Matthew A. Sutton
When I first heard that McCain had asked Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential nominee, I thought the choice was pure genius. This was McCain the Maverick at his best. Realizing that Obamamania could not be overcome, he was going to use the 2008 campaign to settle old scores. Choosing Palin would accomplish two things. First, it would guarantee that he lost the election, leaving it to the Democrats to fix the economy and straighten out the Middle East. As a result, the horrible legacy of his old nemesis, GW Bush, would be guaranteed. After the way the Bushies mistreated him in 2000, he would have the last laugh and all the free Arizona beer he could drink. Second, he would get one last swipe at those he dubbed the “Agents of Intolerance.” By picking a creationism-advocating, heat-packing, Pentecostal church-going Alaskan straight out of Jerry Falwell’s playbook, I thought McCain was sealing the doom of the Religious Right as we have known it. With the ascension of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Joel Osteen, I figured the United States had seen the last of the shrill politics of anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-environment, anti-community organizer Jesus. Palin would lure Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, and James Dobson into the spotlight one final time where they would finally be discarded.
Alas, McCain was wrong. Little did he know that his choice of Palin, rather than dooming the Bush legacy and the Religious Right, would in fact resurrect both. It looks like Jesus will equal Republican for at least another decade, which is bad news for Jesus and great news for the GOP. Who would have guessed that of all people the Maverick would be the one man who could pull that off?