If The Iraq War Never Happened

Drum contends that, “on a wide variety of measures, the effect of the Iraq War has actually been startlingly modest” and that the war “played no more than a bit role in ushering us into the Obama Era.” Douthat counters:

[T]ake away Iraq’s imprint on our politics, and America might well have still elected a Democrat to replace George W. Bush. But because of Iraq, the Democratic majority that did come to power in 2006 and 2008 has been more aggressive on public policy, less defensive in the culture war, and more proficient in the art of base mobilization than a hypothetical Clinton Restoration would have been – and their Republican opposition has been more ideologically bunkered-down, less nimble and less inclined to woo the center, than the G.O.P. might have been absent the trauma of Iraq.