Tuesday, February 13, 2007

McCain and the Creationists

The ThinkProgress blog of the Center for American Progress has an interesting item this morning:

Today is Darwin Day, commemorating the anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and of the publishing of On the Origin of Species. The National Academy of Sciences, "the nation's most prestigious scientific organization," declares evolution "one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have." President Bush's science adviser John Marburger calls it ‚ the cornerstone of modern biology."

Yet, on February 23, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will be the keynote speaker for the most prominent creationism advocacy group in the country. The Discovery Institute, a religious right think-tank, is well-known for its strong opposition to evolutionary biology and its advocacy for ‚intelligent design. The institute's main financial backer, savings and loan heir Howard Ahmanson, spent 20 years on the board of the Chalcedon Foundation, "a theocratic outfit that advocates the replacement of American civil law with biblical law

McCain has an ambiguous record on whether he supports intelligent design in the science curriculum. In 2005, he said it should be taught:

Daily Star: Should intelligent design be taught in schools?

McCain: I think that there has to be all points of view presented. But they've got to be thoroughly presented.

So to say that you can only teach one line of thinking I don't think is -- or one belief on how people and the world was created - I think there's nothing wrong with teaching different schools of thought.

Daily Star: Does it belong in science?

McCain: There's enough scientists that believe it does. I'm not a scientist. This is something that I think all points of view should be presented.

But last year, he said the intelligent design theory should not be taught in the science classroom:

"I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view," he said. "I happen to believe in evolution‚ÄI respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not."

As McCain continues his lurch to the right, where will he come down on intelligent design in the science classroom? We'll be watching.

McCain's attempt to cozy up to creationists is intriguing not only because of his flip-flop on the issue but because of the recent polls showing that Republicans (at this very, very, very early point in time) prefer Rudy Giuliani to McCain. Though the conventional wisdom in Washington is that Giuliani--who supports gay rights, abortion rights and gun control--is too darn liberal for Republican primary voters., the former New York mayor (with a closet full of skeletons) is coming out of the chute strongly. That has to worry McCain, who in years past has also alienated the powerful social conservative wing of the GOP. It's not as if McCain has a natural pull among religious rightists that will guarantee the party will chose him instead of the thrice-married fellow who has dressed up in woman's clothing more than once.

Thus, McCain is going to have to attack Giuliani from the right--meaning that he (McCain) will have to sidestep (or backpedal) further and further to the right and sacrifice large chunks of his appeal as a maverick and independent-minded politician. If McCain is already hanging out with the Discovery Institute this early in the race, one can only imagine where he'll end up. With Pat Robertson as his running mate? Giuliani's presence in the contest will force McCain to be not himself and send what's left of the Straight Talk Express (which isn't much) over a cliff.

Posted by David Corn at February 13, 2007 10:44 AM


Mookie said...

McCain stopped being a maverick and was revealed to be the shill he always was several years ago.

ID/creationism is pseudoscience nonsense and has nothing to offer us. It is based on a complete lack of evidence, and has proposed no hypotheses of its own nor discovered anything worthwhile which science or modern medicine can use.

Carey said...

Part of the problem is the very phrase, intelligent design. In the end, that's exactly what evolution is, the work of superior intelligence. They stole our phrase to butter creationism and make it more palatable.

McCain has classically painted himself into a corner. He knew ahead of time who would be running against him. He couldn't forsee the trap he was building for himself? Then he shouldn't be president.

His biggest mistake, of course, was choosing pro-occupation Iraq as a foundation block in his stance. Keeping it up after the midterm election is downight suicidal.

Gerald said...

We know that Bush and Cheney are psychos. McCain is a mirror image of both Bush and Cheney. Psychos just seem to congregate with the repugnants.

capt said...


Seems to imply God is way too smart to be able to create human life from a primordial ooze. That the "alpha and the omega" could not tell his gamma from his delta in between.

Also seems the God of ID is too young to have actually had his anthropomorphic hand in making the stars and the planets, maybe they are thinking of a different creator?


capt said...

Colbert on The Dixie Chicks, Douglas Feith and John Howard

A do not miss!

David B. Benson said...

David Corn! Its not the far-right, its the far-wrong! Its not the religious right, its the religious wrong!

capt said...

Libby defence won't call Cheney as witness

U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney will not be called to testify at the perjury and obstruction trial of his former aide, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, in the CIA leak case, Libby's lawyer said Tuesday.

Theodore Wells said he advised Cheney's lawyer over lunch that his client's testimony would not be needed, thus saving Cheney the embarrassment of being the first sitting vice-president to appear as a witness in a criminal case.

Wells also said he planned to rest his case without calling Libby, who is accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

In December, Wells announced that he would call Cheney as a defence witness.


*****end of clip*****

I still think a pardon will be the answer to any conviction on any charge.


capt said...

As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct, we can be true or false, and the hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.
~ Hannah Arendt (1906 - 1975), On Revolution (1963)

David B. Benson said...

War in Iraq --- $100,000 per minute!

Hajji said...

Is not a glipse of the POTUS, the Chimp in charge, not only proof of human evolution, but also suggestive of the possibility of its reversal?

For you Corporal Spanky fans, yesterday afternoon's phone call had them still in camp Ramadi waitin' for a chopper ride to some unknown (but SURELY not permanent) airfield
to wait for a bigger bird for a ride OUTTA there! (where? who cares?)

Waiting, not very patiently, for a call from a familiar German number!

-when do I get to exhale?

David B. Benson said...

Hajji --- Nah, he's just a throw-back to the days of nut-bashing...

Carey said...

Monday!! Wasn't that the day Spanky was due home? I could have missed it on past threads.

Interesting news about Cheney not testifying. Hmmm. I don't know what good it would have done but it sure would have been fun watching Cheney squirm a little.

I wanted to add to my McCain comment before. Lawrence O'Donnell predicted on Air America that McCain would be coming at Giuliani with both barrels within the next six months. From what we've picked up about Giuliani, he is no hero, that is, his actions before 9/11. Giuliani will be torn from limb to limb by McCain.

I remind you all just who taught McCain his nasty campaign skills? South Carolina 2000--Rove--the trashing of McCain's wife.

Speaking of Air America, as I was out shopping for dinner fixin's, Ed Schultz was on a one-track, loud rampage against the company, Air America. Guess he just got canned as part of the bankruptcy. Talk about letting someone have it with both barrels! Did he carry on. Man, he was hot under the collar.

capt said...

New thread!