I have not had a TV to watch all week, though I have had internet, so I have followed the Palin pick entirely through the medium of the Corner.
I share the initial reservations of David, and to a lesser extent, Jay. The Palin pick shows a low opinion of the vice presidency, and it shows conservatives in a bad light.
1. The Vice Presidency. Either McCain thinks the war on terror isn’t serious, or he thinks the vice-presidency isn’t. Since the former is obviously untrue, it must be the latter. McCain is certainly following a very old conception of the job. One nineteenth century veep was reputedly so underutilized that he kept a tavern in his home state. But that is not our conception. Vice Presidents have grown in clout and responsibility. In the last fifty years, four former vice presidents have run for president (Nixon, Mondale, elder Bush, Gore), two of them successfully, while since Carter/Mondale, veeps have been given more and more to do. McCain, bless him, intends to do everything himself. Good luck! Perhaps the Palin pick is a sly diss both of Obama/Biden and Bush/Cheney. Palin will go to funerals.
2. Conservatives. Palin will also be assigned to pacify conservatives. On the evidence of the numerous emails reprinted here, that will be easily done. Reader after reader said that the base was now energized. You would have thought the base was energized by being in a war. If not, perhaps we need a new base. We have shown the same color-by-numbers mindset that liberals did when they rallied to Obama. Liberals love Obama because he is a Numinous Negro. Conservatives love Palin because she has a Downs baby and an M-16. For both sides, that is all on earth ye know and all ye need to know. You might call it mystical and childish.
May I be so wrong that a hundred harpies will pluck my eyeballs.