I have finally emerged fully (I think) from the anesthesia-induced fog that descended on me about a week ago. My spine saw sunshine for the first time, but I am recovering, and as I said, outside of a few lingering aches (OK, they are probably a bit sharper than aches), suffer mostly from cabin fever. I have not left my house, except for a few walks around the block, for 8 days. So maybe this post is the raving of an isolated, unshaven shadow of a man more akin to the unabomber than the guy you know as David. But here goes.
I have waded into the political fray only to prophesy that if McCain won the Republican ticket, then Obama would hear “Hail to the Chief.” And also to write the award-winning (in my own mind) post about Obama and the Antichrist. Well. Whilst lurking stealthily in the nether regions of the blogosphere, I have been listening to my fellow Basketeers. Rob, I hear you. Al, right back atcha.
I’m declaring that I will also vote “No.” Obama? No. McCain? Uh-uh. The movement has officially begun.
And it’s funny. I have this lingering feeling that if McCain had made the right veep choice, I could have been persuaded to vote for him (teeth gritted, back stiffened by pragmatism, lesser-of-two-evils grimace on my face). But voting for a Maverick goes against every bone in my Burkean body. Edmund Burke – who has been called the “Patriarch of Permanent Things” – while critiquing the Revolution in France, wrote this:
In England we have not been completely embowelled of our natural entrails; we still feel within us, and we cherish and cultivate, those inbred sentiments which are the faithful guardians, the active monitors of our duty, the true supporters of all liberal and manly morals.
When I look at the presidential ticket, I have this sense that in order to vote either for McCain and his eye candy veep or Obama and his pretender veep, I would have to be “embowelled of my natural entrails.” I would have to cashier my basic revulsion for populism and my sensibilities that draw me toward tradition, gentlemanly courage, and the wisdom, prudence, and vision that can only come from experience – and vote either for a man who I believe truly could have greatness in him but lacks moral clarity and so much more (Obama) or a man who, rather than real wisdom and integrity, possesses instead a hot-headed hawkishness that wouldn’t befit a PTA president, much less the leader of the free world.
And speaking of PTA presidents, Sarah Palin is not a creditable pick for vice president. Only contemporary bumfuzzled conservatives could think otherwise. For a lot of the same reasons Rob asserts. And, both George Will and David Brooks say it far more cogently and eloquently than I could (of course): Palin is simply not prepared. She is a bad choice. She is (I join the refrain) not qualified, as Gibson, Hannity (groan), and Couric only serve to show.
And so that reflects back to McCain. Palin was a politically expedient choice, pure and simple, that would require a mother of an infant effectively to abandon her children, a choice that was “a visceral judgment by one who is confidently righteous,” says George Will, a choice that shows McCain to lack the qualities of statesmanship he rather too eagerly professes.
Brooks sums Governor Palin up well:
Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness.
So I’m with you, Rob. I will also vote “No.”
Except my vote will be “Hell no.”
You asked for it, loyal readers, you got it:
Just send $14.95 plus shipping and handling. Wear with pride.