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November 17, 2009

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nato

It's true that if McCain had been elected the DJIA would be at 14000, immigration reform would have been effected and the green revolution would have succeeded, which incontrovertably proves how lame Obama is.

Nathan Smith

Nato's mostly right, but I think the odds would still have been against the Green Revolution succeeding, though the US would have aligned itself morally with the Green Revolution, which would be more fitting and more consistent with American values. More importantly, the US would be robustly supporting *Georgia,* which is by far the best *cause celebre* to focus foreign policy at the present time, for a variety of reasons, e.g., encouraging US allies by showing steadfast loyalty to one of them, reaffirming international law which the Iraq War seemed to undermine, and helping the US to move on from the War on Terror which has been about 80% won, which is enough.

In general, it's hard to figure out exactly where the greatly enhanced credible threat, an automatic side-effect of having a hard-headed and courageous strategist in the White House, would have paid off most. Ariel Sharon, Richard Nixon, and Dwight Eisenhower are good examples of how proven hawks make good peacemakers: they can afford to make concessions without risking looking weak.

But Nato leaves out by far the most important and certain benefit of a McCain presidency: *spending restraint.* There would certainly have been no stimulus, and we could have expected a war on pork, and the deficit, short- and long-run, would have been prominent on the presidential agenda. It's hard to exaggerate how important spending restraint is right now. Beating back overspending is a *sine qua non* for the future of the republic. We're in a free fall towards bankruptcy and the political class is trying to exacerbate the situation further.

Another little benefit would be McCain's staunch support for free trade. That's little only by comparison to the other benefits of a President McCain; it's actually quite important. And if you're relatively left-leaning, one more benefit is that Democrats in the House and Senate would have better odds of holding their seats in 2010, which would be a good thing for the immigration issue at least.

America won the lottery when the Republicans sacrificed partisan prejudices and nominated America's greatest statesman. We flushed it down the toilet.

Nato

I wasn't at all being facetious in a bid to show that Nathan uses his own counterfactual predictions as confirmation of his political judgment.

Nathan Smith

It's happier than talking about 11% deficits and 10% unemployment. It's nice to remember that the set of all possible worlds contains better ones than the one we've landed ourselves in.

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