Overall, in a McCain presidency Democrats would have faced the same political incentives Republicans face now — where it’s easier to blame a terrible economy on the president than to find ways to cooperate with him — with two added reasons to fight rather than to deal: First, they could have easily pinned the whole of the economic crisis on the G.O.P. (“the Bush-McCain Depression,” etc.), and second, they would have had a potentially unbeatable Hillary Clinton rather than a suspect Mitt Romney waiting in the wings for 2012.
To win significant cooperation under those circumstances, I suspect that McCain would have had to essentially surrender to Democratic priorities, which in turn would have turned him into a kind of John Tyler figure — a president despised by his own party and a first-term lame duck. And whether you start from liberal or conservative premises, it’s hard to see that scenario playing out happily for the United States or the world.
Bullshit. The Tea Party would still be there, they would be railing against McCain, threatening to primary the hell out of the entire Republican Party and they would have made big gains in 2010, but the major difference is we’d be at war with Iran right now, and that kind of throws the whole thing into a tizzy. But the notion that the Dems would block legislation to improve the economy is laughable: McCain’s own party would disown him unless he played the Tea Party’s games. If anything, you’d have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid putting up bills to do so and they would be rejected by Cantor and Boehner…hey, just like we have now.
The only other difference would of course be Vice President Moose Lady. As amusing as that would be, we’d be pretty much even more fucked now, with more wars and more Palin no health care reform at all. Joy.
“Democratic intransigence” would be on precisely nobody’s radar, Ross.