In a great Op-Ed piece today in the NYT (free registration required), Thomas Friedman points out the real problem with the Palin pick. Beyond all the hype of baby daddies and secessionist parties, and TrooperGate is the real scary thing about Sarah Palin. It signals a complete and total transformation of John McCain – Maverick to John McCain – Patsy.

You might remember me arguing that the environmental movement had won because we had both John McCain touting solar and wind energy in ads and the RNC greening their convention.

So much for that. It appears to all be a bunch of greenwashing.

As Friedman points out:

With his choice of Sarah Palin — the Alaska governor who has advocated drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and does not believe mankind is playing any role in climate change — for vice president, John McCain has completed his makeover from the greenest Republican to run for president to just another representative of big oil…

…“Back in June, the Republican Party had a round-up,” said Carl Pope, the executive director of the Sierra Club. “One of the unbranded cattle — a wizened old maverick name John McCain — finally got roped. Then they branded him with a big ‘Lazy O’ — George Bush’s brand, where the O stands for oil. No more maverick…

That’s the scariest part of the pick of Palin for VP. Should she stay on the ticket – and all signs are that “the base” are still wiping up slobber dripping from their mouth breathing asses – this will be the thing that Obama/Biden need to hit hardest on. The bait and switch of John McCain, energy maverick. We don’t need lip service and policies that continue what even George W. has admitted is a dangerous addiction. We need another Kennedy-esque Apollo Project that fundamentally changes the way we view energy and move more aggressively toward renewables once and for all.

What does it say for McCain to pick a running mate who claims the jury is still out on global warming while she watches parts of her own state literally melt and fall into the ocean?

What message does it send in picking a Vice Presidential running mate whose focus is on drilling in a wildlife refuge in her own state while failing to push hard for alternatives to oil?

It says “I’m no longer a maverick” loud and clear. Hell, John Sidney McCain wanted to pick his friend (and recent RNC speaker) Joe Lieberman as his running mate. The right – and particularly Christian right – wouldn’t stand for it. So McCain was forced into a pick that was not natural for him and it shows. Nothing says maverick like cowering and pandering.

This Palin pick more than anything else (and as scary as it is) signals a complete and total lurch to the far right of John McCain and is a clear signal that not only might he continue George W. Bush’s policies of the past 8 years, he might just even be worse!

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