A reader writes:
Ross Douthat apparently has a bad case of amnesia. We actually have empirical evidence on the question of whether congressional Dems would work with a GOP president to fix the economy. As the economy faltered in 2008, Bush asked the Democratically-controlled Congress to pass a number of economic measures. While Bush himself wasn't up for relection, Dems could have seen political hay in obstructing Bush, letting things tank, and then beat up on the GOP while doing nothing.
So what did the Dems do? In February of 2008, Congress passed a stimulus bill that included tax rebate checks – checks mailed with a prominent letter attributing them to President Bush, if I recall.
That measure passed with a majority of the Democrats supporting it, and a majority of Bush's own GOP *opposing* it! The same thing happened with the TARP bill in the fall of 2008; the Democrats were MORE supportive of Bush's emergency measures than the Republicans were. How can Ross possibly square that reality with a claim that just a few months later, in 2009, the Dems would have become utterly intransigent with John McCain replacing Bush?
Ross' hypothesis was tested in 2008, and it failed spectacularly.