We’d probably be in all sorts of other messes if McCain had won the presidential election in 2008, but I think in many ways we’d be in a very different pickle than the one we’re in now. I’m almost positive that when the words Tea and Party were juxtaposed we wouldn’t conjure up images of angry protestors with signs, but rather six-year-olds and their teddy bears drinking from tiny porcelain cups. The phrase “debt ceiling” would almost certainly not be in the public lexicon. And we’d probably have a Democratic congress.
It’s harder to say what sort of stimulus would have been passed, or whether anything would have been done on healthcare. And while Obama is hawkish, McCain is even more reckless in his foreign policy ambitions. I have no idea if the Arab Spring would have come about or not, or what our involvement in the various Middle-East revolutions would have been. Perhaps we’d have boots on the ground in Libya, perhaps not. It’s hard to say.
But one thing we would not have is this deficit/inflation hawkishness we have today. When a Republican is president, all that goes out the window.