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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Ross Douthat's Debut

I was pleased to see him get a column at the NY Times and this is a pretty good debut:

Watching Dick Cheney defend the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, it’s been hard to escape the impression that both the Republican Party and the country would be better off today if Cheney, rather than John McCain, had been a candidate for president in 2008.

Never mind Cheney's heart problems, never mind that the Republicans desperately needed to distance themselves from Bush in 2008, never mind that Cheney had a lower approval rating than used car salesmen; he would have been better than McCain for the GOP?

But he's got a good rationale:

As a candidate, Cheney would have doubtless been as disciplined and ideologically consistent as McCain was feckless. In debates with Barack Obama, he would have been as cuttingly effective as he was in his encounters with Joe Lieberman and John Edwards in 2000 and 2004 respectively. And when he went down to a landslide loss, the conservative movement might – might! – have been jolted into the kind of rethinking that’s necessary if it hopes to regain power.

Interesting argument. I am sort of to the point where I wish McCain had not gotten the nomination; just because I'd be able to be one of the the people saying "I told you so!"
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