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April 04, 2012

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Coattails - unless your POD is a personal Obama scandal, McCain wins by the Republicans being more popular, which means a lot more Republicans in Congress in 2010-2012.

In theory, I'd agree, but for that to happen the entire previous two years (at least) would have had to have been entirely different. That's not useful asba starting point for an evaluation.

Democrats likely pick up seats in 2010, regardless.

Y'know, I have to wonder if we might not have seen a shake up in the Defense Department. McCain might be pro military, but he loves not the defense contractors. Some sort of attempt at procurement reform might have happened.

I'd have adored him as president for that alone.

Pentagon procurements are a fscking mess these days.

I strongly doubt that, Will. Too many other priorities, for a small problem with much push back and no easy solutions. As we've discovered, Mr. McCain is remarkably craven.

Small problem? *raised eyebrows* Duuuuude. Its actually a serious problem. Followed the JSF program lately?

He's actually been willing to throw around his weight there. Re his involvement in the tanker fiasco. The Pentagon and military is something that is close to what passes for a heart.

What does the Tea Party look like under a McCain presidency? Just a nameless, somewhat disillusioned but less vehement mass of Republican voters?

Sorry about the delay. You guys still listening?

Will: it is a small problem in political terms. High cost to tackle, small gains. By 2008, Senator McCain was not a brave politician. By that calculus, I stand by my initial assessment. Please lower your eyebrows. He would not have tackled the problem, serious as it is by non-political standards.

Patrick: good question. Judging from Theda Skocpol's work, I don't think we would have seen them. They seem to be doctrinnaire Republicans, worked up by Obama's presence in the White House. And not because he is black --- no, it's far more worrisome than that --- because he is a Democrat.

I say in all seriousness that the Tea Party would be far less worrisome for the future of America if the problem were that the President were black. That is a stupid-ass idiocy that will die out soon enough. But if any Democrat with centrist Democratic priorities is seen as un-American, well, that is a problem for the Republic.

Thing is, it doesn't seem to be policy-driven either. A liberal Republican who is a "member of the tribe" could get their votes. President Jindal would make them feel good about themselves and America. It is strange, but very American. A tribalism based not on your genetic inheritance, nor on your policy positions (although those do matter), but on your acceptance of particular tribal markers.

I think a McCain Administration could have driven the debt as high as it liked, and imposed a carbon price, with no popular reaction.

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