Sorry for the delay in posting, I was out of the country on a trip.
Well now, it's been about a month since the announcement that Sarah Palin will be John McCain's vice-presidential nominee. If you had asked me the day before the announcement whether or not the VP selection could get me excited about the Republican ticket, I'd have said, "no way". VP's don't matter, and I couldn't think of a single person who could change that. But then she did. I worried that I was just swept along with the moment and that it would all wear off in a week, but I continue to be optimistic about her. Why?
Because she may just be different enough, strong enough, and conservative enough to win the presidency on her own after 4 years as McCain's VP. And that's saying something. I worried before in an earlier post (here) that no matter who McCain's VP was, "he" would be weakened by the 4 years as McCain's VP. That's still the case, but her personality is so strong, and she is so unafraid of saying what she thinks, that she may yet be able to rise above his moderation with her conservatism. Where a run of the mill VP would have to go out and help sell the socially liberal-but less expansive!!- ideas of McCain and never live them down when they fail, she may very well just give those a pass and only sell what she likes. I can hear in my head her speeches 4 years from now saying that "No, in fact I don't agree with everything he did, but he's a good man and I served my country by doing my job as VP well; now lets see what I can do when I'm in charge!"
It's funny to me that it took a woman to show Republican men (especially her future boss) how to talk to and about Democrats. There is no reason at all to be afraid of the Left, and yet the Right tucks tail again and again. When George Bush gets an approval rating of 25%, you can bet money that while 45%-ish of the disapproval numbers are Dems who don't like him, the other 30 or-so percent is made up of Republicans who are mad that he keeps giving in. If I answered polls (I don't), I'd be in the disapproving column too. Conventional wisdom would say that must be due to Iraq and Bush's cowboy mentality with the economy. Not even close. I'm mad that he tried to get amnesty for illegals, threw more wasted money at failing public schools, and never continued to sell a perfectly legitimate war in Iraq. He's a good man, but not much of a leader, and too liberal for my tastes. The point is that moving left will not help Republicans when the votes they are losing are from the right. Palin gets this. In her speech at the convention, she never accepted the premises of the left. She was aggressive, she attacked, and she laid out her position clearly. She is exactly what we need, and I hope against hope that she survives the next four years without compromising away that clarity of purpose and morality that excited me and millions like me. As Rush Limbaugh never fails to point out, Liberalism is always the easy answer. Conservatism is much harder, and it requires constant education. Sarah Palin is clearly a great teacher.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."