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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Somin's View: A Response
Mike Rappaport

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.   

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Comments

Who is this "we"? I made more money last year than ever before in my life, and paid fewer taxes thanks to George Bush.

Posted by: y81 | Feb 5, 2008 5:53:11 AM

I think that is the point. It is not necessarily that Bush has not done great things, but that those policies are not highlighted or even considered. There is a large amount of blame that falls upon the media for this, but also Bush's inability to clearly demonstrate his successes to the general public is a problem. I have a friend who is probably one of the staunchest conservatives I have ever heard. The problem is that he had no idea what the difference between a Republican and Democrat is. I was talking with him and he agreed he was probably a Republican, but he wanted to vote Democrat just because of Bush. I found this to be highly intriguing. He seems to be one of those moderate and uninformed voters that go to the polls around this time of the season. Bush and McCain are both moderate conservatives (compassionate?) and for all those who are complaining about Bush's amnesty bill, remember that has been his position from day one. If John McCain wins, I do not want to hear conservatives complaining about him following through on his promises that some voters choose to gloss over now.

As a second note. A 3.1 trillion dollar budget? We may have fewer taxes, but the deficit that Bush is building is just begging for a Democrat cry for tax increases and I am not so sure McCain will not heed to that cry from both houses of Congress, particularly taxes on the higher income taxpayers.

Posted by: Christopher Heinsen | Feb 5, 2008 10:06:26 PM

For better or worse, McCain will be pretty much like Bush 41 domestically: a president with moderately conservative instincts who really isn't that interested in most domestic issues. As to whether this is better or worse than a Democrat ... I leave that to others to kick around.

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