If Only the Republican Had Won in 2008 (Oh, yeah?)
by Jim Cox
Republican pundits such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Neal Boortz properly lament what a disaster Democrat Barack Obama has been as president. Oh, if only the voters had selected the Republican nominee in November 2008 just think of where we’d be today!
So what would John McCain have done had he been elected and sworn in January 2009? We know both Obama and McCain supported the bailouts to Wall Street in the Fall of 2008. In fact, McCain supported the bailout to the point of actually suspending his campaign to emphasize its importance! Nothing different there.
Obama gave us the stimulus of 2009 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – as an effort to revive the weakened economy. McCain’s position? Well, he did actually vote Nay, knowing the bill would pass the Senate safely. Given McCain’s history on such things it is almost certain that had he been president he, like Obama, would have sought a stimulus bill rather than letting the market sort things out.
Obama reneged on his campaign promises of ending the Iraq war maintaining troops there till this day. And what would John McCain’s policy be if he were president today? The same but with the suggestion that the troops could well be there for 100 years. Nothing different there.
Both men called for a surge in troop strength on top of the then 90,000 American forces in Afghanistan in 2009. Fundamentally similar policies yet again.
Our pundit friends can’t complain that Obama has increased income taxes as he gave in entirely to extending the Bush income tax cuts in 2010. McCain advocated ending these tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and only the threat of a possible election defeat in his Senate campaign in 2010 got him to change his mind here. If he’d been elected president in 2008 he’d have had no electoral threat to persuade him to abandon his established position. The most optimistic conclusion is that there is no negative Obama difference or positive McCain difference here!
Maybe there’s a difference between Obama and McCain regarding the money-creating, buddy-funding Federal Reserve? Nope. Both Obama and McCain have stood silent and passive as the Fed created trillions in new dollars for the favored few well-connected types. Neither man has called into question any of this or supported the effort to audit the Fed.
What about the issue of federalism? Surely, there’s a difference with Obama advocating more and more federal power at the expense of the states and the people. McCain is the US Senator who has shown his lack of respect for the Bill of Rights having co-authored the freedom of speech trampling McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill and is one who is sold on trampling on the 10th amendment. Two peas in a pod is a better description of these two guys.
Well surely this past spring there was a clear difference in what John McCain wanted and what Barack Obama wanted regarding Libya, right? No, again. Obama committed US troops to combat action to oust Muammar Qadhafi with the vocal approval of John McCain. That provision about Congress having the authority to declare war in the dusty old Constitution thing was of no concern for either man. And they both had previously publicly embraced Qadhafi only months prior. The word "ditto" fits nicely here. If the proper range of opinion is represented by Obama on the left and McCain on the right, then I guess we must call them both "Great Americans"; only "myrmidons" allowed here!
In fact, Obama’s policies have been such a continuation of those of George Bush that they look eerily like those of a George Bush third term!
With so many similarities and no differences on anything fundamental what can we say about the current field of Republicans seeking the presidential nomination? It is this: The Republican Party has a choice to make. Either the Republican Party nominates one of the establishment candidates to continue the Bush-Obama policies enacting, in effect, a Bush fourth term or the Republicans must make a basic change in what they are about and return to their stated principles of limited government, free markets, and defense of this country.
Ron Paul is the only Republican who will challenge these bipartisan policies. It is either more of the same or Paul. There is no other choice.