Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Blue McCain, Red Obama?
American Conservative Union ^ | July.9, 2008 | Donald Devine

Posted on 07/12/2008 11:12:50 PM PDT by Reagan Man

Both candidates are predicting an election of “change.” Strangely, they both are correct--but the change will be almost the exact opposite of what either expects. The law of unintended consequences is one of the most important in political science and America is headed for a dozy.

It all has been so predictable. Red state conservatives supporting limited government, traditional values and strong defense battle blue state liberals for big new government programs, government-guaranteed libertine lifestyles and diplomacy over military force. President George W. Bush has mixed things up a bit with his spending spree but the political divide of red and blue states has seemed so normal for so long we ignore it. Anyway, the Bush tenure adds to the reasons why everyone is for change.

Predicting the future is hazardous, of course. Even assuming that either John McCain or Barack Obama will be formally nominated is not one hundred percent since either could die or be incapacitated and the conventions do not take place until later in the summer. We do not even know the vice presidential selections—and they will be very important this year. Still, the future looks very clear to these old political science eyes and, like the reaction to Cassandra’s bad news, no one is going to like it one little bit.

The incumbent president sits with among the lowest approval ratings ever collected for a chief executive, in the midst of a recession people at least partially blame on him, with rising inflation including out of sight energy prices, and in a war that most Americans say was his mistake--and which they want to end sooner rather than later. The people tell pollsters by large majorities that things are going in the wrong direction and they are in a foul mood generally. Republicans have lost a string of off-year elections in normally safe GOP districts. Under these circumstances, Barack Obama should win in a landslide.

Even under these horrific conditions, the polls still find Sen. McCain within a few points of the Democrat. State-by-state, it looks even better for McCain to run a close race. Indeed, my gut tells me McCain will win narrowly. But conservatives should hold the champagne. It will be a disaster for their philosophy and their party over the long run. Why? It is even more obvious that Democrats will increase their majorities in both houses of Congress in this election. And afterwards, liberals will be so angry flubbing the White House for the third slam-dunk election in a row they will make President McCain pay dearly.

Democrats already have the most effective House of Representatives majority in years, obvious in the American Conservative Union congressional voting scores for last year. The Democratic leadership there has not lost a single important vote since regaining control in the 2006 election. If not for the Senate, the GOP would be out of the legislative game altogether. They will be out after the 2008 election results even if McCain wins, maybe especially if he wins. It is even very likely the Democrat victory will produce a filibuster-proof Senate in 2009, with the support of a few weak-kneed Republicans it is a virtual certainty.

Well, a President McCain would have the veto. But he would be trapped by the same dynamics as George W. Bush. To get anything accomplished, ultimately, he needs Congress. Legislators—former and current--are congenitally unable to get along without “results” so they typically give in to a determined majority. The Democrats will be unwavering in their determination to make McCain fail to prepare the way for veto-proof majorities in 2010. Presidents almost always lose seats in the off-years and a frustrated McCain and a quietly reactive Congress will make it inevitable. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Harry Reid have already demonstrated in the last two years that they know how keep a low profile and play legislative defense, learning from the disastrous tenure of Newt Gingrich.

So the cost of a McCain victory would be overwhelming Democratic control of Congress and the inability of the president to overcome it with even constant vetoes—in the unlikely event he would pursue them in the first place. Two years later, a “do-nothing” Republican president is easy pickings even for your typically hapless “progressive” Democratic presidential nominee. But the liberals should hold the bubbly too. What if they win in 2008? It is all undone! And, as we have noted, all the objective evidence says the Democrats should prevail.

What happens if Sen. Obama wins? Here he comes into office with all his ideas of reforming Washington and adopting an agenda of change to save the American people. The only problem is that he only offers the same old liberal programs the Democrats have been pushing in Congress for generations. There was not a sliver of difference between the 2008 Democratic contestants on the issues. They have no other ideas. So what happens? He submits all his new ideas and the Democrats in Congress immediately recognize them. But they know one thing he does not. These cunning politicians really never wanted to pay for them!

There are no geniuses in Congress but there are few fools either, especially in the Democratic leadership and on the key committees. They pushed all of these expensive programs when they knew the Republicans and their president would defeat them. That way the Democrats got credit for passing the great programs and the GOP received the blame for killing them. With an Obama, the Democrats would have to come up with the money—and it isn’t there, and they know it better than anyone. The entitlements are ready for bankruptcy now and there are even bigger bills to be paid a few years further down the road—and do not forget about inflation. This is how the Democrats lost control of the House for the first time in forty years in 1994--after big plans and controls for health care and big taxes to pay for them.

These wily pols are not about to let a president, even a Democratic one, turn them out of leadership again. Ask Jimmy Carter. Why do you think Bill Clinton had to “triangulate” by proposing big liberal programs that cost and amounted to almost nothing? Only the Republicans could get away with a big prescription drug plan and it was President Bush who did the big discretionary spending—twice Clinton’s levels. It might even occur to Obama as it did to Clinton before him that to have funds for his favorite programs, much less for any new ones, it might be necessary for the Democrats to begin reforming entitlements.

And forget about getting out of Iraq too quickly. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is not going to let Republicans blame him for last minute helicopter exits and American soldiers dying in a precipitous troop withdrawal. Obama’s advisors are already whispering that withdrawal will take years. Sen. Obama himself has already retreated on gun control, campaign finance, supporting telecommunications firms’ immunity from prosecution for assisting the government in eavesdropping on terrorism suspects and even abortion!

Q.E.D. Conservatives will be annihilated by a McCain victory and liberals will be enraged by an Obama win. The only rational solution is for red conservatives to vote for the Democrat and blue liberals for the Republican. Conservative columnist Bruce Bartley has already collected a short list of conservatives who are for Obama. Perhaps it is the beginning of a trend. Or perhaps it is another political science law at work, first set by the Marquis de Condorcet—for which he was guillotined by the Paris mob--that elections based upon opportunistic stands on individual issues rather than coherent philosophies are only incidentally related to voting rationality. Maybe we can get it right the next time.

TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; devine; electionpresident; mccain; mccainlist; obama; rino; rmthread
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-32 next last

1 posted on 07/12/2008 11:12:50 PM PDT by Reagan Man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Petronski; pissant; Quix; Dr. Eckleburg; traviskicks; CJ Wolf; Politicalmom; PJ-Comix; ...

A more in-depth look at a familiar theme: Obama might be dangerous, but a McCain win would destroy conservatism in the Republican Party.

From the ACU no less.

2 posted on 07/12/2008 11:20:31 PM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (Look at all the candidates. Choose who you think is best. Choose wisely in 2008.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Reagan Man


3 posted on 07/12/2008 11:22:54 PM PDT by mimaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mimaw

I 2nd that. Baloney.

4 posted on 07/12/2008 11:24:44 PM PDT by Red Steel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Reagan Man

“Democrats already have the most effective House of Representatives majority in years”

“Effective” may be a poor choice of words. Congress has a historically all-time low approval rating of 9%.

5 posted on 07/12/2008 11:26:07 PM PDT by llandres (I'd rather be alive and bankrupt than dead and solvent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Reagan Man

To the losers belong the spoil.

6 posted on 07/12/2008 11:27:46 PM PDT by Keyes2000mt (Conservative Podcast: The Truth and Hope (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ultra Sonic 007

I also believe McCain will destroy what little is left of the conservatives in the GOP.

We knew way back in 2000 that “compassionate conservatism” was poison. Yet we ignored it to stay true to the “bigger issues” of the day and now look where we are... We won some important battles but at the end of the day it looks like we lost the wider war.

7 posted on 07/12/2008 11:29:22 PM PDT by DB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Reagan Man

The sum won’t win 9 senate seats.


Red=communists, socialists, labourites and democrats


8 posted on 07/12/2008 11:29:32 PM PDT by Impy (Hey Barack, you're ugly and your wife smells.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Reagan Man
No mention of other issues that are also dear to at least this ‘conservative’: war against Islamo-facists and the selection of Justices. Yes, there's always a chance that President McCain appoint someone who is a bit middle of the road like Sandra Day O'Connor. Still, I take her over whoever Obama appoints. With McCain, it's much more than 50-50 that we get a conservative judge. With Obama, it's nil.
9 posted on 07/12/2008 11:33:55 PM PDT by paudio (Like it or not, 'conservatism' is a word with many meanings. Yours may be different from mine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Reagan Man
The only rational solution is for red conservatives to vote for the Democrat and blue liberals for the Republican.

What if they gave an election and no one came?

10 posted on 07/12/2008 11:44:31 PM PDT by null and void (Do/'08)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: paudio

“With McCain, it’s much more than 50-50 that we get a conservative judge.”

I don’t think so...

11 posted on 07/13/2008 12:05:26 AM PDT by babygene (This Government no longer works to secure our freedoms and provide for our common defense.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: mimaw

I respectfully disagree. McCain is a disaster for conservatism in almost every way. And that is very bad for America in the long term.

He's not quite as much a short term disaster for America as Obama. And he'll probably be better on Supreme Court appointees-we can expect Sandra O'Conner and Kennedy-like appointments from him. Both second rate, weak-kneed justices but sometimes they got it right. Bot would be better than the left-wing ideologues we will get from Obama who never get it right. So on that one count, McCain would be better long-term for America and conservatives.

The real problem is that the next 4-8 years are going to be really rough in America no matter how the presidential election turns out. We will have a socialist congress and a liberal president, either way. Both McCain and Obama, with a socialist congress, will tank the economy and we should look forward to something like the Jimmy Carter economy, when we had a similar situation.

But with McCain as president, the public will blame Republicans for the problem, when the real problem is socialism. That gives us another eight years of socialism after that. Not sure the country can recover from 16 years of socialist governance. Socialism has a way of locking itself in institutionally so that it is very difficult to dislodge. Kind of like cancer.

The balance is whether the long term damage resulting from almost complete destruction of conservatism is less harmful to America (minus the difference in the Supreme Court) than the short term damage of an Obama-lead jimmy carter economy coupled with proper assessment of the blame by the public in the next election.

Frankly, I think the balance is very close. I lean very slightly to the McCain is a little tiny bit less harmful position. But it is without doubt the worst choice America has had in my lifetime.

12 posted on 07/13/2008 12:15:23 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Impy

A failed ideology doesn’t get to claim a primary color in perpetuity. Red is a color of action and boldness. Blue is passivity and weakness. Libs are blue.

13 posted on 07/13/2008 12:16:48 AM PDT by Royal Wulff
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Royal Wulff

This is the city ...

Hey, i kinda' like this latest i-phone ...
14 posted on 07/13/2008 12:38:43 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

I don’t agree with McCain on some issues but before anything else we are voting for America.
There will not be a next time after Marxist Obama.

The Third Party folks, especially the Chuck Baldwin Anti War, Truthers are in a ritual posting mode against McCain.

Though I want a secure border, against amnesty and stop the handouts to the illesals.

The Third Party folks especially Chuck Baldwin who is using the border issue to latch on to his bigger agenda which is against the war, the Michael Moore minde set re 9/11 and even Far Left Janeane Garofalo has used Chuck Baldwin’s writings against the war and Truther 9/11 views
on her on line forum.

The Third Party folks are being reved up by Chuck Baldwin
re the border and illegals to sell them further into his
far left agenda.

There are many comments on line by Baldwin that sound right out of the Michael Moore, George Soros, play book.

15 posted on 07/13/2008 12:47:07 AM PDT by SoCalPol (Don't Blame Me - I Supported Duncan Hunter)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Reagan Man

The whole “blue” and “red” thing is a screw up in American politics.

Everywhere else in the world Red is the color of the left (Red China, Russia, Britain’s Labour Party, etc) and Blue is the color of conservatism.

Only is America is it Bass Ackwards...

16 posted on 07/13/2008 12:51:28 AM PDT by Wil H
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: llandres

> “Effective” may be a poor choice of words. Congress has a historically all-time low approval rating of 9%. <

Exactly. The author “lost” me there...Congress couldn;t even IMPEACH W. 35 times in a row. How’s that for effective?

17 posted on 07/13/2008 1:04:26 AM PDT by max americana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Wil H
That was a deliberate reversal ploy by the US CommiecRAT media branch to confuse the issue.
18 posted on 07/13/2008 2:38:12 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Iran should have ceased to exist 11/5/79, but we had no president then.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Liberty Valance

Blue Boy was one of my favorite Dragnet episodes.

19 posted on 07/13/2008 3:19:16 AM PDT by afortiori
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Reagan Man

No matter how you splice and dice it, the next 4 years are going to be ugly especially for the conservatives.

At least with McCain, we might get gridlock. However, a veto-proof Congress will negate anything McCain tries to do without the blessing of his frends across the aisle.

No matter how you splice and dice it, the next 4 years are going to be ugly.
20 posted on 07/13/2008 4:40:51 AM PDT by TomGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-32 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson