As the presidential campaign enters its final two months the nature of political machinations is being revealed - from campaign headquarters down to the county level here in Pennsylvania.U.S. Sen. John McCain's forces have said that his Democratic rival, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, is not qualified to be president because he's too inexperienced, especially in foreign affairs. This despite the Republicans' ignoring of Mr. McCain's own comments about his own lack of expertise on the economy.
Yet, for a running mate the Republican chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a virtual unknown whose only experience is as the governor of a state with a population of just slightly more than Chester County, and as the mayor of a town whose population is just 3,000 people more than Kennett Square - a one square mile borough.
This is a sexist choice, based on Gov. Palin's gender. A man with equal qualifications wouldn't have been considered at all. He would have been laughed out of consideration.
And if experience is so important, why choose a person with no foreign affairs credentials to be just the proverbial heartbeat away from the presidency?
Now Mr. Obama hails himself as the harbinger of change, yet who does he select as his running mate? Joe Biden, the senior U.S. senator from Delaware who does have foreign affairs experience, but one who has been a senator for 36 years. He's a career politician who's been in the Senate since 1973. While he does take the train home to Wilmington everyday, he's still a longtime Washington insider.
What kind of change is that? Not much of one. Indeed the only possible changes - while historic - are cosmetic. Mr. Obama stands to be the first American black to become president of the United States while Ms. Pailn may become the first woman vice president.
As socially historic as those changes may be, they don't reflect any overall change in political philosophy. It will be either tax and spend or borrow and spend whichever ticket wins and both parties will continue to keep out other voices.
Consider the head of Pennsylvania's Cumberland County GOP filing suit to get Libertarian Bob Barr thrown off the state ballot. The former U.S. congressman from Georgia is viewed as a threat to Mr. McCain's vote total. His being on the ballot could bring the state into the Obama camp.
But the Republicans are not alone in such measures. The Democrats got Ralph Nader thrown off the ballot in 2004 because they saw him as the reason Al Gore lost to George Bush in 2004.
And all the while, Democrats and Republicans have made laws that require non-incumbent party candidates to get 13 times as many signatures on petitions than the incumbents.
There will be some changes come January, superficial and cosmetic primarily and some change in who will be redistributing wealth and who will be the beneficiary of that change. But beyond that, none. It will be politics as usual with the Constitution and the concept of liberty taking the biggest hits.