Sunday, September 07, 2008

Recap by Anthony McCarthy

McCain’s Palin gamble benefits from his age and health problems. It’s appeal is based on the fact that her voters, the James Dobson allies and fans, will be hoping for him to kick the bucket as soon as possible after they’re sworn in. Short of dying, their bet would also pay off if McCain remains alive but in bad enough health for him to not be able to stay in office. Between the two of those possibilities, their gamble takes on even better odds. His age and health are some of the most obvious issues in his biography. There is no way that his campaign couldn’t have realized the part they’d play in this choice and its appeal to voters who weren’t enthusiastic supporters of McCain.

The good chance that he’ll not remain in office is an intrinsic part of the appeal to the Republican far-right who are the real target audience of the Palin selection. Those guys don’t want McCain, a lot of them would have stayed home on election day. Their gamble is that McCain WON’T remain in office for the next four years. They are also counting on at least the two or three Supreme Court vacancies which are all but certain in the next four years being filled by one of their own.

That makes his age and health a far greater issue than it was in the beginning. The attempts to put those topics off-limit by his campaign and the media are part of an attempt to put the most radically right-wing person in the presidency since the 19th century.

This is the most cynical presidential campaign gambit in our history. One whose chances are enhanced by the probability of the presidential candidate dying in office. This, friends, is what the death of democracy looks like, I thought it was worth saying again.