I am not sure if I was the only commentator, of a liberal bent, who welcomed John McCain’s securing of the Republican Party’s nomination for President. I guess that I was so relieved that it seemed that whatever the election outcome a line could be drawn beneath the repulsive Bush/Cheney years – and the NeoCons could be banished forever. What I failed to realise, and inexcusably failed to research, was that John McCain’s views – now turned into a policy platform – are such that no liberal could ever sign up to them. McCain’s choice of the Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate confirms that McCain is now not that far away from being Bush Mark Three.

George Bush would not have been elected as President of the United States without the unequivocal support of the religious right. This led him to adopt many positions which defied logic and credibility – as well as being intellectually and morally repugnant. There are plenty of examples but his view that the scientifically bereft nonsense of “Intelligent Design” should be taught in schools alongside Evolution science is a good example. “Both sides ought to be properly taught . . . so people can understand what the debate is about.” Bush said – as if the science of evolution and the ignorant fiction of “Intelligent Design” have some sort of cerebral equivalence.

It now emerges that Sarah Palin also believes that creationism should be taught in schools – so that helps McCain balance his ticket and make inroads with the bible-bashing masses who deny evolution. Indeed Mrs Palin’s whole track record is such that dumb old Dubya himself has called her choice “exciting” – in other words she hits the buttons that he wants to see hit. No doubt Mike Huckabee will be in queue to endorse her choice as well (perhaps he already has).

“The Economist” magazine, which in principle quite likes McCain, has called on him to move away from “Hawkish foreign policy, irresponsible tax cuts, more talk about religion and abortion: all this sounds too much like Bush Three…”. McCain’s illiberal positions on abortion, his war-mongerly aggressive stance on Iran, his nonsensical call for a “gas-tax holiday” and the rest of his right wing populist platform means that he is advocating not change but more of the same. Indeed in some respects (and the choice of Palin is one of them) is out-Bushing Bush! McCain is emerging as  a cynical opportunist with unpleasant views and dangerous policies. America should send McCain/Palin packing on November 4th. I hope they do.

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