Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dump Governor Palin

As a non-Republican who devoutly hopes for an Obama victory in November, I am loath to offer sound advice to Senator John McCain. However, I see a unique opportunity for him in last week’s conclusion by the Alaska State Senate’s independent investigator regarding Governor Sarah Palin’s abuse of power: McCain should immediately—and with great displays of reluctance and praise for her selfless patriotism—accept the Governor’s gracious withdrawal from her bid for the vice-presidency on the grounds that her integrity has—unfairly, of course—been compromised by this revelation.

This action, while admittedly somewhat cowardly, would allow him at once to capitalize on her having “energized the base” of the right wing of the Republican party, and to choose a more qualified running-mate.

I have heard it said that voters do not cast their votes for the vice-presidential candidate, but rather for the number one on the ticket and on the basis of the issues. But Governor Palin has made herself an issue—and one which, in recent weeks, has taken precedence even over the collapsing economy on the Republican side. Her gaffes have provided ample proof that is absurdly unqualified for the position for which McCain rashly nominated her; and in view of both his age and his medical history, that absence of the necessary qualifications to lead what is still the most powerful country in the world has become a major stumbling block for his campaign.

Worse, perhaps, she has demonstrated an alarming inability to understand the gravity of the consequence of her words. Blithely, and with every appearance of delight in her ability to incite near-violence responses, she has appealed to the lowest instincts of the mobs that attend her rallies. She has failed conspicuously to moderate the tone of her rhetoric, and is rapidly losing whatever support she was once able to muster among independent voters. In short, the McCain campaign would, even at this late date, be well rid of her. Removing her as an issue would give the Senator the opportunity to return to those things that really matter—to return, in a word, to reason.

It’s an open question, of course, whether the Governor would comply with this eminently sensible strategy, and the action might further infuriate her fans. Given the current standing of the Republican campaign in the polls, however, this would be one risk that this notorious gambler might be well advised to take. He would also, not incidentally, be doing an immense favor to the country he so frequently and fervently claims to put first.


Paul said...

Curious how Ms. Palin cited the report that she abused her power as "proof" she did nothing wrong. Abuse of power isn't against the law, but it most certainly is wrong. There are some other things revealed lately about her that are alarming. Unfortunately those who should be alarmed are too busy shouting, "Sarah! Sarah!"

I'm surprised (no, not really) that no one with any clout has come out to question McCain's judgment. But I found this challenge by Judith Viorst interesting:

It really is getting frightening, this mob mentality. Palin has been described as energizing the base. Recall that Al-Qaeda means precisely that: The Base. Make of that what you will.

We could be in for big trouble regardless of who wins this most historical of elections.

carly said...

Good last point, Paul. While O is easily the better of two men for the situation, the real roots of the problems will go untreated, as the Democrats put little bandages on everything, increase their own paychecks, and enjoy their superior health care. Financial analysts have laid out the future. It isn't good.

But we can't focus on that ever, because the problems are so profound we can only work for the best of what is possible.

All I can say is, let's get back to basics, deep basics.

ErnestO said...

Government by corporation - thinking this allows me to center myself for the day.
We have a no party ystem.

"Sarah! Sarah!" brings warmth to my smile, then again one must understand I'm deeply stupid.

robin andrea said...

I just said the same thing to Roger this morning. McCain should dump Palin. I think McCain would, if he thinks it will energize his lagging campaign. He could come up with a second, smarter choice and move to a more coherent and positive message. It's completely fair to run against Obama on substantive issues, but a campaign based on absurd personal attacks is a loser.

Of course, I hope he stays on his losing streak. Makes me very happy to watch him self-destruct.

Cardozo said...

If McCain were to dump Palin for a more moderate choice, there would be all-out revolt and serious talk of an election-day boycott.

The choice of Palin was red meat for the "traditional values" base of the party, and nothing she has done or said in the interim (frighteningly) makes her less palatable to these voters.

Paul said...

If McCain were to dump Palin it would make him look even more erratic than Obama says he is. It would be an opportunistic move just as his rushing to DC to save the economy was a couple of weeks ago.

Pre-Palin he had not much going for him. Without her now he would have less. He's stuck with trying to come up with yet another new message. Last week he took "the gloves off." This week he's striving to make a turnaround as the underdog.

That will be difficult so long as the Pit Bull is yipping and gnawing at the Underdog's ankles. But what other choice does he have?

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for the insights, all. I did think about the possible reaction of the base as I wrote this piece, but my thinking is this: he would not "dump" Palin, but reluctantly accept her withdrawal, siding with the angry mob and continuing to blame the Democrats and the liberal press for their mean treatment of her. That way, I think, he could keep his cake and eat it too. Or vice versa. As even William Kristol said this morning in the NYT, at this point he has nothing to lose.

Cardozo said...

What about if McCain keeps Palin on the ticket AND adds someone else? VP #1 for the social conservatives, VP #2 for the economic conservatives.

Unconstitutional? That's ok, the constitution doesn't apply when it comes to vice presidents.