29 August 2008

McCain's Choice

If the report that Senator McCain has chosen Governor Palin of Alaska as his running mate is correct, then McCain has found a way to gamble while finding a partner who seems to be in sync with his own views. The gamble, of course, is that a female running mate will win over the dead-ender feminazis who won't reconcile themselves to Senator Clinton's defeat. It's a big gamble because Palin is pro-life, which is the one thing that could be a deal breaker for the PUMAs unless they are so determined to force in a female that they would compromise all their other principles.

At first glance, Palin seems an appropriate running mate for McCain. She has unimpeachable "maverick" credentials, having risen to power by defying Alaska's Republican establishment and confronting corruption within the party. She is an enemy of Senator Stevens, for instance, and dealt the deathblow to his "bridge to nowhere" project. In part, she was driven by thwarted ambition, having wanted a gubernatorial appointment to complete a Senate term, only to be denied in favor of the governor's own daughter. Palin later defeated that incumbent governor in a party primary. There may be a sense of grievance driving her that dates back to her second-place finish in a Miss Alaska beauty pageant back in the 80s.

Mr. Right tells me that his sources suspect that Palin was recommended to McCain by Senator Lieberman during the mysterious phone call he supposedly made to take himself out of the running. He claims that the "close friend" who advised Lieberman to make the call was Dick Morris, the Clinton fixer turned Fox News talker. These are early speculations that will most likely get sorted out over the next week. The most important thing will be to hear Palin speak, since my first hunch would be that she'd be helpless in a debate against Senator Biden if the topic turns to foreign policy. It will also be interesting to see if Palin's pro-life standing will be enough to get Republicans to the polls for McCain.

In any event, history of a superficial kind will be made in November, for as of January, either the President or the Vice President will not be a white man. It will most likely be strictly superficial, since neither Palin, as far as I know, nor Senator Obama proposes meaningful changes in government. But either outcome might mean real change if it convinces people that women's and racial minorities' claims on political power are not inherently subversive. Conversely, it could convince people finally that racism and sexism are not the most fundamental problems facing society. Even a right-wing victory, in this case, could end up moving the country to the left. Only time will tell.


crhymethinc said...

If you accept that idea of a bipolarchy, then you must accept that PUMAs will not vote republican. No matter what the gender of the candidates, their whole point seems to be to support Hillary Clinton, not just any woman running for office. They may not vote for Obama, but I highly doubt many of them will vote for McCain, especially if women's rights are among the major issues brought up during the course of the campaign.

Samuel Wilson said...

What's unclear about the PUMAs is whether they are fanatic acolytes of Senator Clinton as an individual or ideological "feminazis" who believe that the nation "needs" a female president. If the latter, some may well be happy with the thought of a woman being a heartbeat away, and that being the heartbeat of an elederly man. The PUMAs demonstrating in Denver presumably were not yet won over to Senator Obama despite his obvious superiority to Senator McCain on the issue of reproductive freedom. The ultimate question is how many women they actually represent.