I don't usually talk about politics on this site, but this snippet from Salon.com caught my eye. In a piece about the Newsweek article "Secrets of 2008 campaign" and the process that resulted in McCain's pick o' Palin as a running mate, Kate Harding writes:
"Secrets" confirms what we already knew: That McCain himself wanted Joe Lieberman to be his running mate, and if not Lieberman, then Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge. Problem was, aides advised that "a pro-choice pick would deeply antagonize the religious right, maybe even provoke a floor fight at the convention."
I think we can agree that McCain lost for several reasons. He was unprepared to handle the economic crisis, he tilted his campaign towards an increasingly select base of abysmally stupid people, and in any case, John McCain was a man on the wrong side of history. But the choice of Palin as a running mate damaged his campaign to such an extent that there was no way of recovering from that one. Every time undecided voters considered McCain, that grinning, winking, pan-smacked face rose up in their minds. Palin embodied a little too completely the face of American ignorance: blandly pretty, unjustifiably confident, insulated from and wholly unsuited to the real world. She turned a vote for McCain into a vote for the worst tendencies in American culture, and too many Americans were heartily sick of her kind of attitude.
Anyway, if the above snippet is true, the chief criterion for Palin's selection was her position on abortion. Could it be that this was the first American election that fetuses had a hand in deciding? Maybe we should be upgrading their status.