Glenn Beck recently made waves by saying John McCain would have been worse for America than electing Barack Obama. His reasoning is that Obama and McCain wouldn’t be very different economically, although I would think McCain would be worlds better on the diplomatic stage than Obama.
I wouldn’t say the McCain would be worse in that way. However, McCain isn’t a true conservative– he’s more of Bush, but more centrist, if you can believe it. McCain’s made a career out of being a “maverick”, which is essentially breaking from the party and voting his conscience. Such bold action has brought us ground breaking legislation like the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill, which worked wonders in stifling free speech but opened new arenas for unscrupulous behavior (such as Moveon.org or the “swiftboaters”, as some would say). McCain always seems to be walking hand-in-hand with Democrats when its time to stick his thumb in the eye of party leadership. It’s been especially aggravating for any true conservative.
McCain would not have changed his mind on “bipartisanship” (read: Republicans give up something to Democrats for no perceivable gain) when he was in the White House, especially with a Democratic majority in Congress, so he’d have to do more “bipartisaning”. Worse is he wouldn’t try and tackle the true problems in D.C.– namely, the out of control spending. He’d do more than Obama has, but I’m sure we’d still be trying to stimulate and regulate our way out of the current economic slump.
The real damage, however, comes from public perception. At this point, McCain and the Democrats would march out together to declare their goal of mutually assured destruction. The Repbulican party would have been associated with McCain, and Congress with the Democrats. With the total lack of solutions and nobody there to oppose them, we’d see an independent revolt. The Democrats would maintain control of Congress for 8-12 years, spending without limits, all with McCain’s approval. Nobody would be marching in anger because there are no alternatives– it would be a Bipartisan Epic Fail.
As a result, the Republicans couldn’t possibly find strength in their root conservatism and launch a counterattack. The RNC would be too weak to oppose McCain in a primary, and doing so would just convince the local voters that the GOP is in such disarray that its savaging its own President. In the meantime, the Democrats pick up the pieces and solidify gains in the Senate and House, enough to have a supermajority that can easily pass health care and whatever else he wanted.
A McCain Presidency would have spelled doom for the GOP. Now it has new life, and its found new friends. Running on strict fiscal conservatism and carrying a resolve to assist in any way.
As I said before, I welcomed the Democratic leadership. They’re out there reminding us just what a bunch of numbskulls they are. And so long as the Democrats are in the majority, every mistake to policy becomes theirs to own. And its becoming painfully obvious how painfully inept they are.