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September 17, 2008

A Miserable Mistake

Tom McLaughlin

Other than he is a Republican, anti choice, pro war, a trickle down economist, drill here, there and everywhere fanatic, and a DNA clone of the mind (or lack thereof) of George Bush, there are few other things about Arizona Senator John McCain that bother me.


Alaska Gov. Sarah Plain cannot be faulted for being on the ticket. She is what she is – a wonderful mom, a stop-and-start crusader against government spending, and, like McCain, in favor of everything I am against. She has family problems (don’t we all), cheated a bit on the expense accounts and is guilty of the same stuff we all are, but she got caught.


The problem I have is not with her but Senator McCain’s choice of her. She will go down in history along with Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew.


Dan Quayle will forever be remembered by his wife’s quip: “He would rather play golf than have sex” when questioned about a possible liaison on a Caribbean island.


Spiro Agnew, who was convicted of taking bribes while in office, was the brunt of a famous Bob Hope quip: “The Spiro Agnew Library burned down. Both books were lost. They hadn’t been colored yet.”


Both Vice President Quayle and Vice President Agnew were regarded as clowns and treated as such by most of the country. They were a source of amusement, the topic of late night monologues. They added levity at times of severe crisis in the nation. The Vietnam War and the Invasion of Kuwait pushed them both into the background except when they created many of their gaffes. “Potatoe” and “negative nabobs of negativism” come to mind.


Governor Palin cannot be associated with these two former vice presidents because she is not funny. She has made very difficult personal choices that deserve respect. The governor has tried to straighten out a corruption-ridden state. But she does not hold any of the qualifications required to be the next possible president of the United States.


But even worse is Senator McCain’s choice of her. Of all the noble and honorable women in the Republican Party he could have chosen, he seemingly spun the Wheel of Fortune containing names and it stopped on her.


How, then, will he fill other important positions in his presidency? Who will be his advisors? What the hell was he thinking?


His choice of the governor must lead one to mind-reading from a very, very long distance without a crystal ball. One of the reasons being thrown about is that he wanted to secure the vote of the Christian right.


The logic, some think, is that he chose the Alaskan because of her family and her youngest child who suffers from a very horrible genetic malfunction. I hope this is not true because if their reasoning were correct, even the most ardent conservative Christian would not vote for him. It would be equal to the idea that Sen. Joe Biden was chosen as Sen. Barack Obama’s running mate because of his grandchildren.


Another reason is one of image. Does Senator McCain really hope to sway blue-collar voters to his side because some have portrayed her as a moose killing, tobacco spewing, NRA life member, who will adopt the Agnew mantra of “bomb ‘em back to the Stone Age?” The only thing missing is the beer. If this is true, it does a great disservice to the blue-collar workers who are much smarter than Senator McCain thinks.


The most idiotic reason I have read is that he chose her to attract Sen. Hillary Clinton’s supporters. Here again, he has misread another segment of society. Women will not flock to her just because she is a woman. They have better sense.


If the above scenarios are remotely true, than Senator McCain chose the governor because of her religious values, the image he hopes she will portray to blue-collar workers and to women. If so, he has made a terrible mistake in his judgment of all of these groups.


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