A reader writes:
I had been reluctant to acknowledge how flawed and dead the conservative movement has become; that's over now. No more excuses, no more clinging to old visions of rational discourse and principled debate. I really have witnessed the death of conservatism and its replacement by a kind of toxic babbitry which would be merely laughable or cringeworthy if it were not also so extraordinarily dangerous.
This election year has been a series of revelations and disillusionments--the crudely ugly tactics of Limbaugh and Hannity (and--worse--their embrace by Buckley's heirs at National Review), the thinly-veiled racism and nativism of the campaign against Obama, the transparently cruel and God-hating ideology of movement Christians; but--even though dismayed by McCain's bizarre campaign--I had retained some illusions as recently as this morning. I believed McCain to be at least a patriot, sincerely concerned with issues of national security.
His nomination of Sarah Palin ended that illusion, too.
No remotely serious politician--no honest patriot--would think of placing this individual a heartbeat away from the Oval Office, however admirable she may be, however lively her biography.
Moreover, the elation on the right regarding Palin's nomination made clear to me that none of them has ever been remotely serious about national security, either. On the contrary, as the left has insisted for years, for them it really has all been about political advantage, noise and bluster and ugliness with no core of principle, no genuine strategic commitment.
The very same people who, only yesterday, insisted that Obama's resume was too dangerously thin to entrust him with the oversight of our national security, today are celebrating Palin's accession as a triumph for conservatism (evidently this is because she is hostile to both abortion and polar bears). Their hypocrisy is staggering--they truly do believe in nothing but their own entitlement to power by any means.
And I'm very much afraid I must conclude this is as true of McCain as it is of his ghastly cheerleaders, the Limbaughs and the Hannitys. Nothing else could explain the elevation of a woman so singularly unqualified in every aspect save gender.