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The Alternate Universe

John Hawkins has an interesting article about seven things that would be different if John McCain were President.  For once, I agree with most of it.  You really should read the whole thing but here’s his seven things:

1) Sonya Sotomayor wouldn’t be headed to the Supreme Court.  He lets on that Souter might not have retired in this case.  Personally, I think Sotomayor is about as good as we’re going to get from this Administration.  And her approach to criminal law—she squashed an appeal for DNA testing because of a technicality—is a bit troubling.

2) A smaller, but still expensive stimulus bill. We’d probably have a little more emphasis on “tax cuts”, but I don’t think the stimulus would look much different, especially if the Dems got enough votes to over-ride a veto.

3) General Motors and Chrysler wouldn’t be government owned. Or union owned.  No argument here.

4) Cap and Trade would be more likely to pass. Agreed.  McCain was and is a big supporter of cap and trade in a particularly unpleasant form.

5) Say “hello” to amnesty. I’ll disagree here because Hawkins and I have different ideas of what constitutes “amnesty”.  I don’t think paying a fine, back taxes and filling out reams of paperwork is exactly amnesty.  The argument that illegals shouldn’t be allow to become legal is a legitimate one.  But we might also be on the road to much-needed immigration reform.

6) Socialized medicine probably wouldn’t be on the agenda. This is probably the biggest reason to be sorry McCain didn’t win.  But the growing opposition to healthcare reform—firm majorities of both conservatives and independents are opposed—gives me hope.  We’re making progress on this issue, in spite of a lazy media.

7) You’d be talking Republicans down off of ledges today.  Republicans are always on ledges.  I’ve gotten a little tired of their drama queen theatrics.

I’d add seven things of my own:

The US would have immediately and stupidly jumped into the Iranian conflict. As much as people may criticize Obama for not condemning the crackdown fast enough, McCain wanted us to immediately pick sides, which would have been catastrophic for the resistance.

The US would not have sided with Zelaya in Honduras.  Not that it has made a big difference in the situation.  But I’m not sure McCain’s view of the world would have allowed him to convey he constitutional realities of the situation.

World opinion of us would be lower; the end result would be a wash.  Foreign countries love Obama.  I’m not sure it’s making a difference, since he antagonized them over their refusal to engage in Keynsian stimulus spending and global trade is declining at a scary rate.  Grant, Russia is pissed at us right now (thank you, Joe Biden).  But Russia is always pissed at us.

Sarah Palin would be a heartbeat away from the Presidency.  This is the biggest reason to be grateful McCain lost.  Not only would this ... person ... be close to real authority, neoconservative morons like Bill Kristol would be running amuck in the halls of power.  Yes, we’d be further away from socialized medicine.  But the hope of a resurgent sensible Republican Party would be shattered.  Four years of McCain might buy us forty years of bullshit.

We Would Not Be Drawing Down Our Presence In Iraq.  McCain was a very “stay the course” guy.

The birthers would all be liberal.  They’d be telling us that McCain’s birth in the Pamama Canal Zone forbids him from being President.  That, and that he “stole” the election.

Defense spending would be higher.  I’m not convinced this is a good thing, necessarily.

Feel free to add your own points.  But no points will be given for ignoring the Democratic Congress that would still be in place.

The above is mainly from a blog post I scrapped that was going to give a six-month report card on Obama.  I scrapped the post because I realized that most of what I’m disliking about Obama is actually Congress.  It was Congress that created the ugly stimulus bill.  It was Congress that mutated cap and trade into ugly law (Obama, to his credit, supported an auction system.  For all its faults, it would be far better than the political favor system Waxman creates).  It is Congress that has written the healthcare bill (Obama isn’t even familiar with parts of it).

I’ve said before that I prefer a divided government.  And on the whole, I’d rather have a Republican Congress and a Democratic President than the other way around.  Think about that list.  Almost all the positive stuff (staying out of Iran ... um ... better world opinion ... uh, somebody help me out here) would still be there but the bad stuff would be gone.  A liberal President would force Congress to be conservative.  Health care reform, for example, would be far more likely to break down the intrastate barriers to competition.

Forget McCain.  Forget the White House.  We’ve got midterm elections in just over a year.  That’s the battle that could make the difference.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 07/29/09 at 06:25 AM in Politics Cult of Personality • Permalink


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