Do we forgive John McCain for unleashing the horror that is Sarah Palin on an unsuspecting world? In my mind, yes — but for Andrew Sullivan, the answer is a resounding no:
If [McCain] had any sense of responsibility, he would resign. And if the Washington media had any sense of responsibility, it would never invite him on TV again without demanding he take responsibility for what he nearly did to the national security of this country. No one who put [Palin] near the nuclear button should have a future in public life.
I think that’s probably the wrong instinct. Admittedly, though, the answer depends on what kind of story you want, and whom you choose to cast as the villain. In the myth of the fall, do you blame Eve for biting the apple, Satan for tempting her, or God for executing his promised judgment?
Sullivan blames McCain — the Eve, the player with the last best chance to avoid the stated harm. That’s fine, but it ignores the evidence: McCain’s impressive leadership before and immediately after the campaign, and the numerous insiders who insisted, even then, that the pick was forced on him. If we want to assign blame, we shouldn’t gravitate to the entrapped, also-victimized middle man. Let’s go farther up the chain of causality, to the source of the original evil. I’m looking at you, Schmidt.