John McCain facing a tough election threw caution to the wind and chose an exciting yet irresponsibly under qualified Sarah Palin to revive his flailing candidacy. I am positive that the intent was to raise Sarah Palin to the level of Republican national politician but truly the effect was to lower Republican national politics to the level of Sarah Palin. That one selfish act by a bitter old man may have killed thoughtful conservatism in the United States for the foreseeable future.
Justifying Sarah Palin as a Vice Presidential candidate was quite literally not possible so the campaign focused strictly on damaging Obama, biggest celebrity, paling around with terrorists, the secret Muslim and the birther movements were all born out of the necessity to portray Barack Hussein Obama as dangerous, elitist or other. Matters of serious policy and issues were largely buried because they were completely outside the realm of serious discussion with the farcical vice presidential candidate. The further the campaign strayed from their stated principal of “Country First” the less credible John McCain became as a presidential contender and the more popular Sarah Palin became in the ranks of the gullible bigots that would become the fodder for the tea party movement.
The campaign was a disaster and Barack Obama won the presidency with more popular votes than any other president ever…
Of course historic presidential elections command more attention from the populace than governance and governance in the face of financial collapse and severe recession is tough. Tougher if those who professed “Country First” in the election absolutely refuse to assist in the painful decisions necessary to shore up the economy and avoid more carnage. The GOP wasn’t satisfied to merely let the Democrats do all the heavy lifting alone, oh no they took every opportunity to play to the populist anger of those who already desperately wanted to believe that the government wasn’t even legitimate to begin with. The financial collapse, became the health care debate, became the closing Gitmo debate, became the underwear bomber, became Dick Cheney insisting Obama was endangering our safety, became Liz Cheney channeling McCarthy, became hateful angry bigots screaming at our democratically elected officials and feeling justified in doing so, after all the GOP told them that the majority party was doing unspeakable things to them, not for them, to them…
This weekend Sarah Palin was once again on the stump with John McCain, it was the final capitulation of the once proud Senator to the dark side that is tea party politics. I don’t feel sorry for McCain, he made his political bed and deserves his fate, it is the loss of a serious core of honest conservative politics at the heart of the Republican Party that should be mourned. The base of the right doesn’t hold serious conservative principles, the base of the right centers around beliefs like;
That the President holds Socialist views and wants to destroy America
That the President is secretly a Muslim
That the President might not be the legitimate leader of the country
That the Democratic Party violated the constitution to force health care reform
That legislation of the elected majority IS in fact tyranny.
If you want to energize a base like that, be prepared to check your principles at the door. So far it appears that there is no shortage of Republicans willing to jump down that rabbit hole (insert Mad Hater and “shoot off their heads from a helicopter” analogies here).
Ultimately the problem is that the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln as they are proud to point out, have finally, fatefully, fearfully embraced the hate, the vitriol, and the idiotic rhetoric of Sarah Palin and the mindless minions that still consider her relevant. A sad day for America, a sad day for the world and a sad day for thinking people across the political spectrum.
The fall from here will either be the Republican Party or the United States of America the choice is crystal clear and the stakes could not be higher, so here it is America, what will it be, a constitutional scholar of color or a small town bigot who happens to be white?
I await your answer with fascination and horror, in that order.
credit for the “hatriot” term to it’s creator @Shoq