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March 17, 2007

Only the Numbers Matter

Truth doesn't matter. Common sense doesn't matter. Doing the right thing doesn't matter. The only thing that matters are the numbers, scoring. In this case John McCain ignored the obvious answers to pander to the religious right. (NYT)

Reporter: "Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?"

Mr. McCain: "Well I think it's a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes - and I was just reading the thing he wrote- that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn't succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I'm not very wise on it."

(Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)

Mr. McCain: "I haven't thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it."

Q: "What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?"

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "Ahhh. I think I support the president's policy."

Q: "So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?"

Mr. McCain: (Long pause) "You’ve stumped me."

Q: "I mean, I think you'd probably agree it probably does help stop it?"

Mr. McCain: (Laughs) "Are we on the Straight Talk express? I'm not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I'm sure I've taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception - I'm sure I'm opposed to government spending on it, I'm sure I support the president's policies on it."

Q: "But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: 'No, we're not going to distribute them,' knowing that?"

Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) "Get me Coburn's thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn's paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I've never gotten into these issues before."

It would be a wonderful world if everyone did as they should, like not have sex before marriage, or not kill anyone, or treat people with respect. But life is not like that, is it? It is dirty, messy, filled with contradictions, and not easy. People do have sex before marriage, and outside of marriage. And people get AIDS because of it. Abstinence is one method of dealing with the problem, but people are people, they are going to have sex whether someone else says it is wrong or not. That is reality. This is another example of someone putting their head in the sand and pandering to idiocy. Being forced to rely on stupidity for votes seems to work just fine, but it sure seems dangerous to me.

Posted by Chip Spear at March 17, 2007 1:54 PM