Imagine for a moment…

… that John McCain won the 2008 presidential election.

Like Obama, he ordered a surge of troops to Afghanistan, but to gain support from Democrats in Congress, he spoke vaguely of a timeline for withdrawal.

Like Obama, he ordered an intervention in the Libya conflict without seeking congressional approval, but unlike Obama he has U.S. forces engaging directly in the operations.

The Democrats would control Congress after 2010, almost certainly. And just as certainly, they’d be decrying the Libya intervention and would be pressing hard for getting out of Afghanistan.

There’d be no Tea Party movement, though there would probably be a group of more-conservative-than-McCain lawmakers in both chambers pressing for … what?

How different would the rhetoric from GOP lawmakers be about both situations?  And how much more vocal would Democrats be in attacking both military actions?

Finally, what would be the effect of Vice President Palin and Defense Secretary Lieberman on McCain’s thinking about the conflicts?

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