I know, I know. I always said this wasn't a political blog--there are so many people who do that better than I could, and most of my likely readers probably aren't gonna find it as entertaining as I do. But you know, it's that time of year. It's officially general election season, as of last night, and you're going to be hearing about it more and more anyway, whether you care or not. So how could I bear to leave my two cents unspent? I seem to be on a roll today, anyway, so I'll keep it going.
So: I've already gotten my jokes in this morning, but let me just say in all seriousness how terrific this McCain VP thing is. My reaction was precisely the same as that of everyone in the world who isn't a conservative blogger. Who? Let this be a lesson: "Thinking Outside the Box" is the last refuge of fools and scoundrels, the sorts of people who say things like "let's Think Outside the Box on this one." The result is inevitably something like this--somebody comically unprepared being thrust into a situation where they're going to be ridiculed.
The sorts of people who worry about these things, who assume that the Democratic Party will always find a way to lose, well, they're worrying already. We can't ridicule her, they're saying. She's young and appealing and a Girl. We'll look mean. And hey, I'm normally as much of a worrier as anybody--but the hand-wringers should realize right away that we don't need to ridicule her. Play it straight, mildly question her experience and possible minor scandal, and let the situation take care of itself. It's Harriet Miers all over again, except that McCain isn't allowed to make her back out. McGovern tried that. Yeesh.
Clearly, this was a way not of countering the choice of Biden, but of making a desperate grab for an Obama-like figure. See? Our party's got a Dynamic Next Generation, too! Take that, you smug liberal elites! But you can see just how pathetically weak that line of attack is, and you can guess just how well it's gonna play. Seriously? You want people to mentally compare this woman to Barack Freakin' Obama? That's a bright idea. Our Dynamic Next Generation is a battle-hardened Chicago pol and US Senator and Blockbuster Author who just happens to also be Bigger Than Jesus at the moment. Theirs is a lightweight whack-job who's run a hick state for a year and a half.
It's Dan Quayle all over again, is what it is. (Hey wouldn't it be funny if Obama had picked Evan Bayh, the Democratic Dan Quayle? Okay, funny to me, maybe. Sigh.) And I know, I'm about the zillionth person to say that in the past few hours, and just as many people have said but...but...Dan Quayle WON! Yeah, but is anybody seriously suggesting that Bush 88 won because of Quayle? He was in the same box that McCain was in--all the viable options either weren't really viable, like Lieberman, or he just couldn't stand them. (Mittens Romney, just like Bob Dole was to Bush Sr.) Quayle was immediately dismissed as a joke, and rightly so.
Nah, Bush 88 won because of vicious race-baiting, as every schoolboy knows, and because Dukakis was sorta inept, which every schoolboy also knows. And hell yes you're gonna see some vicious race-baiting in the coming weeks. It's gonna be Scary Radical Black Celebrity Muslim pretty much non-stop, and McCain will have to cluck his tongue and act like he's Above All That, even though the size of the racist vote has always been his only real hope of winning. But it's not going to work. Because it's twenty years since Willie Horton, and the nation is, honestly, marginally less racist, if only because it's less white. And more importantly, because our guy is most definitely NOT inept. Did you happen to catch him on TV yesterday, addressing a few of his closest friends?