Thursday, August 25, 2005

Nooooo! Not you too, McCain!

I interrupt my vacation again to bring you this cry of lament:

Nooooooo! Say it ain't so!

Via Pharyngula, I learn that the only remaining reasonable Republican Presidential hopeful (leaving aside his advocacy of campaign finance reform that restricts free speech around the time of elections, something I've always disagreed with him about), John McCain, has sold his soul to the creationists:
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.

The theory of intelligent design says life is too complex to have developed through evolution, and that a higher power must have had a hand in guiding it.
Unfortunately, McCain, like Bill Frist, has apparently figured out that he has no hope of getting the Republican nomination unless he panders to the Republican Party's fundamentalist base. Sadly, John McCain was the only Republican Presidential hopeful with an actual shot at the nomination that I could see myself voting for in 2008. (Indeed, I had supported him over Bush in 2000.) And now he's aligned himself with the antiscience wing of the Republican Party, which, unfortunately, is the dominant wing these days. A disagreement with McCain on his ill-advised and ineffective strategy for campaign finance reform I could overlook, albeit with some difficulty. McCain's swallowing the "intelligent design" Kool-Aid will be much harder for me to overlook, particularly since the "all points of view" canard sounds like it came out of the Discovery Institute's talking points.

Possible explanations for McCain's statement include (1) that McCain really believes that "intelligent design" creationism is worthy of being taught alongside evolution as an "alternative explanation"; (2) that he doesn't have enough knowledge to form an opinion on the issue and so took the easy course of endorsing the mushy platitude of teaching "all points of view" in the schools; or (3) that he doesn't believe that ID is sufficiently supported to be taught in science class but is willing to go against that belief in order to pander to the fundamentalists that dominate the Republican Party. None of these explanations make McCain look good. #1 and #2 imply an ignorance of biology and #3 implies a willingness to go against his beliefs in search of votes.

Three years until the 2008 election, and I'm already screwed as far as picking a candidate.

Rant ended. Time to go back to enjoying the last few days of my vacation.

12 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 8/25/2005 1:30 PM, Blogger Dr. Charles said...

depressing. i keep trying to like that guy. this is a negative for sure.

 

At 8/25/2005 2:41 PM, Anonymous Niket said...

Wouldn't it be nice to have a republican who actually cares for facts rather than talking points?

 

At 8/25/2005 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when are you going to admit you're NOT a republican, have nothing in common with them and embrace the reality based world of the democrats?

 

At 8/25/2005 3:27 PM, Anonymous Sotek said...

Leaving aside the inflammatory nature of Anonymous's comment...

... you /can/ vote for a Democrat once in a while and still call yourself a Republican.

Likewise, you can vote for a Republican once in a while and call yourself a Democrat. (Indeed, anyone who voted for Bill Clinton ... but I digress.)

 

At 8/25/2005 4:54 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Anonymous,

Give me a freakin' break. You obviously haven't been reading.

I've already said I'm not a Republican anymore in previous posts. However, I am still a conservative-leaning type of the old guard variety (a fiscal conservative deficit hawk, strong national defense, limited federal government, etc.). As such, I find the Democrat's world view to be only nominally more reality-based than the Republicans.

Actually, the best government seems to be when the Presidency is controlled by one party and at least one house of Congress is controlled by the other party (and preferably both are), as was the case during most of Bill Clinton's administration, at least until the whole impeachment mess. Then, checks and balances actually work.

 

At 8/25/2005 5:33 PM, Blogger Rockstar Ryan said...

Anonymous:Do you read this blog, or just troll comment sections?

Orac: Let's just hope that quote was taken out of context. Bush endorsed Creationism prior to the presidency. McCain just said he supports presenting all points of view regarding the origin of mandkind. Perhaps he just meant the differing theories of how evolution occured? (one can't hope, can't he?)

 

At 8/25/2005 5:44 PM, Blogger Orac said...

I'd like to believe the best as you propose, but everyone knows that the "teach all sides to the controversy" canard is code for teaching "intelligent design" creationism.

And, yes, I would like to see the whole interview in context, but have been unable to find a transcript.

 

At 8/25/2005 7:41 PM, Blogger Socialist Swine said...

McCain used to be so reasonable. I really think you guys are cruising for another dark age down there. Generally the trend is from superstition to reason but somehow lately it's been going backwards in your guys' neck of the woods.

-Socialist Swine

 

At 8/26/2005 7:46 AM, Anonymous AndyD said...

Personally (and nothing at all to do with my being British), if you no longer have any political parties that could pass the Turing Test, then you might was well return to the rule of the Empire.

This will have the added advantage of making Tony Blair - Policy: Whatever the US wants - explode due to political feedback.

I'm not sure what you mean about campaign finance; as far as I can tell, this means that large coorporate lobbying groups can effectively buy legislation. This suppresses free speach by metaphorically giving a small number of speakers megaphones.

 

At 8/26/2005 12:54 PM, Blogger Prometheus said...

Et tu, John?


Prometheus.

 

At 8/26/2005 5:22 PM, Blogger Curious JD said...

Look at it this way, Orac. It probably (hopefully) means he's going to run.

You'll never find a politician who agrees with you on everything, and this disagreement is a minor one since the President can do little to effectuate any change on that front. And McCain's not really likely to do anything on it other than lip service even if he could.

 

At 8/26/2005 9:15 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Perhaps, but his willingness to pander like this belies the image of the "straight-talking" politician that he's cultivated and more or less adhered to.

 

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