02 October 2008

About that Debate

If I hear one more Republican talk about cutting government spending I might just lose it. Republicans have had eight years to do just that they gave us the fastest growth of government spending in history. Likewise if I hear one more rich, over-privileged Democrat engage in the rhetoric of class warfare.

There, that's better. Now about that debate. Palin and Biden both did well. But it is the overall themes in the candidates' performances rather than their specific answers that gives some indication as to what the McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden administrations would be like.

McCain and Palin bill themselves as mavericks. The upside is that they are willing to depart from the culture of vicious and oblivious partisanship that has taken over the Republican and Democratic parties. The risk is that their administration may be an administration without a party, a lame duck from the beginning. Maybe they will be able to hold to and increase the gains (both political and military) in Iraq, and not much else. If the economy really collapses, I don't know that they will be able to do anything about it other than to refrain from vetoing the initiatives of a Democratic Congress.

Obama and Biden enjoy vigorous support from their party (because they are partisan) and will be energetic and effective in pursuing their agenda. The risk is that they will overreach early in their administration, as both Clinton and the younger Bush did in the early years of their administrations. Maybe they will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq, and then blunder into Pakistan, destabilizing the Pakistani government even more, causing chaos in which some of the Pakistani nuclear weapons or weapons components go missing, and still fail to capture Bin Laden. Maybe they will lurch too far toward socialism in an attempt to imitate Roosevelt's New Deal as a way of getting out of the worsening recession.

I don't care who won or lost tonight's debate. I care about what we seem to be getting ourselves into. One of these teams will be our next President and Vice President. And that worries me.

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