Here's the fantasy. Close your eyes and pretend:
Rupert Murdoch and Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist decided early in life to be workers instead of the jobs they chose in real life.
It's 2000 AD.
Bush vs Gore, without the 24/7 free, unfettered Bush advertising that happened in the real world at this time.
Gore/Lieberman win by a landslide.
Jump ahead to present day.
The Gore/Lieberman ticket had continued the policies and capability of the Clinton/Gore administration.
It's been since Vietnam that America was at war.
While the private enterprise economy has had it's up and downs, the government has mostly stayed out of the way rather than taking the choice of tiny Federal Reserve interest rates hoping to fuel a bubble.
Tax rates have stayed at their historical averages.
The country has made solid progress at the necessary task of shaking our oil addiction and now, not only are we consuming much less, but it's all from friendly allies. AGW and the attendant damage of extreme weather is certainly still with us but staying in check rather than continuously getting worse.
The Clinton surplus budgets have continued and we have remained deficit free with a couple of good whacks at the debt as a bonus.
In 2008 Obama/Biden took the reigns smoothly and efficiently from Gore/Lieberman and continued the same effective policies.
Open your eyes and return to reality.
We'll never know, of course, ever, the destination of the path not taken. This fantasy is only one possibility. But, it is a possibility.
Like the old lady who swallowed a fly, the fact that Limbaugh/Murdoch/Norquist chose the careers that they did, had consequences. We are living them now.