McCain selected Sarah Palin this past week as his running mate. At first, I was shocked. I never heard of her. It seemed at first blush like the kind of bold thing I was hoping Obama would do when he selected his own running mate. I wanted that because that is how I think I would be if I were ever up for national office. I can be impulsive. I also like throwing a wrench into things just to shake up the establishment. Which is probably why it is good that I'm not in such a position because who knows how much damage I'd do...
But then the more I found out about Palin and the more I thought about it, the more reckless the move seemed. Of course, some still have their blinders on, such as the PUMAs, who are now falling all over themselves about how picking Palin seals Obama's doom. Their hatred of Obama has blinded them to reality (much like my own idiosyncracies initially blinded me when I heard about Palin's selection). The reality is that this is going to put the final nail in the coffin of McCain's campaign. It was a reckless, irresponsible choice made solely on cynical calculations of identity politics. McCain doesn't know her. And unlike Hillary Clinton, she did not build herself up to being a national figure on her own merits (say what you will about Bill's help, if not for her own skills, Hillary would not have almost gotten the nomination). Instead, Palin was plucked out of relative obscurity at the last minute by a politico desperate to shake things up.
What is particularly ironic is that the PUMAs are totally blind to the huge sexism in the GOP. If you hear someone say they could never vote for a woman for president, odds are very good that you are talking to a die-hard GOP voter. Those people will never put a woman, particularly one as unvetted as Palin, one heartbeat away from the presidency under the oldest candidate ever on a ticket. In fact, I heard plenty of those voters interviewed during the primary on NPR - every single last one of the ones who said they can't vote for a woman said they'd be voting for McCain. Not exactly a scientific sample, but certainly what one would expect.
The GOP is run by pure cynicism right now. The party is out of ideas. The only thing they know how to do is do PR, run negative campaigns, and then give out the spoils when they win. The decent Republicans have long been run out of the party. The Democrats are generally spineless, poor at PR (which is part of why they are spineless), and also beholden to big business. But at least they know how to run the government, at least some of them haven't sold out, and they aren't dominated by the loons of the Religious Right. Hardly the ideal opposition party, but oh well.
After seeing McCain's VP pick, I'm quite confident now that Obama is going to win rather handidly. Which I think is a good thing. McCain is a loon. He should not be president. Whatever deceny he used to have, he sold out to get the Bushies to make him the nominee. This latest pick just proves it. (As will any cynical use of Hurricane Gustav as a political stunt this week).
4 years ago