We have spent the day contrasting McCain’s nobility with Trump’s ignominy. How ironic, then, that it was the noble McCain who invited the skunk into the garden party.
I believe, though of course I can’t prove, that Sarah Palin played John the Baptist to Trump’s Messiah of the Resentful. Once the masses got a taste of true bullshit on their presidential ticket, they were bound to demand more of the same next time. No more dog whistles. We need trumpets.
I have no doubt that McCain thought that having an ignorant rabble rouser on his ticket was necessary to let him achieve his noble destiny. After all, if the end doesn’t justify the means, then what the hell does justify them?
But the ends justify the means only up to a point. And when history called on the noble McCain to discern the difference between needful but regrettable compromise, on the one hand, and betrayal of ideals, on the other, he did not pass the test.
Those Faustian bargains have a way of going to hell in a handbasket.