will pursue victory in the war, deter our enemies because of his reputation for strength and defend the country via aggressive pursuit of terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever they are, and get most of the judicial nominees right. He'll keep taxes where they are if he can.

Obama, on the other hand, is just now coming into focus for other than the already committed Obamians. He had a stumbling, bumbling close to his primary campaign, and the opening weeks of his general campaign have been marked by flip flops and lurches left.

Here's the core of Obama:

He's hard left.

He wants the marginal rate on total federal taxes, including his social security tax hike, to immediately rise at least 57% on the highest earners. Obama wants to raise taxes even in a weak economy, though this is a recipe not just for recession but worse. Obama also wants to raise taxes on dividend income and to return the death tax to its highs of eight years ago.

Obama has proposed more than a trillion dollars in new spending.

Obama wants to cut and run from Iraq, with withdrawals of crucial forces beginning immediately upon his entry into office. Obama has never met one on one with General Petraeus and has not been to Iraq in more than 900 days. He is indifferent to the incredible progress made by our troops and the Iraqi Defense Forces and the Iraqi government in the last 18 months.

Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.