Halloween may be over, but one of its enduring legends – the tale of Frankenstein – is still with us for the 2009 election season.
Last year, Sen. John McCain played the role of Dr. Frankenstein when he ran for president. He entered the election as a maverick, famous for defying George W. Bush in 2000 and for embracing compromise with the “Gang of 14” in 2005. But like Dr. Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's story, McCain tried an audacious experiment. He attempted to create new life in a party that found RINOs like himself unappealing by choosing hard-core Republican Sarah Palin as his running mate.
McCain apparently forgot that the Frankenstein monster ends up turning against his hapless creator. Palin aptly titled her upcoming autobiography “Going Rogue,” for she drew criticism for not staying in lockstep with McCain during the campaign. And while the McCain-Palin ticket lost the election, the right-wing specter McCain created is more powerful than ever.
Consider what happened, appropriately enough, on Halloween. New York Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the choice of her state party establishment to run for Congress, pulled out of the race. Conservative critics charged that the pro-abortion Scozzafava was not right-wing enough. Their support of an alternative candidate, Doug Hoffman of the Conservative Party, prompted Scozzafava's withdrawal.
Scozzafava is the latest sign of the power of the Frankenstein Republicans against their establishment creators. One of McCain's fellow RINOs, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, defected to the Democrats earlier this year after facing stiff intra-party opposition from right-wing candidate Pat Toomey.
We shall see whether the Republican establishment can control its creations better than Dr. Frankenstein ever could.