Anyone familiar with my postings over the past year knows I am not a fan of John McCain. He was my fourth choice as a presidential candidate. My opposition to McCain has always been based on his treatment of the Constitution. Specifically, Article One and the first and tenth amendments. In addition to that, I strongly disagree with him on immigration and climate change.
Following his appearance with Barack Obama in the Saddleback forum, I decided to take a second look. Still, the negatives outweighed the positives. I had decided not to support McCain in November if he picked a liberal pro-abortion candidate for Vice President. My reasoning was that Obama, with the strong opposition he would have in Congress, could do less damage to the country than McCain’s policies would have done with little or no opposition from the Republican side of Congress.
On the three most critical issues for the country, energy, immigration and healthcare McCain’s policies would have been disastrous for the economy and for personal liberty, without any moderating opposition from Congress. On all of these issues, he would have gotten the support from the Democratic side of the aisle, while many from the Republican side would have gone along out of party loyalty.
Obama’s positions on the same issues are far worse, but they would be moderated by strong opposition from conservative Republicans as well as the conservative movement as a whole. After four years of an Obama presidency, the American public would be more than ready to replace him with a conservative Republican.
That all changed with McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate. After two days of research, I am convinced that the pick was even better than McCain himself is aware of. Being the cynic that I am, I’m sure he chose her purely for political reasons to appease his pro-life conservative base. For whatever reason she was chosen, it seems she has the potential of developing into the leader conservatives have been seeking since Ronald Reagan.
Her selection not only energized the Republican base, it also threw the Democrats completely off message. Until this weekend I, though Alen Colmes had the roughest job in America. However, it is obvious the roughest job in America for the next month is going to be opposition researcher for the Democratic Party. The only thing the Democrat attack machine has been able to come up with is her lack of experience which supposedly disqualifies her as Commander in Chief. The Vice President is President of the Senate; the President is Commander in Chief. At least that’s the way I read the Constitution.
That said, I have to recognize that John McCain is only a few years younger than I am. At our age, we have to think twice before taking on long term obligations, and eight years is a long time. Taking that into consideration, I still have to laugh when I hear an Obama surrogate mention Palin’s lack of experience. When you compare the combined experience of the Republican ticket with the combined experience of the Democratic ticket, you have to conclude that if experience is important, the Republicans win hands down.
Obama has never shown any leadership ability in any of the jobs he has held since starting his career. He was elected unopposed to the Illinois senate in a state controlled by the Daley machine, and he was elected unopposed to the U.S. Senate the same way. He has never been elected to a position of leadership, either in Illinois or Washington. There is no noteworthy legislation after eleven years in state and federal legislatures that bear his name.
Joe Biden’s legislative career has been little better. He has been on the wrong side of practically every issue. His proposals for Iraq have been laughable, especially his proposal to balkanize the country by splitting it up between the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites. In thirty-six years, he has never been elected to a leadership position. All his committee assignments have been due to his longevity, not his ability. Anyone who spends thirty-six years at the same job without a promotion or an increase in responsibilities hardly inspires confidence in their competence.
The Obama campaign calls for “change we can believe in”. A McCain-Palin administration could really bring about such a change. Both McCain and Palin are proven reformers. I am not sure how Palin stands on the Constitution, but based on how she lives her life and the reform she brought to Alaska politics during her short tenure in office, I have to assume she takes a conservative view of the Constitution, especially when it comes to state sovereignty.
It would be great if she decided to exercise her Constitutional duties as President of the Senate as the founders intended. No Vice President since John Adams has chosen to do so, but that would really be a change we can believe in.
At any rate, she has brought hope to the conservative movement and a part of that hope is that she can help McCain bring change to Washington. In selecting her as his running mate, McCain may have just put a lock on the White House.