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McCain, Not Palin, Lost This Election

November 17, 2008

In the week that has elapsed since the 2008 election, spineless weasels inside the McCain campaign have begun piling on Gov. Sarah Palin - anonymously - and blaming her for the landslide that has elected Barack Obama to the presidency.

It is interesting to observe the apparent timidity of John McCain himself as this savagery is being played out behind Gov. Palin's back. McCain, who has never shied away from coming to the aid of a liberal when one is attacked, has been strangely silent about the ridiculous charges leveled against his hand-picked running mate. Remember his defense of Obama over the Rev. Wright issue? When the North Carolina Republican Party ran commercials addressing this legitimate issue, McCain slapped them down for it.

John McCain ran one of the worst campaigns in recent memory. Barack Obama sat for twenty years under the tutelage of an America-hating bigot, called the man his mentor and the inspiration for his first book, had him perform the Obamas' wedding and baptize their children, and then told us he never heard any of the vitriol being spewed from the pulpit during the two decades he sat there. McCain would not use the issue.

Obama sat with his friends, domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn while another mutual friend, former Palestinian apologist Rashid Khalidi, spewed hatred of Israel at a dinner in 2002. When an article came out about the incident last spring, McCain could have used that information and demanded a copy of the tape held hostage by the Los Angeles Times, but for inexplicable reasons chose not to do so.

Barack Obama spoke to the abortion-promoting leaders of Planned Parenthood and promised them he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) as soon as he became president. FOCA would strip away every restriction on abortion, including the ban on partial birth abortion and all parental notification laws. McCain had this information available to him, but never used it, thereby allowing many ignorant pro-life voters to go to the polls without that information.

John McCain had a chance to side with the American people and oppose the massive $700 billion bailout. As the maverick, the reformer, the spending hawk who claimed to want to stop the very waste represented by the bailout, McCain missed a golden opportunity to say to Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, "No, this is not how we do things in America . We are not a socialist nation. We are a capitalist nation. With great opportunity comes the possibility of great failure, and I, for one, will not lend my vote to this bailout - made necessary, I might add, by the very Democrats who are crying the loudest for its implementation. We are Americans. We are better than this."

Instead, McCain made a big deal out of suspending his campaign, and then took his time getting back to Washington , stopping for interviews with the likes of Katie Couric along the way. He made a show of standing with the House Republicans who opposed the bailout, flirted with canceling a campaign debate, and in the end went along with the flawed thinking of President Bush, Treasury Secretary Paulson and Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, who seemed to suddenly think that the sky was falling.

Imagine if McCain had stood against this boondoggle and it had passed anyway, over his protestations. When the stock market tanked, he would have been in the position to say, "You see? Where is the stability we were promised?" In one master stroke, he could have distanced himself from George Bush and left Barack Obama with egg on his face.

Meanwhile, Gov. Palin was out on the stump, doing exactly what she was chosen to do. She energized the base of the Republican Party, drew crowds ten times the size of McCain's and solidified conservative support behind a man who was almost universally distrusted within his own party.

Sarah Palin was the right person at the right time in the right position. She was vilified by the media, and John McCain let happen. Now she is being vilified by anonymous sources within his own campaign and he is saying nothing. He's probably too busy preparing to work with his new president.

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Copyright ©2008 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.