After this commercial hit the Alabama airwaves, Republican gubernatorial candidate Byrne, not about to be Swift Darwined, screamed bloody murder and declared, "I believe the Bible is the Word of God and that every single word of it is true." He went on to attack "powerful government insiders," "corrupt Democrat and AEA (Alabama Education Association practices," and "power mongers" as being behind "these despicable attacks." He proudly concluded by saying, "Like so many other Alabamians, I was raised in a conservative-minded Democratic household," but changed parties fifteen years ago because of the Democratic party's "liberal social policies, wasteful spending habits and big-government expansion." Well.
Byrne, an insider himself who has held elective office off and on since 1994, is apparently the first candidate ever to run for high office because he is uninterested in power. And in Alabama, no less. As for the "conservative-minded Democratic household," that's Newspeak for saying that he was raised to believe in segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. Does anyone doubt that his parents voted enthusiastically for this man?
But what about the ad? Does Byrne have a point? Yes, sort of. Apparently, the ad was placed by a right-wing PAC called True Republican that outs Byrne as a closet liberal (!) not in touch with Alabama values. The AEA, which has tangled with Byrne for years, helped finance True Republican, evidently on the theory that attacking Byrne from the right will bear greater fruit in Alabama than an assault from the left.
Which has left Byrne crying foul and claiming that he has been smeared, but for what? Telling the truth about natural selection? Not as he sees it: Byrne claims that he has never told the truth about Darwin, and he may be on to something: As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, he supported a science curriculum that includes this:
Explanations of the origin of life and major groups of plants and animals, including humans, shall be treated as theory and not as fact. When attempting to apply scientific knowledge to world problems, no social agenda shall be promoted.I'm not even going to comment on that last sentence.
Byrne's opponent has avoided the controversy, focusing instead on another critical issue faced by a state with 10.9% unemployment and that ranks 46th in per capita income:
According to Sarah Palin, "we're all Arizonans now." Sure, but which Arizonans? I wonder how many times Sarah Palin had been to Arizona before John McCain decided that she would help him get elected president. It wouldn't surprise me if she hadn't even heard of it...
McCain not only created the Palin Frankenstein, he bears responsibility for the demise of ACORN, which began when he made accusations of voter registration fraud that he must have known were groundless (which has been shown again and again and again). Nonetheless, his words stuck in the most impressionable ears outside of a four-year old who believes in Santa Claus, and the relentless hectoring of a respected community organization got underway. Now that he's pandering to the worst elements of the Arizona electorate by tangling himself in stained political bedsheets with the deranged Russell Pearce, McCain is certain to end his career as a bitter crank who willingly sacrificed his integrity because he couldn't bear to leave the U. S. Senate...