When I made my predictions for the year, the one that I felt most confident about was #3 – the return of Bad McCain. It took about 21 days for me to be proved right, if not specifically regarding the stimulus bill.
A joke made its way around the Capitol yesterday: How do you know the 2008 election is really over? Because John McCain is causing trouble for Republicans again.
Two and a half months removed from his defeat in the race for the presidency, colleagues say, McCain bears more resemblance to the unpredictable and frequently bipartisan lawmaker they have served with for decades than the man who ran an often scathing campaign against Barack Obama. In some instances, he’s even carrying water for his former rival.
Conservatives are understandably nonplussed, leading at least one to even contend that “the right man won in 2008.” Geraghty does a good job backing that statement up, saying that “[i]f we’re going to have Democratic agenda enacted, better it be by a Democrat than a Republican obsessed with avoiding the ‘partisan’ label in the White House.”
One could argue we had exactly that in George W. Bush’s domestic policy. Not that Bush was obsessed with avoiding a “partisan” label, but didn’t we think it would take a Democrat to enact a Medicare prescription drug benefit, or a nearly 25% increase in federal education spending, or to attempt a massive amnesty for illegal immigrants? Instead, Democrats got the programs they wished for, plus the ability to bash Republicans when they inevitably failed.
At least when President Obama’s Democratic agenda falters, it will be Democrats taking the blame.