Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Ilya Somin has responded to two of my posts on McCain. As usual, Ilya makes some very good points. I think his best point is that divided government is beneficial. But as one of the commentators points out, divided government with John McCain is not the normal type. McCain enjoys his maverick, bipartisan reputation and will only be too happy to sign many of the Democrats’ bills.
Ilya also expresses some skepticism about whether the Democrats will govern in an unpopular way. Ilya is right to do so. It is always possible, but the unpopularity of the Democratic Congress should give one some pause in arguing that the Democrats have learned how to be popular. I don’t think Hillary will be popular as a President, but it is always possible. Yes, she experienced the rejection of her husband’s administration during the Republican Revoltuion, but it would still not be surprising for Hillary – or anyone flush with victory and with both houses from the same party – to overreach.
Obama is another story. While he is clearly talented, he is also – dare I say it – less experienced. But he is also more liberal than Hillary, and I believe there is still a great danger that he will overreach ideologically.
In the end, I agree that there is a risk that the Democrats will be successful. But that risk must be balanced against the greater risk in my opinion of a McCain Presidency. Yes, I know McCain has been good against spending, but he is happy to regulate, and a Democratic Congress can simply pass regulations instead. A bad Republican presidency is a serious matter. If you doubt that, just remember that we are in the position we are now because of George Bush.