An argument for divided government

Many of us don’t like McCain and also think he has run a terrible campaign.
But the more we learn about Obama, the more willing some of us will be to hold our nose and vote for McCain.
Because, in the end, it’s not just Obama. It’s the risk of Obama, possibly a filibuster-proof Senate under Reid, and a Pelosi-led House. Unrestrained left-wing politics.
Which leads Fred Barnes to these thoughts.
If we can’t send the entire Federal government home on an extended paid vacation, then a vote for divided government may be the best we can hope for.
Power Line on Charles Kesler’s assessment of Obama:

…Based on a comprehensive reading of Obama’s books and speeches, Professor Kesler deduces that Obama’s ambition is not merely personal, but is political and Rooseveltian in scope…This is the possibility that Fred Barnes contemplates…In a sense, however, Barnes only scratches the surface. Professor Kesler’s important contribution — from which I have only quoted the set-up to Professor Kesler’s extended exploration — makes out the scope of Obama’s ambition and the seriousness of his purpose.

Mona Charen:

All of a sudden, this election is shaping up as a verdict on capitalism. The Obama campaign wanted it to be about George W. Bush. The McCain campaign wanted it to be about character. But instead, because the markets are shooting off in all directions like bullets from a dropped pistol, the stakes have suddenly been raised dramatically.
We are in the midst of the worst panic in history, it’s true (because it is global). But as historian John Steele Gordon helpfully pointed on in the Wall Street Journal, panics are not unusual in American history. We’ve experienced them almost every 20 years since 1819…Gordon believes more sensible banking policy would prevent future panics. But if we elect a crypto-socialist like Barack Obama and give him a bigger Democrat majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate, banking regulation may be the least of our troubles.
Well, you may say, “Win some, lose some. McCain isn’t all that great anyway. Conservatives and Republicans will simply have to examine their consciences and come up with a winning strategy for next time.” Perhaps. But there are a few problems with that sanguine approach.
In the first place, the Democrats can, with a super-majority, change the rules of the game. They can make the District of Columbia the 51st state with two new senators (guaranteed to be Democrats in perpetuity). They can reinstitute the so-called Fairness Doctrine that required radio stations to provide equal time to all political viewpoints. While the doctrine was enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, radio stations shied away from politics altogether. With the demise of the doctrine, conservative talk radio flourished. Liberal talk radio has never found much of an audience. Reviving the doctrine would kill one of the principal irritants to liberals and Democrats — to say nothing of disemboweling the First Amendment.
To elect a super-majority of Democrats at a time of economic dislocation is to flirt with depression. Nearly all economists agree that two moves by the Hoover administration deepened and prolonged the panic of 1929 and turned it into the Great Depression. One was raising taxes and the other was imposing protectionist trade policies. Senator Obama proposes to do both of those things…
…He seems determined that more people will ride in the wagon than pull it.
“Well,” you may say, “if the Democrats drive the country into a deep recession, so much the worse for them. The Republicans will come back strong — even with two senators from D.C.!” Perhaps…this tumble started while George W. Bush was in the White House. Franklin Roosevelt continued to invoke the boogey man of Herbert Hoover long after the Depression was his own…
Finally, there is a one-way ratchet in public policy. Liberal reforms are never undone. How hard have conservatives tried to eliminate the Department of Education or subsidies to public television? Would they have more success uncreating a new nationalized health-care system?
An Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime — if it were to get a filibuster-proof majority — will certainly be able to shift the country’s direction sharply to the Left. The only question is — would the shift be permanent?

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joe bernstein
joe bernstein
15 years ago

If Obama wins the election and there is a filibuster proof Democrat majority in th Senate,the country will have to depend on a coalition of moderate Democrats and Republicans to avoid a slide into a left wing semi-dictatorship with attacks on talk radio,gun rights,and national sovereignty(read as open borders)by the Federal government.
The education system will be further eroded by the policies of a “rehabilitated”Bill Ayers,or more likely those who think along the same lines.I think it is safe to say Obama would be too smart by far to appoint Ayers to any government position.
It’ll just be like minded people who didn’t plant bombs.Of course they really are planting bombs-cultural time bombs in students.
An Obama presidency will undoubtedly place us in a precarious position in the world when the bad actors on the global stage try to walk over Obama.He may be forced to do what he fears most -launch a major war.
McCain,like Reagan, has the attention of the world’s troublemakers and may be able to use potential strength in place of actually using force.
No matter who wins,it will be a one-term presidency.

15 years ago

You’re right, Don, geez. It wouldn’t be possible to find three ignorant people who plan to vote for McCain.

Tom W
Tom W
15 years ago

I read somewhere that McCain’s decision making tends to be erratic, often agreeing with the last person he spoke with.
This would help explain his indecipherable core political beliefs (or lack thereof).
It would also explain the feckless campaign.
Unfortunately, one doesn’t get the sense that the national GOP is any better … the word “incompetence” comes to mind.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. The GOP hasn’t had conservative leadership since Reagan / GIngrich.
Since that time the “moderates” have taken control (George W. is considered a conservative only by the “mainstream” media). And when the GOP is controlled by moderates, it loses.
This McCain campaign is resembling Bob Dole’s more by the day – “reaching across the aisle” to be Democrat Lite is for losers. Just ask George H. Bush how it worked for him after his first term.

15 years ago

I have been beating the divided government drum for two years on my blog. I voted for John Kerry to get divided government in 2004 and lost. I supported a straight Dem ticket in 2006 to get divided government and won. This year I will vote to re-elect divided government by supporting John McCain.
This scholarly article from a Constitutional lawyer puts more than a little academic cred behind the divided government thesis. The only way to re-elect Divided Government in 2008, is elect John McCain for President. It is the right thing to do.

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