By Bernie Quigley
- For The Hill on 3/28/10
John McCain might be to politics what Brett Favre is to football. Too old to play? Even at their ages they are head and shoulders above the others. Favre could bring leadership, clarity and entry at least to post-season football to a team. I’d like to see him play again. Should McCain run again in 2012? Why not? There have been women and men at the helm of cerebral jobs like his up to 85, improving with age. McCain is only 73. He doesn’t look old. His political instincts are as quick today as they ever were. He metabolizes experience to build himself better. And at his Senate reelection rally with Sarah Palin over the weekend he was at perfect pitch.
And so was Sarah Palin. What is different this time around is that we have had a year’s experience of Barack Obama, who the media compared to Kennedy, Roosevelt, Lincoln and Jesus last time around, and he has brought the country almost to its knees. Almost to the point of no return, and quite possibly beyond it. And the MSM voices which brought him here by the most disgraceful slanders and abuses of Governor Palin and her children, iare reduced a year later to only an occasional racist and woman-hating rant from a NYTs columnist and one or two others. ABC’s Charles Gibson has been sent to the hinterland. And Katie Couric’s network is about to be sold to the Mr. Chicken chain or to Mattress King.
But as Perry Noonan and so few other s have pointed out, something else has happened in our country. Not everyone would respond to tyranny and abuse of power by falling to their knees as Team Obama anticipated. Millions in just the past year, since April 15 last, have learned that the state can defend them against false government and was intended to. This is an awakening process which has advanced several steps. This past week 14 states have challenged the federal health care plan as unconstitutional. Suppose they lose their case. They probably will. But suppose they still feel they are right? What would be the right thing to do? What is to be done?
The state of Colorado brings a ballot initiative banning abortion in the state in November. If it is successful, a challenge to federal law in the Supreme Court will follow. They will probably lose. But this is different. Abortion is a larger moral issue than political corruption. It raises the stakes. What should Colorado do then? There is potential in this issue for casus belli, the moral trigger which could lead to separation.
We have been moving fast here this past year and this will be a fast year ahead. It is fair to say, reading Paul Krugman’s, Frank Rich’s and Charles Blow’s NYTs columns this past week that both sides hate each other.
Sarah Palin can bridge these issues of states’ rights and federal jurisdiction, but she can’t help men who simply hate women. Possibly McCain can. He is an authentic American folk hero; our Gray Champion, and torture and abuse in POW camps could not dim his spirit nor temper his love of country. A year from now it should be looked at. There is no question in my mind and never has been that as McCain said in his speech over the weekend that Sarah Palin will be with us “ . . . for a long, long time.” But I hope he is not planning on going anywhere. He may be the only “authentic American hero” who can hold us together.