Sorry, Palin and Hayworth supporters, but you're in denial about the McCain endorsement

Tea Party RallyWe’ve had numerous threads at HotAir – headline and main page – on the Hayworth-McCain race and Palin’s endorsement of her former running mate. The latest item was Meghan McCain’s piece on “McCain-Palin – The Sequel.”  In that piece, Ms. McCain describes the pairing “the best of both Republican worlds.”  It struck me as one of the nicest things she’s said since the end of the campaign.

Some McCain-haters – and there’s really no better word than “hate” for the attitude of many HotAirians regarding McCain – think Palin’s made a “mistake.” Others who like and support Palin, but who remain hostile and suspicious toward McCain and what they believe he represents, believe she’s just “doing what she has to” in demonstrating loyalty to the man who “made her” a multi-millionaire and national political player, and are willing to give her “a mulligan.” Here’s one typical exchange:

I don’t know how many endorsements like these Palin can survive.

DFCtomm on March 29, 2010 at 1:29 PM

HondaV65 on March 29, 2010 at 1:30 PM

ONE. And only ONE.

Many such observers have persuaded themselves that Palin is trying to improve her political prospects and expand her power base. At some unspecified later date, they expect, she’ll be able to call in the chit.  It squares with the view of your average Fox News All-Star always happy to attribute any conduct by any politician to cynicism.

What a load of, ahem, bullcrap!  No one has yet explained why this straight-talking, “if I die, I die” conservative heroine has suddenly turned crafty pol or hypocrite, and yet still could remain a worthy Tea Party leader.

How about this explanation:

Palin supports McCain!

I hope no one finds that too complicated.

In the race with JD Hayworth, I doubt it’s even a close call for her.

Gov Palin agrees with Senator McCain close to 100% on foreign policy. She respects and likes him personally. She doesn’t blame him for the actions of some of his operatives during and after Campaign ’08, and never believed it was his responsibility to play the roll of political Dad and discipline the other kids for her. She was and is quite capable of defending herself and charting her own course, and would have found it condescending and presumptuous for him to play protector.

She has no problem with the main thrust of his domestic views or his overall approach to politics. If she cares much about immigration politics – I’ve seen little evidence of it, though it’s clearly still a big deal to many grassroots conservatives – she’s happy with McCain’s post-“Shamnesty” positioning.  I suspect that she cares enough about the Republican Party’s long-term prospects to want to see the issue handled soberly and positively.

Though post-’08 she’s been driven into a conservative cul-de-sac – in part by political circumstances in the US of A ca. 2010, in part by a learning experience that has included attacks on her from the left and from Brooks-Frum moderate/elitist conservatives – her political profile and her actual political conduct when in office, was moderate, bi- and non-partisan, and altogether maverick-y.

It was classically progressive: reform-oriented, anti-machine politics, woman-empowering, etc. – including not just a willingness but a determination to use government in aid of “social justice” – as in care for the vulnerable (special needs children, indigenous peoples), fair and equitable stewardship and profit-sharing in the exploitation of natural resources, safeguards against self-dealing by powerful economic and political players.

No one is in a position to take an objective measurement, but Palin looks to me to be about as much a McCain conservative as a Tea Party conservative. With the help of, as the governor likes to say, “people of both parties and of no party at all,” that overall political direction represents a potential governing majority.

I personally have no trouble taking the governor at her word on this and most other issues. It’s one of the things I like best about her. My advice is that you stop looking for secret calculations and obscure motives, and stop insulting Palin with the notion that she’s acting on some other basis than her best political and moral judgment. She prefers McCain to Hayworth, probably by a lot. Deal with it.

cross-posted at Zombie Contentions