Friday, October 08, 2010

Something to think about…

…if you're wondering whether elections matter. Todd S. Purdum in Vanity Fair...’s an interesting thought experiment to imagine what the first two years of a McCain-Palin partnership in the White House might have produced. There would probably have been no stimulus bill, and the country’s economic condition would be no better (and probably worse). General Motors and Chrysler would have been allowed to go bankrupt rather than helped to emerge into a state of healthiness, as they may well be doing. There would have been no significant new regulation of the financial industry. The Bush tax cuts for those Americans with the highest incomes—something McCain had opposed before reversing himself—would have been extended. There would have been only modest health-insurance reform, at best—McCain’s proposals were Republican boilerplate and meant for use in the campaign, never a serious program. Perhaps there would have been greater progress on immigration, though McCain had already abandoned that issue, and it’s easier to imagine his taking the more nativist stance he has since adopted. There would be no Supreme Court justices Kagan and Sotomayor, but there would likely be two more conservative justices, and the days of Roe v. Wade would be numbered. There would be no troop drawdown in Iraq. The United States might well have bombed or blockaded Iran in response to that country’s flawed election last year, or in response to its nuclear program. There would have been serial feuds between aides to the president and vice president, but the fact that Vice President Palin had an independent power base, far larger and more enthusiastic than McCain’s own, would have limited what President McCain could do about it. The “Ground Zero mosque” dispute would probably have arisen anyway, and McCain might have been hard put to do anything but side with the opponents. The Palin-family soap opera would now be daily fodder for the national press rather than mainly the tabloids. Like Obama, President McCain would probably have been asked to give the commencement address at Arizona State University. Unlike Obama, he would probably have been awarded an honorary degree.
Yep, they matter.

What you do for the next three weeks matters, too. We dodged a bullet in '08, but they're sending artillery with air support this time, but we can still win this battle on the ground. Get out there and get out the vote.

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Anonymous Terry Parkhurst said...

The worst case scenario you were too polite to mention: the stress of being president would have perhaps caused a heart attack, or fatal stroke, for President McCain; and Vice-President Palin would've become President Palin.

For many people, that possibility is what tipped the vote for Obama/Biden. David Brooks led the charge on that one.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Shaun said...

Ya' think? I don't think that was decisive, but it couldn't have hurt, I suppose.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

And the sun could have exploded.

Not much of a campaign strategy...."those other guys would have screwed things up worse than us"

2:10 PM  
Blogger Shaun said...

It may not be much, but that strategy's won more than a few elections over the years - and will hopefully win a few more next year. The Republicans have a long tradition of putting their worst foot forward.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Some of us are looking for a change. Real change....not some campaign jingle to tingle. It's getting harder and harder to pick out the lesser of two evils. Surely we deserve better than what Democrats and Republicans offer.

4:40 PM  

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