Although the buzz around the media over the last couple of days has been the possibility of a McCain-Lieberman ticket, I tend to think that this is just a ploy from the McCain camp to make conservatives downright gleeful when he picks someone who is somewhat conservative. With all the talk about Lieberman and Ridge, Conservatives are starting to sweat (um, even more than they have been?), and this is just another way to remind them how bad things could get.

So, while I don’t think McCain is actually going to choose Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman as a running-mate, do I think it’s wise to “court the Independents” while poking a finger in the eye of conservatives by showcasing the more liberal side of McCain’s maverick ways? In a word: no.

Conservatives hate McCain, but are merely going along because they feel they don’t have any other choice. With all of this eye-poking, however, Conservatives are going to get fed up and either vote third party (that’s my plan) or they’re going to stay home in November (my mom’s plan). Even those who are planning on holding their noses and voting for McCain out of sheer horror at the thought of an Obama presidency (like my brother-in-law), may just get tired of being fiddled with by McCain and decide to do something else. Point being: McCain can’t have both the left-leaning and the far-right wings of the party. We don’t much care for each other, really.

The fact remains that George W. Bush would not be president if not for the far-right, evangelical vote and McCain is either forgetting that or choosing an entirely different tactic. This is a tactic that I think will fail against an opponent like Barack Obama. Independents are far more likely to push the button for Obama than McCain (I can reference several friends – who I thought were smarter than this – who are supporting Obama out of hatred for McCain), so McCain needs to stick with the base and get rid of his lefty buddies. Really, it’s his only shot.

For those of you, however, who are thinking of voting for one of the two “major” candidates simply because a third party candidate “doesn’t have a chance,” I leave you with this:

A great many men feel that there is no use in voting against a thing unless you can defeat it. I do not feel that way. I think it is a very important thing to vote exactly in accordance with your conscience, quite irrespective of the immediate success of your vote in your dealing with that measure. -J. Gresham Machen

Ron Paul 2008!