Benford, Gregory. "We Could Do Worse"
Divergence: 1952 CE
What if: Nixon threw the California delegation's support to Robert Taft at the 1952 GOP convention, with the stipulation that Joe McCarthy be the vice presidential running mate.
Summary: After Taft's sudden death, McCarthy begins to institute a police state, and four years later a congressman is kidnaped.
Published: Cheap Street 1988. In Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, April 1989; What Might Have Been? Volume 1: Alternate Empires (eds. Gregory Benford and Martin H. Greenberg), q.v.; Matter's End, Bantam/Spectra 1994 (0553568981); The Way It Wasn't: Great Science Fiction Stories of Alternate History (ed. Martin H. Greenberg), q.v.; Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History (eds. Gardner Dozois and Stanley Schmidt), q.v.; and We Could Do Worse (audiotape, ed. Martin H. Greenberg), q.v.