Watching Republican candidates trying desperately to remain within the rigid confines imposed by the anti-science, dominionist lunatics known as "the conservative voting base," without burning their bridges with the majority of the country, is always good for producing an unsettling mix of amusement, revulsion, and sympathy. Thursday night's debate was no exception.
Below is an ad hoc reference table pieced together from the debate proper and/or from past statements or actions of the candidates by Jason Rosenhouse and I. We'd have liked to include a row on climate change, but those asked did not provide a clear response, most were not asked, and others have no clear views stated elsewhere.
|Front Runners + 2||Huckabee||Giuliani||McCain||Romney||Tancredo|
|Fed ESCR?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes5, 6||No|
|The Other Guys||Brownback||Gilmore||Hunter||R. Paul||Thompson|
|Fed ESCR?||No||Yes3, 5||No||No4||No7|
From a purely progressive health & science perspective, the more appealing candidate appears to be Rudolph Giuliani closely followed by Gilmore, the least appealing a three-way toss-up between Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, and Mike Huckabee. But the candidates hedged, contradicted past statements, or offered up evasive blather in response to the questions they were asked, making it difficult to assign a clear position. For example, Gilmore unambiguously endorsed the repeal of Roe v.Wade (As did others). But he later said that he supports a woman's right to choose in the first 8 to 12 weeks of pregnancy, then quickly added that he had a strong pro-life record as Governor of Virginia. On federal funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR), he ducked the issue saying "We cannot create people in order to experiment on people." Nevertheless, by taking a firm stand for a women’s right to choose and in light of past remarks or actions, we rate Gilmore as pro-choice and pro fed funding of ECSR. See footnotes below for more.
- Maybe "Yes," maybe "No" depends on what day asked and what audience needs to be bullshitted on that particular day.
- Based in part on past remarks/actions probably "No."
- Based in part on past remarks/actions probably "Yes."
- Incoherent or evading blather but probably "No."
- Incoherent or evading blather but probably "Yes."
- Courageously objects to wholesale manufacture of clone-slaves (And we assume opposes rebellious replicants, human/animal hybrids gone mad, cyborgs run amok, and/or reanimating the dead). But supports somatic nuclear transfer, meaning Mitt is unware SCNT is a method for cloning or he approves of it.