Once again, no exit strategy
John McCain, leader of the charge into Iraq, has used that same precipitous decision-making to plummet his party into a no-win conflict over someone they shouldn’t even be fighting about.
Now, once again, they don’t have an exit strategy. And, unlike Iraq for so long, there is a ticking clock for Palin. But what can they do?
There’s no doubt that having Palin on the ticket has weakened McCain with independents and raised serious doubts about his ability to make the critical decisions that a Commander in Chief will need to make. I don’t need to go over the litany of criticisms she herself has suffered – but remember, it’s about the top of the ticket. Sarah Palin reflects first and foremost on John McCain.
Lastly, reports that he wanted Lieberman on the ticket, but caved to the right on Palin emphasize that McCain is both unable to make a good selection (Lieberman would have been awful in a change election) and incapable of standing up to the radical fringe of his party.
Given these facts, there’s no logical reason McCain shouldn’t try to withdraw her nomination. But how can he? Here are the three approaches. Keep in mind that these need to be executed not just before the election in November, but probably before the end of the week and definitely before the end of the month.
- Have Palin Withdraw Her Own Name Because of “Family Obligations”. Remember, the oft-touted McCain slogan is “Country First.” Not “Country First, Usually” or “Country First Unless Something Pressing Arises at Home.” If Palin is part of the “Country First” ticket, quitting the post is not an option. Still, this is probably the most palatable of the three options. Having her withdraw makes it more about her than him. If she does withdraw, though, McCain is left needing another member of his “coalition of the willing to do anything to get elected.” Who wants to join that crusade?
- Have McCain Withdraw Her as His Selection at the Convention If Palin can’t quit, the second option is for McCain to effectively fire her from the ticket, or ask her to resign. This one is even more unpalatable than the first option. With this, you make McCain look like an indecisive ninny who is unsympathetic to a family in crisis.
- Have the Convention Delegates Refuse Her – This is the last of the “kick her off” options. Given reports that the GOP delegates are enthusiastic about her selection, and the fact that the GOP is the party of not owning their own mistakes, I find this one to be the most unlikely of the options. It would look like the party was fickle and didn’t trust its nominated Commander in Chief.
So there really is no exit strategy for John McCain. Seems like he’s good at getting himself into situations that he can’t get out of.
If it’s any consolation, McCain can use the tactics of the Secretary of Defense that he praised for so long: Donald Rumsfeld.
You go to the polls with the ticket you have, not the ticket you’d like to have if those Fundamentalists didn’t secretly control your party.
We know where the vetters are. They’re north, south, east, and west of Wasilla, somewhat.
Freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and make bad Vice Presidential selections.