Friday, October 31, 2008

What's next

The only sure outcome of this election is that either Barack Obama or John McCain will be the next president. If Obama wins we can expect the following according to Charles Krauthammer:
(1) Card check, meaning the abolition of the secret ballot in the certification of unions in the workplace. Large men will come to your house at night and ask you to sign a card supporting a union. You will sign.

(2) The so-called Fairness Doctrine -- a project of Nancy Pelosi and leading Democratic senators -- a Hugo Chavez-style travesty designed to abolish conservative talk radio

(3) Judges who go beyond even the constitutional creativity we expect from Democratic appointees. Judges chosen according to Obama's publicly declared criterion: "empathy" for the "poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old" -- in a legal system historically predicated on the idea of justice entirely blind to one's station in life.

(4) An unprecedented expansion of government power. Yes, I know. It has already happened. A conservative government has already partially nationalized the mortgage industry, the insurance industry and nine of the largest U.S. banks.
Sounds about right to me, although I would add billions spent on alternative energy research to the list. Surely something has to happen there given what a centerpiece it seems to be of the Obama agenda.

A McCain presidency, meanwhile, would likely be accompanied by its own set of problems says Tom Bevan. If you don't want to read the column they can be summarized as:
  • Cries of racism
  • Litigation in the event of a narrow victory (and really, can anyone imagine anything other than a narrow win for McCain?)
  • A divided, resentful country
  • A sizable Democratic majority in Congress whose leaders send a message to McCain of "Don't even think you have a mandate. Your agenda is DOA." Except with more expletives.
Granted, a McCain win would also make for some entertaining reading of all the teeth-gnashing on the liberal blogs the day after the election, but that's rather small consolation. The biggest virtue, as Bevan says, is divided government:
A surprise win by McCain on Tuesday may make for a miserable first term for him as president, but for those who prefer divided government it may be far better than the alternative: President Obama with a gung ho Democratic majority in Congress.
I think that Krauthammer and Bevan each paint realistic portraits of life under each scenario, and it's not going to be pleasant regardless of who prevails.

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