That popping sound was my lingering respect for McCain finally evaporating.

Hey, remember in 2000 when John McCain said this:

We are the party of Ronald Reagan not Pat Robertson. We are the party of Theodore Roosevelt not the party of special interests. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln not Bob Jones.

He’s changed his mind.

On Tuesday, though, he sided with the president on two issues that have made headlines recently: teaching intelligent design in schools and Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mother who has come to personify the anti-war movement.
McCain told the Star that, like Bush, he believes “all points of view” should be available to students studying the origins of mankind.

I had thought that McCain was one of the better Republicans on science issues, but I guess he, too, has decided he wants to live in the 1800’s. To welcome you to Team Ignorance, your complimentary Leeches ‘N Bloodletting Home Medical Kit will be arriving shortly! (Via Pharyngula.)

21 thoughts on “That popping sound was my lingering respect for McCain finally evaporating.

  1. Lemming

    Oh come on. FFS.
    You all know my beliefs. Moreover, I think the only time when Church and State should come together is when Sim and Gerhard do it.
    BUT…
    I can’t fault a politician for taking the middle ground. I mean, there is ideological fault with it, but realize that our fair country is full of idiots, and it would be commiting political suicide, I think, to come out firmly against ID or firmly for evolution.

  2. Arcane Gazebo

    I think McCain is popular enough that he could get away with it. It might even bolster his (increasingly bogus-looking) image as a maverick and independent thinker. People trust him, so he could be a positive force on the issue. And every once in a while, I hope for some actual leadership from our leaders.
    Instead he’s selling out science education to further his presidential ambitions, which I have a hard time seeing as a point in his defense.

  3. Lemming

    Well, I just start with the working assumption that all politicians are just playing the same game. You start at some point on the N-dimensional game board that might actually correspond to views you hold. Then, you start making small moves to optimize your ability to push those views. Pretty soon it turns into a pure game of maximizing your position for power, taking into account public opinion, special interest funding, nearby players on the board, etc. Maybe I’m just a bit too jaded, but you’d have to work hard to convince me that anyone who gets far enough along in the process to actually be a contender (even in a small way) for president isn’t playing the same game as the rest.
    Also, I’d like to note that it’s sad that all that really seems to matter in the end is the 1-d projection of said game board onto the left/right line.
    Bleh. I r teh hating politics. And politicians. And that hatred only fuels my ignorance. GO ME!

  4. Mason

    Part me me definitely is with Tim on the game board theory, but part of me at least wants to think that their actual views are still occasionally around there somewhere. At the very least, I certainly don’t hate all these people equally. :)

  5. shellock

    all i can say is it will be with great pain and anguish that i will be force to vote for Hilary in 2008 (i really can’t stand her). Since it appears confirmed all republican are dumb and I fear for the nation if they maintain control.

  6. Arcane Gazebo

    My nightmare scenario is a Hillary vs. Jeb! election in 08. For several reasons:
    1. Jeb! would win this race, and we’d be completely fucked for another four years.
    2. In the extremely unlikely event that Hillary does win, she does so by going so far to the right that she convinces people she’s not the liberal that everyone thinks she is (but really isn’t).
    3. America will no longer be a republic, but a kind of dual monarchy in which every four years we elect a ruler from either the House of Bush or the House of Clinton.
    I am tempted to go campaign in New Hampshire in 2008 just to try to prevent Hillary from being nominated.

  7. Dad

    i have to say that I caught a bit of the ID discussion on Larry King live the other night (while playing Texas Hold ’em on my Blackberry) and aside from the idiot preacher who flat out stated that the world was created in 6 days and Deepak Chopra sounding like he was channeling someone who writes Enya lyrics for a living, the one guy who made a modicum of sense was Chris Shays of all people who said we’ve got Iraq and a budget deficit and national securty issues and $70 a barrel oil and THIS IS WHAT POLICY MAKERS ARE SPENDING TIME TALKING ABOUT?

  8. Arcane Gazebo

    I heard about that particular show, mainly due to Larry King’s “If evolution is true, why are there still monkeys?” That’s a direct quote. [facepalm]
    Shays is one of those Republicans who displays moments of sanity, but the way the House is run these days there’s unfortunately not much he can do to provide a moderating influence.

  9. Dad

    Yep. He said that. I was like, “whaaaaaat?”
    Of course I was that way most of the show.
    But on further reflection, I saw his point. I mean, if there is evolution, why is there still Larry King?

  10. Mason

    Hey, leave Enya out of this! Her music is often awesome! There’s no point in insulting her when there are plenty of real targets out there…
    Maybe W is the long-sought Missing Link?

  11. Chris LS

    As perhaps one of the only Republicans who actually reads this blog, I would like to offer my view of this. Personally, I think this is a case of McCain trying to avoid his mistakes of 2000 of not seeming to support the Republican base’s issues and instead playing on the support he held in the swing voters. He counted on the electability issue to sway the primary voters – and we all know where that got us. So this time he is shoring up his “conservative values” credentials to give himself a shot against whatever right-wing ideologue runs against him in the primaries.
    Will this work? I have no idea. But I will say that on the face of it, the position of “They have a right to hear all positions” seems like a cornerstone of classical liberal values.
    GOP stoogie out.

  12. Arcane Gazebo

    I do agree that this seems pretty likely a political tactic on McCain’s part. I’m just not very impressed by this. The whole appeal of McCain is supposed to be that he’s an independent and straight-talking guy, and for him to blatantly pander to the religious conservative wing of the party while ignoring what he may know perfectly well (based on his science policy record) to be scientific fact goes directly against what he’s supposed to represent.
    As for classical liberal values, no one is saying that the ID proponents should be somehow censored. We are just saying that ID should not be taught in science class, since it’s not science, and evolution should be taught as scientific fact, since it’s one of the most successful and confirmed scientific theories ever invented. And I will add that if classical liberal values ever do come into conflict with scientific principles, I personally will go with science every single time.

  13. Dad

    Mason- Enya is well and truly ensconced on my iPod. I do like her music. I should have said Deepak Chopra sounded like he was channeling himself.

  14. Mason

    There is one GT prof (well, he just left
    actually) who does research into
    phylogenetics and evolutionary trees who
    has a grad student in his lab who doesn’t
    believe in evolution. (I still haven’t
    figured out how this happened, but this is
    among the strangest juxtapositions I’ve
    seen.)

  15. Arcane Gazebo

    Mason: That’s one of the strangest ones I’ve heard of as well. I’ve met a creationist physicist but he wasn’t working on anything near biology (as far as I know). Was this guy a biology student, or working from an applied math angle?

  16. Mason

    He’s completely a biologist, so it’s really confusing. I never actually talked to him, but I wanted to find out what his take was, because I just can’t see the self-consistency. The only thing that comes to mind is that maybe he wants to try to “prove” some creationist crap via the back door.

Comments are closed.