ABCNews profiles McCain’s religious conservative credentials. Ordinarily I’d call it pandering, but McCain has a long history of being in bed with the religious fundamentalists; in 2000 he promised Gary Bauer pro-life judges, while Bush contented himself with general nonsense about constructionist judges in the mold of Scalia. Still, his style is that of long-term pandering rather than flip-flopping.
The Arizona lawmaker is scheduled to speak Sunday night to about 1,500 middle and high school students about abstaining from premarital sex. Abstinence and abortion loom large as issues in this first-in-the-South primary state in the heart of the Bible Belt.
“Senator McCain has a long legislative record of supporting abstinence-based initiatives in his record in the U.S. Senate,” said Trey Walker, McCain’s South Carolina campaign director. “He thinks that abstinence is healthier and should be promoted in our society for young people.”
McCain obviously has a lot to teach those students about abstinence. As he keeps emphasizing in the canned speech, young people should shut up and listen to their elders. And indeed, McCain’s generation did those things right. In McCain’s teenage years, that is the 1950s, whenever a teenager got pregnant, she either aborted and died due to unsafe conditions, or gave birth and forced the father into marriage. Nobody worried about teen pregnancy then because it was so ubiquitous that acknowledging teens had sex would be too embarrassing. Almost every other American girl had given birth by the time she was 20, and including abortions would likely make it a clear majority. Apparently, walking ten miles to school in five feet of snow uphill both ways makes boys exceptionally horny.
McCain’s antics include supporting the local crisis pregnancy center. I have no data on the particular CPC he’s supporting, but in general they are hornets’ nests of misinformation, intimidation, and outright lies. Furthermore, he’s come out publicly in support of overturning Roe vs. Wade.
On the other hand, the last linked story says,
McCain’s campaign also announced early Sunday that he had been endorsed by former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, who had been considering his own bid for the White House, and former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, who failed in his bid for the Republican nomination in 1996.
Keating told the crowd that McCain is the “only candidate who is a true-blue, Ronald Reagan conservative.”
Leaving aside the appropriateness of calling a Republican “true-blue,” Ronald Reagan wasn’t that good to religious conservatives. He took their money for sure and used their politics as an excuse to cut US foreign aid, but his four Supreme Court nominations include two pro-choicers (O’Connor and Kennedy) and two pro-lifers (Scalia and Bork). Bush has a more conservative track record, with two pro-lifers to one wildcard; but, of course, Reagan was insanely popular, whereas Bush is a lame duck with an approval rate that gets leaders in less stable countries assassinated.