So McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the Veep. Some people think this was a chancy move that comes from desperation. On the other hand, McCain's pick has made other people get downright hysterical.¹
It will be interesting to watch how the MSM treats Palin over the long haul, especially after the initial charm has worn off and they start digging into her background. But personally I don't think McCain's choice will make any difference on the final results in November. McCain mistakenly thinks that renewing the old GOP "culture war" shtick by picking Palin is a sly maneuver, but it is liable to become an exposed flank instead. The culture war was lost years ago, and any sort of "conservative xtian vote" is just too fractured to make any difference.² I will bet that the MSM will also pick up some hints from the hysterical Daily Kos item I cited above, and they will consequently zero-in on her religious beliefs and attempt to portray them in the worst possible light. But they cannot play the "lack of experience" tune in this case, at least not too easily. (Of course, now McCain can't play this tune either against Obama.)
Strangely enough, however, while I was looking around the febrile swamp called the Daily Kos website, I happened to notice that some Kosniacs had a very stimulated interest in an equally hysterical article about Todd Bentley. Furthermore, other Kosniacs think McCain's selection will backfire soon, and that consequently the choice of Palin will be withdrawn or otherwise not make it past the convention. But another Kosinac proposed a rather odd theory that goes something like this: McCain knows that the election is lost to him, and he blames the social conservatives for this and wants to exact revenge on them (out of pure vindictive cussedness). Therefore, he's put Palin on the ticket in order to implicate them in the upcoming defeat, thus forever stigmatizing them and removing them from having any further influence in GOP. It's a bizarre theory, but then again, it's the Daily Kos, where sometimes they can believe in pretty odd things.³
But on second thought, maybe this theory isn't entirely too wild after all. Consider this quotation from Paleocon pundit Daniel Larison:
…Palin will probably function in a McCain administration more or less as Quayle functioned in the first Bush administration. Just as Bush used Quayle to shore up conservatives behind him, McCain will use Palin’s good qualities to cover his many policy sins and lock conservatives into another four years of futile loyalism. That could very well lead to another intra-party fight in '12 that would put Palin on the wrong side. Meanwhile, having given the base Palin, McCain will think he does not owe them much else and may think that he has earned leeway to push his agenda in collaboration with the Democratic majority, whether on foreign policy, immigration, climate change or what-have-you. Assuming, that is, that this ticket can win, which I don’t think is likely.The italics are mine. Now Larison has had more experience than I in observing the political scene, and he makes good sense with his points about Palin being used for just another Quayle, a mere window dressing display designed to entice some people into another four years of "futile loyalism." So maybe there is little of something to this crazy theory of "McCain's Last Revenge."
In defeat the consequences will not be much better. Despite the continued neglect of social conservatives by the party, social conservatives will again be accused of dominating the GOP, which means in practice that their priorities will be neglected even more to counteract this false perception. Should McCain lose, as I think he will, social and religious conservatives will be blamed for it, just as so many have tried to blame the ‘06 loss on social conservatives. Once again, the GOP will try to explain away its failure by pinning it on pro-lifers or any other faction besides the one that brought the party to this sorry pass.
What I should have emphasized above is how much I like Palin, which is why I wish she hadn’t been chosen or hadn’t accepted.
Nah. It's too crazy.
¹ And why would they show any restraint in what they say regarding her family?
² For example, once you look at the actual statistics, it turns out that conservative evangelicals can't even keep a hold of their own kids, who for the most part completely apostasize once they reach high school or beyond. It's laughable to think that somehow they're about to take over the country. The culture war is now barely more than a convenient bugaboo that gets dredged up for agitprop purposes by all sides. Yet the nutty paranoia of some Kosniacs prevents them from fathoming just how utterly defeated conservative xtians in this country really are—but that's a topic that would require a lengthy discussion of its own.
³ For example, that the sinister "christianists" possess prepotent powers to minipulate events in this country, or that consequently they're on the verge of pulling off a theocratic putsch, or that Todd Bentley is a ringleader of some kind of crypto-terrorist cell. Some of the stuff gets so freaky it's almost entertaining to read.