As I'm sure you've heard by now, Jerry Falwell has shuffled off this mortal coil and gone on to meet his Maker.
What I wouldn't give to be there, just to see the look on Falwell's face when St. Peter patiently explains to him that the central messages of Christianity were not, in fact, "hate the player and hate the game" and "get rich or die tryin'." Given Falwell's track record, I'm sure the shock would be enough to kill him all over again.
While I won't get to see the scales fall from Falwell's eyes, I hope to see the reaction from John McCain. Just over a year ago, as you'll remember, McCain scrapped his old Straight Talk Express line about Falwell, that he was "an agent of intolerance," and instead embraced the man in a controversial appearance at Liberty University.
It was a crude flip-flop, but a calculated move made by the candidate in hopes of winning the presidential nomination in a primary system that brings out the far-right wing. McCain consciously sacrificed his carefully cultivated image as an independent "maverick," in exchange for the Religious Right credentials that Jerry Falwell would give him with the Republican base.
And yet now that Falwell's passed on, he has neither. McCain's maverick image is long dead, but whatever influence Falwell could've brought to his campaign died with him.
Congratulations, John. To quote the wisdom of Judge Smells, you'll have nothing and like it.