I read over and over that John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate highlights once again his “maverick” status, but I can’t see how that is so. How is it “maverick” to choose a running mate straight out of the conservative base of his party? How is it “maverick” to choose a woman as your running mate then sit back and watch as the world is distracted by the soap-opera of her family drama and the continuously evolving list of her potential drawbacks?
Maybe it’s maverick to choose someone who would be singularly unprepared to take the reins when you die in office, but other than that this is all just classic, old-school Republican tactics to me. John McCain didn’t have the strength of his own convictions to pick one of the two pro-choice people he supposedly wanted most as his running mate until it became glaringly clear that the fire-and-brimstone crowd would hang him out to dry if he did so. Instead, without properly vetting his last-minute decision, he offered the iron-fisted evangelicals Sarah Palin on a silver platter, hoping he’d be killing two birds with one stone by choosing a woman for whom lots of independent-minded women surely would leap on board the Straight to Oblivion Express.
Nothing about all this is maverick other than to show just how badly a hastily made decision, one that shows a distinct lack of good judgment, can turn out. Shouldn’t we already know that from 8 years of watching George Bush shoot from the hip, using his own “maverick” style to take us into a needless conflict in Iraq? Don’t we need someone to make decisions for our country that result from genuine, thoughtful reflection, maybe a little consultation with someone other than the Dark Lord of Observatory Circle, rather than someone who keeps us on our inexorable march down this dangerous path?