Science News of The Week

The big science news of the past week were the reports that completion of the sequencing of  the Neanderthal genome showed that Republican thought is derived from Neanderthals.

(My current Facebook status).

Social Conservative Nature Of Tea Party Seen As They Attack Sarah Palin For Endorsing Carly Fiorina

When the tea party supporters first started getting publicity some portrayed the movement as concentrating on fiscal responsibility and tax cuts as opposed to the wedge issues which the Republicans have campaigned on in recent years. It soon became apparent that the tea parties were really indistinguishable from the far right Republican base. This could be seen by their irrational support for Republicans over Democrats despite the better record of Democrats on fiscal responsibility, as well as their knee jerk hatred of Barack Obama even after he cut their taxes. Polls have also verified that the tea party backers are indistinguishable from the GOP base. We are seeing another sign that they are just typical members of the authoritarian right in their reaction to Carly Fiorina–with the added benefit of seeing some attacks on Sarah Palin.

In the past the tea baggers have loved Sarah Palin’s social conservatism, and they are making it clear that this is what is important to them when they protest Palin’s endorsement of Fiorina:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has made her Facebook page into a bully pulpit, issuing policy statements on such issues as nuclear proliferation and oil drilling. Now she’s learning that social media can be more than a one-way system of message delivery — thanks to an avalanche of comments from tea party supporters taking issue with her Facebook endorsement of Carly Fiorina in California’s upcoming GOP Senate primary.

Many of the supporters of the small-government tea party insurgency regard Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who stumped for the McCain-Palin ticket while serving as its adviser on financial issues in 2008, as a RINO, or “Republican in name only” — a term generally applied to pro-business moderates who don’t always support socially conservative positions.

That was very much a dominant sentiment in the hundreds of comments weighing in on Palin’s characterization of Fiorina as a “Commonsense Conservative.” (Spelling, punctuation and grammar in the originals are retained throughout.)

Many on the far right were willing to overlook her endorsement of John McCain. I’m sure they understood the dyanmics there and how it would be hard for Palin to fail to support the politician who is responsible for her current success. It is harder to understand why Palin would support Fiorina, who during the presidential campaign that Palin couldn’t run a “major corporation.” They are not willing to overlook further transgressions from Palin:

Whatever the reasons behind the endorsement, it’s clear that some tea party activists see it as grounds to scrutinize her future moves. Several of her Facebook detractors used the expression “Strike 2” — the first strike being Palin’s support for McCain — with the clear implication that a third lurch into the GOP mainstream would fatally harm her credibility among tea partiers.

Some pundits suggest that moment may have already arrived. “Bottom line is that this is yet another endorsement for a non-grassroots candidate, and she’s going to take another significant hit to her credibility with her base in exchange for picking a winner,” Tabitha Hale wrote on the conservative site

Sue Lowden Tries To Deny Earlier Statements On Bartering For Health Care

When you make a gaffe in politics it is often best to admit you made a mistake and move on, hoping that in a world of ever shortening news cycles it is soon forgotten. Sue Lowden appears to be determined to keep her gaffe about bartering  for health care alive.

By the end of April she seemed to be backing down on her “chickens for check-ups” idea but now has made the mistake of making an ad denying what she actually said. This will only lead to political opponents, bloggers, and the press revisiting this story, along with providing a good reason to repeat her original statements. This is very poor damage control on her part.