Blogs > Liberty and Power > Sarah Palin as McCain's Richard Schweiker

Aug 30, 2008 2:21 pm

Sarah Palin as McCain's Richard Schweiker

Apparently, some libertarians and former Ron Paul supporters are switching to McCain because of his choice of Palin. If McCain wins, they will regret their foolish decision.

While McCain made a clever move in picking Palin, he is still....well...John McCain. He shows no sign of abandoning his disdain for the Bill of Rights and, most importantly, his recklessness in foreign policy. By every indication, this decision has nothing to do with a change of heart on a single issue.

The best comparision would be to 1976 when Ronald Reagan picked Richard Schweiker, probably the most pro-big-government Republican in the Senate, as his veep. It was purely a political decision in his case; just like this one.

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David T. Beito - 9/3/2008

It is too early to tell right now. As to Lurleen, I don't see any evidence of deception. Apparently, the pregnancy of Palin's daughter was well known in the community.

Andrew D. Todd - 9/3/2008

What came to mind was Lurleen Wallace. As you will recall, in 1966, Governor George Wallace of Alabama was faced with inconvenient term limits. So he ran his wife as a proxy.

It was not disclosed that Mrs. Wallace was terminally ill, a deception which was maintained for the short period of time until she died.

John McCain's underlying political problem is that the Republican Party doesn't exist anymore (*). It has broken up into mutually hostile factions, viz. Religious Conservatives, Libertarians, County Club Republicans, and National Greatness Conservatives. The single most obviously competent Republican presidential contender, Mike Huckabee, is anathema to large sections of the country. The single most obviously competent "mainstream" Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, is not a birthright citizen, and is therefore not eligible for the presidency or vice-presidency. One had the impression that the Republican leadership were grooming Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota as a kind of ersatz-Schwarzenegger, but something apparently went wrong.

It would be convenient for McCain if he could avoid naming a substantive vice-presidential candidate, effectively dumping the onus of choosing one onto the Senate after he had been elected. Say for purposes of discussion that fifteen Republican senators agree to spontaneously vote for Sarah Palin's impeachment in case of need, effectively making a gift of it to the Senate Democrats, and thus agreeing that the House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, moves up one place. Similarly, McCain would be under no obligation to assign the vice president substantive duties, or to keep the vice president in the briefing loop. The hope was apparently that Sarah Palin would be a quiet little mouse who would know her place. That seems to have backfired. In Alaska, she is apparently known as "Sarah Barracuda."

(*) See my comment "McCain As Konrad Adenauer," in response to Steven Lomazow, M.D. and Eric Whitman, M.D, "Should We Be Concerned that John McCain Has a History of Skin Cancer?"

Jim G Duncan - 8/31/2008 tax increases on my business appear to be unimportant to them.

perhaps they are distracted by silly, irrelevant concerns like abortion, school science curriculum, pollution, nuanced details of military operation, and government debt?

anonymous anonymous - 8/31/2008 they seem to think taxes on my business are not important.

maybe they are caught up with silly irrelevant things like abortion, school science curriculum, pollution, nuanced details of military operation or government debt?

Allan Walstad - 8/30/2008

I've voted Libertarian in every presidential election back to 1980 and this year will be no exception. But I like the Palin choice so far. McCain and Biden are old pols. Obama is a young pol, but a pol through and through, who has been grooming himself for high office from the start. Palin still appears to have roots in the real world. In her short political career it seems she has made bold moves on principle, rather than currying favor with the in-crowd. Aside from (maybe) McCain, she is beholden to no one in the imperial city. The Second Amendment is the miner's canary of the Bill of Rights, and she's reputedly nailed it on that. Whether she turns out to be a good pick for McCain depends on how she performs in the national spotlight, and we should have the answer soon.

David T. Beito - 8/30/2008

it was a couple of Ron Paul people at Free Republic. A small sample to be sure but I'm willing to bet that there are others, including self-described libertarians. We'll see.

The trouble is so many people feel locked into the two major parties. The demonization of Obama has another Karl Marx has been an effective scare tactic.

Steven Horwitz - 8/30/2008

Who are the libertarians making this argument? Paulistas I can maybe understand, but even there...

There's only one argument for John McCain from a libertarian perspective: if one assumes the Democrats will capture both houses of Congress, having a GOP president gives us divided government, which might be libertarianism's only hope these days.

But strategic considerations aside, there is no libertarian argument for McCain. None whatsoever. And Palin, as likable and interesting as she may be, doesn't change that a bit.