I have to admit that I’ve been as fascinated as everyone else by John McCain’s selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP. Fascinated, but also offended. No, not because Palin’s daughter is pregnant, but because McCain showed such poor judgement in naming a lightweight ideologue like Palin. Country first, my ass: this was a nakedly political selection. And I’m doubly offended by the slapdash manner in which this sop to the radical right was reviewed by the campaign. Or not reviewed. Now it turns out that McCain really wanted to put Lieberman on the ticket, but the anti-abortion radicals wouldn’t stand for it. Look, I wasn’t going to vote for McCain in any case & Joe Lieberman turns my stomach, but picking Lieberman would have demonstrated political courage whereas picking Palin attempts to produce the illusion of political courage while actually demonstrating the most craven sort of cowardice. (It’s also not going to do any good. If McCain thinks more than a handful of Clinton voters are going to switch to McCain because he picked Palin, he’s even more delusional than I imagined.) I suspect the main effect — since the hard right is rallying round the choice — will be to corrode a bit of the teflon that McCain has been coated with as far as the press is concerned. The Republicans have worked hard to put fake debates about “character” at the center of American politics & the press has gone along, moralizing like a Victorian ladies club, but here we have an actual character issue — a 72 year old presidential candidate choosing a corrupt intellectual lightweight ideologueas his VP candidate & by doing so demonstrating that he cares more about politics than about patriotism. Oh, & he has hired the guy who slimed him in 2000 to work with Palin — I guess he was looking for a liar with a lot of experience.