Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Not worth a bucket of warm piss"

Such was Texan John Nance Garner's famous estimation of the vice presidency, an office he held for eight years under FDR.

Even founder John Adams found the position less than, uh, substantial:
My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived; and as I can do neither good nor evil, I must be borne away by others and meet the common fate.
So when did the choice of a vice president become so momentous? 

Former Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday called John McCain's choice four years ago of Sarah Palin as his running mate a "mistake", thereby insulting not only McCain and Palin, but also untold thousands of conservative voters who not only liked seeing her name on the ticket, but even viewed it as a way of salvaging an otherwise wasted vote.

That's not what this is all about.

(For heaven's sake, can anyone seriously imagine the buffoonish Joe Biden--a previously well-established buffoonery, by the way--as president?  Even his own party never gave him anything more than single-digit support.)

Cheney did not commit an unforced error yesterday; his comment was deliberate and demonstrated once again something very important about the nature of our currently uncomfortable politics.  That is, the struggle is not only between Democrats and Republicans, nor even between liberals and conservatives, it's also a struggle between insiders and outsiders

Cheney, as capable as he is, is a consummate Washington insider.  As an insider, he, like any insider, has over time collected and written innumerable political IOUs, fashioned countless personal and professional relationships, along with the binding loyalties that attend.  As such, he owes and is owed and respect for those debts sometimes, if not often, trumps fidelity to both party and ideology.

I'm afraid what this all means is that Washington wont change until Washington changes.  Like her or not, Sarah Palin represents change...threatening change.

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