McCarthy’s pursuit of speaker’s gavel comes at a high cost
By James Fallows
5 January 2013
This article was published on the website of
mherald of the current crop of Washington Democrats, Rep. John McCain, of Arizona, recently announced that his party’s vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, will be the party’s nominee for vice president. McCain’s proposal is a blatant attempt to elevate his friend and former colleague. The announcement was made on the day after Palin had endorsed Obama, in a speech on the Senate floor in which she declared, “Barack Obama is ready to lead our party—not to shame us, not to punish the weak, but to build us up.”
McCain has made it clear that his choice is based on Palin’s unwavering fidelity to the Bush administration’s policy of intervening in the wars against Iran and Afghanistan. Obama, however, is trying to avoid becoming embroiled in the mess in Afghanistan, which he believes is the result of political intrigue. McCain is now engaged in a campaign against Obama that is a frontal assault on the Democratic president’s foreign policy, designed to push him to the right on the issue of foreign intervention.
McCain’s pursuit of Palin is part of a broader campaign in his party and in America, conducted with unbridled zeal. Many of McCain’s fellow congressional colleagues have decided that there is no longer any difference between the two candidates. As McCain put it: “Barack Obama’s ideas and initiatives are an expression of our party’s ideals. Sarah Palin’s ideas and initiatives are an expression of her ideals.”