"If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, wouldn't it be a Merry Christmas?" - Don Meredith
The 2004 presidential election featuring George Bush and John Kerry was close. Kerry won 59.03 million votes, or 48.3 percent of the popular vote; Bush won 62.04 mil, and Bush won the electoral vote. It wasn’t as close as the Fiasco in Florida in 2000, in which Gore won the popular vote by approx 500,000 votes and lost in the electoral college, but it was close.
I was thinking back.....what if Kerry had won? I imagine we could do this ad nauseam with all elections. But in close elections, it is more of an “almost,” and because of the significance of the economic times we are in, especially interesting.
Fair or not, the president in power gets the credit and blame for what is transpiring. In general, the economy is the most important thing, but not the sole issue. Analyzing just the economy portion of this imaginary tale, it is hard to imagine Kerry would have done anything to change the flow of events that led us to the economic mess we were in during the 2008 campaign season. Dems would say like to say they would have immediately added regulations that would have prevented the meltdown, but that’s highly unlikely, especially since they blocked attempts from the Bush administration to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It is more likely Kerry would have focused his attention on the Iraq War and the polar ice cap. With the economy humming along, all would have gone down as it did.
Thus, in 2006 when the Dems took control of the House and the Senate, and if Kerry had won, the Dems would have been in full charge and had full accountability. Guess who would have gotten the blame in 2008?
Not that it would have been completely the Dems fault - no more than it was Bush’s fault. But they would have taken the heat from the American public. Republicans would have said “See, give the economy back to the Dems and in just two short years they crashed the car off a cliff. Don’t give them back the keys!” It is not unreasonable to believe the Republicans would have swept into office in a big way. We would have had - who - McCain? Doesn’t matter, it would have changed things. At the end of ’08 whether Kerry would have recognized the coming financial meltdown as Bush did or not, things would have been different. Would the Republicans have spent as much money? Probably not, but who knows.
Anyway, we would not have acquired Mr. Obama. It would certainly be possible for him to win in 2012 if the Republicans didn’t straighten things out, although by then he would have had four more years in the senate and be better known, which, I believe, would hurt his chances. And again, as is the case with American politics, the mid-term elections might have swung wildly back to the dems just as they did for the Republicans.
Going forward, if the economy remains the big issue the relevancy of all this will play out when we see who is in control if the big swings diminish and things start to settle down. If, however, the battle for control of the political ideology of the country becomes important, than the results of 2008 will, indeed, turn up huge in our country’s history. I believe the Tea Party would never have formed had not Obama, Pelosi, and Reid taken their merry ride. This radical trio helped spark the silent majority into action, which will probably have an effect on politics for a long time. Just what effect I don’t know.
If I had to guess at the time of this writing (and it is a guess), I would think Obama is a one-term president, and his policy making will be short lived. It is, however, still two years until we head to the polls again. Ultimately, economies always recover, so things may be better in two years. But good enough? Hard to say. If he goes to Pakistan and personally pulls Bin Laden out of a cave, his chances will increase.
As to whether the American public will embrace the decidedly socialistic tendencies of Mr. Obama, who knows. If things get really bad, they may. But Obama and his gang have brought the issues front and center to the average American people and they don’t like it. It is entirely possible that we will swing to the right for an extended period of time due to them.
Just imagine if Kerry had won. Socialism would probably not be a frequent “talking point” on the right-wing political commentary programs. Republicans would be fighting off criticism about the economy, and Hillary would be gearing up for 2012.
I would have bet on Hillary.
Mercer Tyson StraightThinker.com