The Republican Party and John McCain hate regulation. Hate government oversight. As a result, they have brought America to the edge of disaster.
I'm not talking about the economic crisis, however. Something else.
Of course, stripping away government regulation has been a proud tradition of Republicans. You know, the whole "Government isn't the solution, government is the problem" flimflam of Ronald Reagan. It's a line that sounds swell in a movie, but when you need to protect your national security or repair potholes, people tend to want government badly. Republicans included.
In truth, Sen. McCain (R-AZ) has a 26-year career and unending video of him saying he's against regulation. Against regulation. Against regulation. This is who John McCain is. Mr. McCain escaped by his thumbs as part of the Keating Five, trying to influence government regulators. Meanwhile, the savings-and-loan investors who had their life savings wiped out weren't as lucky.
John McCain and the Republican Party simply hate regulation. Hate government oversight. Hate government protections. And what they've done has pushed America towards its ruin.
But it's not the economy or other regulation-free disasters you might think. Not Katrina, not collapsing bridges, not lead poisoning, Gitmo or wiretapping Americans. No, all these are all just symptoms of a larger lack of oversight, just precursors to something worse.
You see, when you've spent your entire life fighting regulation and oversight, in the end it can only lead to one ultimate disaster.
Make no mistake, Sarah Palin is not an accident. It's the culmination of John McCain's career against regulation, the culmination of the Republican war against oversight and protection. It's the natural result of the culture of a party and career of a man who've spent their existence railing against regulation, oversight and due diligence.
John McCain met with Sarah Palin one time in his life. That was enough oversight for him. You would spend more time hiring your baby sitter. John McCain nominated her for vice president.
The McCain team rushed through due diligence checking into who Sarah Palin was. That was all John McCain needed. He didn't care.
Because he doesn't care about oversight. We've seen the disaster when that's your attitude towards financial markets. It's the same bubble that bursts when that's your attitude towards choosing who you want to be a heartbeat from President of the United States.
You get someone who 21 months ago was in a job where she had been elected with 616 votes. Who put her hamlet of 5,500 people $20 million in debt. Forcing taxes to be raised.
You get someone who fires experts for personal, petulant reasons, forcing a bipartisan state commission to investigate her for abuse of power.
You get someone whose only credential in foreign affairs is she can see Russia from her house. A claim that all 660,000 Alaskan residents can make. Someone who never even had a passport until two years ago.
You get someone who might name the next lifetime Supreme Court justice, yet can only name one Supreme Court decision.
When John McCain recklessly nominates someone he doesn't know and doesn't care about checking into, the only possible result is yet another shiny package on the surface, but crisis underneath waiting to collapse.
You get someone who attended a convention to secede from the United States! Whose personal life is a disaster on almost every level. If she were a Democrat, it would be banner headlines every day.
You get someone who tells her church to pray for an oil pipeline, that Iraq is a mission from God. Who has a minister lay hands on her to ward off witches. Who sat through a speech at her church that terrorist acts on Israelis were God's judgment.
You get someone so unequipped to lead the nation that the McCain campaign realizes she can't handle a journalist. Someone who, when pressured, demonstrates a frightening inability to deal with the unexpected. (Just imagine: "Sorry, I won't respond to that nuclear threat, because I'm not from Washington.")
You get someone in the midst of economic crisis trying to convince the nation that she's competent to lead it by winking, mugging, and sending shout-outs as if she were trying to become the PTA social director.
You get someone who Republicans insist is the most qualified person to be Vice President of the United States, yet claim success in her debate simply because she used nouns and verbs, didn't collapse into tears and run off the stage.
You get someone who is dangerously without any qualifications to be a heartbeat from becoming leader of the free world. And anyone who says otherwise is either lying to you or themselves.
And John McCain didn't care about any of this. He chose to put his country at risk. All the while knowing his age and his serious case of cancerous melanoma - for the sake of winning an election. Regardless of his noble past, this is an act of scathing dishonor.
Even the most heroic can fall from grace. So has John McCain fallen.
In three months, Sarah Palin could be sworn in as President of the United States.
But this is what happens when you're John McCain and don't care about oversight, due diligence or regulation. Don't fully investigate your choice to be vice president. Don't allow the press to fully question every, last detail of the person who could be a heartbeat from the presidency. Don't allow Americans to make a fully-informed choice about who to put in charge of their national security, their economy, their future. Don't let your full medical records be investigated. To hell with the country, you just want to win an election.
And you end up with Sarah Palin.
This is what comes from a man and culture of not caring about regulation, not caring about oversight.
You get Sarah Palin.
You get an economic crisis.
It's the same lazy, selfish, shameless thinking behind both. Both put America at risk. And both have one thing in common.
Follow Robert J. Elisberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RobertElisberg