It is intellectually discouraging to watch so many of my politically conservative friends begin flocking to the John McCain bandwagon since he named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential choice.
Most of them despised McCain's candidacy the day before the selection, knowing McCain is a warmonger, neoconservative, foe of free political speech, political spendthrift and heir apparent of The Legacy of George II.
Then, the Palin announcement.
Forget about McCain. This apparently socially conservative boat rocker who may have successfully challenged the Republican power structure in the nation's largest state is rapidly being seen the Goddess of Redemption for McCain. All his sins are forgiven because Mrs. Palin will seemingly keep McCain's statist tendencies in check.
Focus on the Family's James Dobson, after publicly blowing off the McCain candidacy, now says he may vote for the GOP presidential nominee. Former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, once a conservative and now a neocon, who was thumped in his 2006 reelection bid, took time from his public crusade against "Islamofacism" to endorse McCain. In the previous months, Santorum had nothing good to say about McCain, personally or professionally.
Now Santorum, Dobson and their ilk are Republican political grandstanders and professional celebrities, much like Al Sharpton and James Carville are for the Democrats.
But, a number of my longtime friends and political allies are simply run-of-the-mill students of the constitution, free market advocates, Pro-Life activists, conservative Christians and professed freedom fighters.
The Palin candidacy has seemingly erased the hard drives tucked in their grey matter. Attempts to reason with them, to bring charges of nay-saying and cynicism.
When was the last time a Vice President of the United States publicly challenged the sitting President on any significant issue? Or kept the President "in check" on matters of war, taxation, human rights, freedom, government regulation, fiat money or any meaningful issue?
Did Nixon keep Eisenhower in check? Did LBJ reign in JFK? Did Humphrey have anything critical to say about LBJ until his boss dropped out in 1968? Did Agnew challenge Nixon? Did Ford? Nelson Rockefeller was a nonentity and Mondale was a lapdog for Carter. George I bided his time under The Gipper and that pre-eminent conservative Dan Quayle never said a word of disagreement as George I's veep. Then Algore sat patiently under Bill Clinton, awaiting his chance at the crown.
Granted, Dick Cheney may well be Bush II's puppet master, but I have yet to see him upbraid the sitting POTUS.
John Nance Garner was apparently correct when he compared the vice presidency to "a warm pitcher of spit."
A vice president is chosen because he or she is believed to enhance the candidacy of the presidential hopeful. In the case of Mrs. Palin, thus far, it seems to be paying off handsomely.
But, that's about it. The number two person is not expected to help develop the administration's plans unless he or she is used as a "stalking horse" for trial balloons on proposed public policy.
The vice president is expected to be a cheerleader and, perhaps, do some lobbying for the President with old cronies from Capitol Hill. Of course, Mrs. Palin, unlike the Democrat's veep choice, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, doesn't have any cronies on Capitol Hill.
So, why have so many normally thoughtful people opted to give McCain a clean slate in light of his choice of Mrs. Palin?
These people are aware that the United States of America is imploding. They don't want the blatant socialism offered by the Obama/Biden ticket. They have no faith in third-party efforts. They feel compelled to go to the polls on Election Day. They feel the creeping socialism of Republicans is preferable to the Democrat brand of equal misery for all. They think that someday, somehow, somewhere, sometime, the Republicans will address the questions of abortion, national bankruptcy, individual freedom and perpetual war for perpetual peace. Someday.
It is a malady known as "cognitive dissonance" and Mrs. Palin's candidacy is providing them with a piece of driftwood in an ocean of disaster.
If Mrs. Palin does become Vice President of the United States, she can ascend to the Oval Office only one of two ways — by tragedy or by being a good girl and keeping her mouth shut when she disagrees with the boss.
Of course, in 2016, she will only be 52 years old and thoroughly indoctrinated in the ways of Sodom on the Potomac.
September 5, 2008