Most pundits agree John McCain ran at best a lackluster and at worst a completely feckless 2008 presidential campaign. Yet if the GOP does in fact gain control of one or both chambers of Congress this November, its members should fall prone upon the earth and thank their lucky stars that McCain–and not Huckabee, Romney or any of the other 2008 Republican candidates–won the Republican Party nomination.
Because McCain did the one thing that none of those other men would have dared to do. And in so doing he unwittingly introduced kryptonite into the presence of Barack “Superman” Obama. In 2010 political lingo, kryptonite is spelled in the form of ten other letters: Sarah Palin. When McCain astonished with his choice of Palin as vice-presidential running mate, a chain of events unfolded that created the arch-nemesis of Barack Obama, the one force that would torment the would-be Social Justice-draped crusader more than Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh combined could ever do.
Make no mistake, DC comics readers: Sarah Palin is the agent of paralysis that is now crippling Democrats in the 2010 midterms. “Ah, but the Democrats brought it on themselves,” you cry in rebuttal. “They passed Obamacare and the stimulus bill and cap-and-trade and Cash for Clunkers, all bills that the American people overwhelmingly disapprove of. That’s what’s behind the imminent Republican rout.”
A valid point, granted. But even in the face of the their Saharan thirst to rebuff the will of the center-right American people, Democrats could have averted catastrophe, and Superman could have escaped the mid-term elections with bruised, but intact, majorities in both House and Senate–had it not been for that pernicious half-baked Alaskan. (Gee, Superman, it sucks to have a nemesis, doesn’t it?)
“But Palin isn’t even running,” you astutely ratiocinate. To which I humbly reply, “Nonsense.”
Liberal media punditry was positively Nureyevian in its grand jeté to denigrate Palin when she announced in July of 2009 she was abandoning her Alaskan gubernatorial post. “Quitter. Coward. Lightweight,” it intoned. The tasty chum chucked from the Palin prow did not go undevoured by the circling liberal media sharks, who fed for weeks on what they thought was the last of Sarah.
But as admirers of Conan Doyle’s Dr. Moriarty know, a worthy adversary has two invaluable qualities, patience and perseverance. It hardly seems a coincidence that there is a city in Alaska called Perseverance.
Sarah serenely took the barbs when the first round of inevitable character assassination was unleashed by the MSM-cum-Tina Fey guerillas during the 2008 campaign. Patient Palin blithely bore more barbs when the second round began after her premature departure from the Governor’s mansion. She bravely brooked the sophomoric and nugatory David Letterman jabs, the Joe McGinniss stalker-next-door persecution, and the seemingly endless vermiform fascination with her from the unlikeable likes of Bill Maher, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, to name only a few of the more visibly obsessed.
But with the powerful patience of a nemesis, Palin persevered. She wrote her book, Going Rogue: An American Life. And once liberated from the quotidian shackles of governing a state, itinerant Palin became the de facto voice of the insurgent Tea Party. Championing candidates like Sharron Angle, Joe McConnell, Christine O’Donnell, Sean Duffy, Kelly Ayotte, Rand Paul, and a host of others, Palin put an intrepid, undaunted “Everywoman” moral face on the Tea Party, simultaneously becoming its living imprimatur. The Palin stamp of approval has proved victorious in nearly three out of four of Palin’s numerous endorsements thus far. In broadest terms the midterm election has become the battle of a very overrated Superman versus a very underrated Everywoman.
While McCain was either too timid or too genteel to attack Obama where he was weakest–on his ties to “social justice” advocates (i.e., wealth redistributionists) like Reverend Wright and Bill Ayres, Palin regularly attacks Obama head-on for those same very illustrative relationships. With gusto she disparages Obama’s utopian, economically-crippling attacks on the notion of exploiting America’s superabundance of oil, natural gas and coal. In part she’s that other DC comics character, the pragmatic realistic Lois Lane, who understands instinctively what air-borne sky-dwellers like Superman, whose feet don’t touch ground much, just don’t. Yes, John McCain ran a thoroughly disjointed, desultory, unspirited campaign–but he unwittingly groomed a grizzly.
Mavericks tend to like mavericks, admiring each other’s unwillingness to play by the rules, their solipsistic self-assurance. To the country’s great impending benefit, McCain had the colossal good sense to choose as his running mate Palin–over much safer conventional candidates. In so doing, he launched her meteoric, kryptonitic career, which two years hence would spearhead the nation’s resounding rejection of all things Obama.
Almost in spite of himself, McCain has unearthed the ineluctable kryptonite that makes Superman and his Stupackian minions so vincible. It’s the very human heart, mind and soul of Sarah Palin, behind which the Tea and Republican Parties have so seamlessly coalesced.
And for that we have John McCain to thank. If November brings a Republican landslide, he will have lost the presidential election, but saved the country.