Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Litmus Test for McCain's Running Mate

Many of us are relieved that with John McCain the GOP is returning to its core values. But the party can still screw it up in November by nominating a VP beholden to the minority special interests that have driven the party into the ground for the last eight years. A useful "fingerprint" is whether the candidate thinks that American science education, and hence global technological competitiveness should be protected; that is, whether "Intelligent Design" should be taught in schools.

Even for VP, I can't vote for anybody who's so in thrall to special interests that they're willing to sacrifice America's global business prominence and our educational system by forcing the views of extremists on children in the classroom. By now Americans are tired of special interests, and this one is pretty special - directed by a small minority of well-organized well-funded zealots. The campaign is quietly taking place in legislatures and schoolboards around the country. If it succeeds, the losers will be all Americans.

Rush Limbaugh got it right when he said Intelligent Design is nothing but but re-named Biblical creationism trying to sneak into the classroom. Fortunately, in at least some cases citizens have seen this threat to America's technological edge coming. Despite Pat Robertson's curse on Pennslyvania , things seem to be going okay in the Keystone State (where my mom lives; she hasn't reported any brimstone). Go ahead and laugh at Robertson's looneyness - he's worth $190 million and he's just one of the people working hard to destroy America's educational system.

Below I've put together a list of people mentioned as possible running mates, and whether they should have a place in a GOP administration based on their stand viz a viz protecting American education and economic competitiveness.


- Mitt Romney is a strong contender. He clearly understands the idea of secular government

- Tom Ridge: the best evidence I could find about his position was his support of the Judge in the Dover, PA case.

- Tim Pawlenty: Little information available, although he's socially moderate so I'm holding out my hopes. Please comment if you know more.

- Charlie Crist: Little information available - if you have information please comment. I found one quote without attribution saying Intelligent Design could be taught in an elective class - which is the same thing that Mitt Romney and pro-evolution Dover, PA people said (and that class is comparative religion.)

- Richard Burr: Little information available. The Optical Society of America, which is trying to protect American science education, met with him, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

- Condoleeza Rice: no information - please comment if you have any.

- Rob Portman: no information - please comment if you have any.


- Mark Sanford: says the government should force his religion on kids in science class.

- Sarah Palin: said in a broadcast debate that the government should force her religion on kids in science class.

- Bobby Jindal: firmly anti-education.

- Haley Barbour: tried to pass a law to force his religion on kids in schools.

- Joe Lieberman: I heard we already have Democrats running this November.

- John Thune: anti-education.

- Mel Martinez: not much information, but since he was the guy who was advocating using big government to interfere in medical cases, we can be pretty sure we know where he stands.

- Kay Bailey Hutchison: not sure, but close ties to Tom DeLay et al strongly suggest she's not. If you have information to the contrary let me know.

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