Sarah Vowell on John McCain

Photo by tammylo.

Best New York Times op-ed ever: Sarah Vowell turns her wry historical perspective on the Republican presidential ticket.

Senator McCain has been both lauded and derided as a “gambler” for choosing the obscure governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, as his running mate. That’s nothing compared to the sucker bet the American people are forced to make every four years. For instance, who knew that Herbert Hoover, who had been such a heroic do-gooder for the Belgians during their food crisis of 1914, would turn out to be a president blatantly blasé about Americans who were starving during the Great Depression? And what was it like to turn on the radio in Kansas City on Aug. 6, 1945, to hear the news about Hiroshima and realize that the commander in chief who gave the order to unleash the most terrifying weapon in the history of the world was the guy who used to sell you your hats? Follow-up: How did Harry Truman draw on his executive experience as the proprietor of a haberdashery to decide whether to vaporize a town?