Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 4, 2010

REMEMBER WHEN JOHN MCCAIN BELIEVED IN GLOBAL WARMING?.... It seems hard to believe now, but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) actually used to be fairly reasonable when it came to climate change.

Before his recent presidential campaign, he worked with center-left senators on a climate bill. In 2007, McCain said he "unequivocally" believes that global warming is "real," and in 2008, after he'd secured the Republican presidential nomination, the Arizona senator acknowledged the climate crisis and said the United States "needs ... a cap-and-trade system." It was a position he reiterated throughout the year. When asked about this on the campaign trail, McCain even had a reasonable answer for deniers -- even if all the science is completely wrong, taking this seriously will lessen our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs, and give us cleaner air.

That was in 2008. What's McCain saying in 2010? Brad Johnson flagged this McCain gem, delivered in New Hampshire while campaigning for Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte, who also went from being sensible to being conservative on the issue:

"I think it's an inexact science, and there has been more and more questioning about some of the conclusions that were reached concerning climate change. And I believe that everybody in the world deserves correct answers whether the scientific conclusions were flawed by outside influences. There's great questions about it that need to be resolved."

So McCain went from someone who was quite reasonable, especially for a Republican, to being someone who rejects science and believes mysterious "outside influences" may be misleading the world.

For those in the media who think the old John McCain is still in there, and may yet make a straight-talking comeback, please get over it. He's long gone, and he's not coming back.

Steve Benen 11:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Well, yes; the sun rose in the east Today, but we have no established science that it will also rise there Tomorrow. And I don't think we should spend money installing a bunch of sun dials, until we have more studies. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 4, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

President McCain has become a whore for the RightWing, and his price to be had just keeps falling.

Posted by: Joe Friday on October 4, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Mind you, Hon Sen. McCain made the these statements after the science has become more certain, not less.

Posted by: jhm on October 4, 2010 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

They, we and everyone should never forgive that jackass for unleashing the biggest moron I've ever seen on the US Electorate. Palin is McCains baby.

Posted by: Kiners Korner on October 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

believes mysterious "outside influences" may be misleading the world.

Outside Influences ARE misleading the world. Who do you think backs all of the denial "science"?

Posted by: martin on October 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Having been captured by the Teabrainers, it now appears McCain has developed the Stockholm Syndrome, and will say and do anything his captors desire.

Posted by: cwolf on October 4, 2010 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's various apostasies are now just roadside litter on the highway to Meet the Press. McCain the Maverick is now McCain the Hack. In fairness, however, McCain's die was cast several years ago when he came close but didn't leave the GOP. Now, he either dances to their tune or is shunned altogether. I wish his moral conscience had greater depth but his narcissism kept getting in the way.

Posted by: walt on October 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Straight talk express, now leaving! All abooooardd - whoah not so fast there Senator McCain.

Posted by: Monty on October 4, 2010 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Q: Which side of the teleprompter gets paid more; the sockpuppet or the media whores?

walt gets it right, they guy is toast.

Posted by: Kevin (not the famous one) on October 4, 2010 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

"For those...who think the old John McCain...may yet make a straight-talking comeback, please get over it. He's long gone, and he's not coming back."

As far as I'm concerned, he's never been anything other than opportunist. He has shamefully allowed others to elevate his time in a Vietnamese prison into a prosperous political career for himself (let's not even mention the casualties of his first marriage as he sought the confort of marrying an attractive zillionaire) while other soldiers, equally as noble and courageous, have been left behind (Was he the only one who suffered there?) He has never had an original idea in his life and recently some of his public pronoucements have been ebarrassing to the nation as we have had to admit that senile old men actually rule our nation.

I think anyone who ever believed his act is just as foolish as he is.

Posted by: Vandal on October 4, 2010 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one who read the takedown of McCain during the run-up to the election? There IS no old John McCain--he's never been anything but a weasly,destructive,priviledged opportunist with rage issues.

Posted by: psychobroad on October 4, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Vandal, you are absolutely right. McCain has not changed. The straight talk jive and his maverick image were always total BS. McCain rode the moderate horse when he was safe between elections. And then saddled the old red mare when he needed to show more ass to his Republican supporters in election season. McCain shows all the symptoms of histrionic personality disorder.

Posted by: lou on October 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

McCain wouldn't know the truth or his own real position on anything if it hit him on the ass. He is the ultimate suck up for votes and should just be laughed out of the place.

Posted by: mishanti on October 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I've been rereading John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience over the weekend. The right-wing authoritarian's ability to lie — and be lied to — without blinking is perfectly depicted in this post.

As the science of Global Climate Change becomes more definitive and damning, the denialists actually gain adherents thanks to a lemming-like society that has become so confused, frightened and tormented that they will latch onto anything that fits their paranoid ideology.

Posted by: chrenson on October 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

I don't work on climate stuff per se, but I know a lot about it, and am pretty well versed with the science, the "exacetness" etc.

My response to McCain et al - HORSESHIT. The data, recent results [Arctic ice, summer temps, etc] all point o things happening FASTER, and at greater magnitude, than most science types thought possible.

And, as some readers might realize, scientists are actually pretty damn conservative people when in comes to interpreting data and making statements that impact public policy. It seems like the more solid the science becomes, the bigger the R lies become.

THe science community does a pretty bad job at educating on some of these issues, but we do not have an entire TV network, + major newspapers, privately funded PR networks, etc. at our disposal.

Posted by: bigtuna on October 4, 2010 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

IF this current crop of Politicians continues to deny and fix Global Warming while at the same time continuing to foster our dependance on oil they will be castagated and condemned as our grandchildren sweat in immobile poverty.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on October 4, 2010 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

This is no country for that old man.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on October 4, 2010 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK



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