Mjd makes an excellent point in the thread below that what the hard right really loves about Palin is that she drives “the Left” (this means people who believe in things like a mildly progressive income tax) nuts, which is something that McCain doesn’t do. And McCain doesn’t do it because everybody, including most especially the apocalyptic cultural warriors that make up so much of the GOP base, realizes that McCain just isn’t that into cultural conservatism in its more extreme forms — hence his long history of being derided as a RINO etc.
Oh they’ve been holding their tongues about him lately, but deep down inside they’ve never considered him A Friend of Ours, and with good reason. Now of course in a different way McCain is a sufficiently alarming character — although it’s clear he doesn’t buy that New Orleans was destroyed because of a gay pride parade, his foreign policy is basically Teddy Roosevelt on crank, which in a nuclear age ought to be enough to satisfy just about anyone’s apocalyptic itch.
But here’s the thing: if he wins, he’s almost certainly going to be dealing with solid Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Plus his political instincts have always been somewhat bipartisan in the sort of way that makes David Broder & Co. swoon — he’s been a DC player for more than 25 years now, and it’s no coincidence that so many people in the “liberal” (cough) media have been in the tank for him for so long.
It’s easy to imagine how after a year or two of a McCain presidency, that part of the right that’s more prone to dip into the Book of Revelations and Guns and Ammo than the Weekly Standard and the National Review is going to be in a constant roiling fury. If only, many of them will think, Sarah Palin, a sanctified and righteous believer, could be president! Is she not a kind of Joan of Arc from the north country, sent to purify a fallen nation? If only there were some Instrument of God in our midst who could bring this about . . .