At all costs

Add me to the list of people who are excited about John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Maybe “excited” is the wrong word. It’s more like the feeling of walking into a movie, knowing you’re going to get an interesting story and a few dramatic plot twists here and there. I just can’t wait to see how the whole thing plays out.

We don’t know much about her, but we sure learned a lot about McCain. Namely, we’ve learned just how much of a pompous and shrewd politician he is. That whole asshole quality he tries so hard to hide came shining through as he stood behind her while she spoke, fumbling with his wedding ring and — am I right about this? — staring at her ass. The look on his face was like a little kid saying “take that Obama.”

He did it. He stole the show. This is something I’ve read about him before, that he likes to be the center of attention and he’s jealous of Obama’s celebrity status. What’s truly frightening is the level to which he’s now gone to try and win. He’s willing to put the country at risk with someone completely out of touch with the world just so he can get the gig. This instantly puts Obama and Biden in an awkward position, and McCain fully knows that. Forget country, forget even decency, he’s playing a game. It really makes you wonder what is motiving this guy and what might motivate his decision-making when it really matters. The guy just wants to win.

It might work. He doesn’t have to get all of the Hilary Clinton voters to come over to his side, just the really dumb, gullible, bitter ones. It sounds like there are quite a few of them out there. The vast majority of women, the smarter ones, will see that Palin wants creationism taught in school and no abortion rights under any circumstances. She says she doesn’t think much about Iraq and in fact doesn’t know what McCain’s Iraq plan is. She defends people who shoot wolves from helicopters, doesn’t believe global warming is man-made, and doesn’t even know what job she’s running for.

I don’t think for a second that she’s stupid. In fact she seems very articulate. But when I hear and see her words, I pick up on a recurring theme. She’s all about Alaska. She’s working on her state, is separated from the concerns of the lower 48, and isn’t keeping up on what’s going on in the country. That’s troublesome. I don’t want someone who thinks about Alaska; I want someone who understands her country and understands the world around her.

I’ve been reading a lot of commentary about her online. Joe Conason of Salon, for example wrote a great piece. But I haven’t seen a lot of text about one major reason she’s in this position — money. McCain has been suffering when it comes to matching Obama’s campaign treasure. After she was announced as McCain’s running mate, the campaign instantly generated 7 million dollars. That’s 7 million coming from hard-core conservatives, those that otherwise wouldn’t feel comfortable with McCain. I think it’s pretty safe to say that McCain has finally brought in the Christian cash.

This is turning into a huge election. Regardless of who wins, history is made. That’s exciting. But as I watch this narrative unfold, I’ll be hoping for a happy ending, rather than a bitter and cynical one. For better or for worse, the people get to decide which one we’ll get.

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