Wow. Just, wow. Alabama campaign ad…

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Someone please tell me this is a hoax…

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Alabama from a simple prop on May 12, 2010 4:57 PM

Over at the Panda’s Thumb, Nick highlights this attack ad from Alabama. It’s bad enough that acceptance of evolution is seen as a negative point for a candidate, but best of all, Byrne felt the need to issue the following statement: As a Ch... Read More

65 Comments

Y’all not fum down heah, are ye?

“Brad Byrne makes a modest effort to base some his beliefs regarding the natural world on publicly verifiable evidence.

Would you trust such a man with your children’s future?”

I’m told that in some other countries, not accepting evolution is a political liability. Do such magical lands actually exist?

I’m from Ohio, which is not exactly a bastion of freethought, but Ive had the displeasure of living in Alabama for a year and Louisiana for a year. I swore I would never see the South again unless it was through the window of an airplane. That was long before I ever heard the term “flyover states.”

Politics: just when you thought it couldn’t get any more cuckoo…

Nope, it’s real. I’ve seen it more than once on TV.

What’s even scarier is it’s not the dumbest campaign ad airing here… not by a long shot.

I’m guessing it was done by his opponent Tim “English-only” James?

We have Sue Lowden running for the Senate in Nevada … “chickens for checkups” (just google it) so I don’t see why anyone is surprised by this.

Demagogues will always do whatever appeals to the voters who will elect them. If 51% or more of voters in Alabama are against evolution, ads like this are inevitable. What’s new?

That’s just half of the story. Byrne is outraged by the despicable attack on his creationist credentials. He says he has fought hard to ensure creationist is included in Alabama school textbooks!

Aagcobb said:

That’s just half of the story. Byrne is outraged by the despicable attack on his creationist credentials. He says he has fought hard to ensure creationist is included in Alabama school textbooks!

That is, creationism is included. PIMF

It gets worse.

Brad Byrne, having been caught in the compromising position of acknowledging reality, felt the need to release a response.

And what did this professional educator, a man who has served on the Alabama board of education since 1994, a man who until recently was the chief executive officer of Alabama’s two-year college system have to say in the face of the scurrilous accusation that the endorses teaching actual science in science classes?

Did he call it for the goofy nonsense it was?

Not exactly .

“As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God. As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school text books. Those who attack me have distorted, twisted and misrepresented my comments and are spewing utter lies to the people of this state.”

Go ‘bama.

You now have gubernatorial candidates trying to get elected by out-stupiding each other.

As a resident of Texas I was sure we were going to keep the “Dumbest governor on the planet” award again this year.

I gladly relinquish the title.

I don’t suppose it’s worth remarking that, although we down here certainly do have a crop of arrant creationists, a campaign ad like that for any candidate would go over like a brick-and-tile glider, and it’s absolutely certain that any of the parties with Parliamentary representation would send this guy the bowstring, with instructions on how to use it.

Sure, a tiny fringe of mouth-breathing rednecks would vote for him - we have those, too - but no politician in his right mind would identify with that demographic, not even in Queensland. Hell, not even in northern Queensland.

Oh, John Kwok, we need you.….….….….

This is old hat and evolution/creationism is sort of boring.

How do these candidates stand on the really important issues such as the Flat Earth, Geocentrism, and Bigfoot. And are there any plans to deal with the UFO’s piloted by demons from hell?

George said:

We have Sue Lowden running for the Senate in Nevada … “chickens for checkups” (just google it) so I don’t see why anyone is surprised by this.

And in Oregon we have Arthur Robinson running for Senate. Yeah, the guy who started the Oregon Petition (and, according to Wikipedia, is also a signer on a Disco institute criticism of evolution).

stevaroni said:

It gets worse.

Brad Byrne, having been caught in the compromising position of acknowledging reality, felt the need to release a response.

“As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God. As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school text books. Those who attack me have distorted, twisted and misrepresented my comments and are spewing utter lies to the people of this state.”

If Byrnes is elected Governor and gets ID or “teach the controversy” inserted into Alabama schools, we now have Exhibit A showing his true intent.

After hearing everyone’s “you think that guy’s bad…” stories, I’m inclined to think that perhaps representative government’s real value is in serving as a jobs program for the lowest 10%.

George said:

We have Sue Lowden running for the Senate in Nevada … “chickens for checkups” (just google it) so I don’t see why anyone is surprised by this.

Wow. That video plus stuff like this is really starting to make NM look good this year. Us looking good is an odd occurrence. There are 5 gubernatorial candidates running in the Republican primary. One has campaigned on the fact that he is retired military plus the typical Republican taxes-small business platform. Another is a former DA who is married to a cop who wants to prosecute the crap out of anything that moves. Another is Pete Dominici’s son. The other two seem to be more libertarian leaning. And none of them have said anything even approaching this level of wackiness. The same goes for my state representative race. The biggest mistake I’ve seen in that one is that one of the candidates does not know that telling people that he moved out here from CA 5 years ago is a bad idea.

As a registered Republican and a Conservative, I agree with Nick and everyone else who finds this advertisement not only depressing, and stupid and silly, but one that rings all too true. How? Why? For years I’ve seem similar “kinds” of political advertisements here in the Northeast, in which the “targets” of such advertisements are often mocked, like Byrne, from changing their political “stripes” whenever such changes best suited them (One noteworthy example is from New Jersey, last year, when current Governor Christie challenged his primary opponent and vice veras.). Regrettably, if these ads can work in New Jersey, then I am sure they’ll influence voters in Alabama. How much we’ll see should Byrne win his campaign.

Anyway, as we know full well, not even the Northeast is immune from acute attacks of evolution denialism (e. g. recent news from Hartford, CT about a creationist school board member meeting with secondary school science teachers merely to voice his concern about teaching evolution).

Maybe Byrne needs to have a friendly folksy chat, with another native son from Alabama, one E. O. Wilson, before spewing any more creationist nonsense.

Worse, this campaign ad is funded by the democrat (Paul Hubbert) who is the head of the Alabama Teacher’s Union (AEA). How is that for standing up for education?

t_p_hamilton said: Worse, this campaign ad is funded by the democrat (Paul Hubbert) who is the head of the Alabama Teacher’s Union (AEA). How is that for standing up for education?

Democrats who fund ads in Republican primaries (or vice versa) typically attack the most moderate candidate; the goal is to get the opposing party to run the candidate no undecided voter would choose. So, this could mean that the Democrats think Byrne is the most moderate/most electable candidate. Scary.

You will notice many ellipses (…) in the quotes cited in the video. A distinct mark of creationists/id’ers who quote out of context. What did the many really say, anyone know?

It only makes sense for Democrats to fund this ad … and any other ad by whacky neocons with off-the-chart positions. It makes the whole conservative movement look like a bunch of ignorant, backwater hicks. And I’m still just barely patriotic enough to believe that ignorant, backwater hickism hasn’t yet become a sought-after leadership quality in the minds of most voting Americans.

Alex H said: And in Oregon we have Arthur Robinson running for Senate. Yeah, the guy who started the Oregon Petition (and, according to Wikipedia, is also a signer on a Disco institute criticism of evolution).

Actually, he’s in the Republican primary for U.S. House District 4, a seat held by Democrat Peter DeFazio since 1987.

Actually, this ad is funded by TEACHERS! It is not funded by any current or possible opponent. When Byrne was on the school board, he did something to make them mad, so through a second level, they decided to attack Byrne. From Talking Points Memo:

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmem[…].php?ref=fpa

“The group behind the ad and others attacking Byrne’s conservative credentials is called the True Republican PAC. Interestingly, as the Montgomery Advertiser reported last month, the PAC has gotten most of its money from the teachers’ union – or, more accurately, from a collection of other PACs heavily funded by the union.

“According to the Advertiser, members of the Alabama Education Association have a beef with Byrne for his past attempts to ban the employees of two-year colleges from serving in the state legislature.”

Ben said: It makes the whole conservative movement look like a bunch of ignorant, backwater hicks.

Luckily they don’t need much help doing this - they’re doing a fine job proving it all by themselves.

(…with the exception of John Kwok, who is a gentleman and a scholar, in spite of being on the Genghis Khan side of the spectrum.)

(Nobody’s mentioned John McCain, who used to brag about being a maverick but now denies he ever was one. Some of us just attribute that to memory issues some older folks get…)

Paul, thanks, I got a hearty chuckle reading that:

Paul Burnett said:

(…with the exception of John Kwok, who is a gentleman and a scholar, in spite of being on the Genghis Khan side of the spectrum.)

(

However, on a more serious note, one of the most prominent critics of Intelligent Design cretinism is, of course, a fellow conservative, biologist Paul R. Gross, the co-author, with philosopher Barbara Forrest, “Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design” (And then too, there is also Federal Judge John Jones, who presided over the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District trial, and, on December 20, 2005, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and against the creationist-leaning Dover school board.). But they’re not the only noteworthy conservatives. I wish, however, that there were a lot more of us around.

John, stop deliberately conflating Creationism with Cretinism: it’s insulting and demeaning to cretins and Cretans alike.

What’s really sad is both that he has already publicly stated that he only supports teaching creationism in Schools and that this ad will likely garner a large number of votes for his opponent.

DaleP said: “According to the Advertiser, members of the Alabama Education Association have a beef with Byrne for his past attempts to ban the employees of two-year colleges from serving in the state legislature.”

Wow, creationism AND job-based limits on who can serve in government. Its like the 1800s down there. What’s his position on poll taxes? Does he support giving women the vote?

If you’re in need of some humor after that ad, here are Bill Maher’s parodies.

“He said that the Earth rotates on an axis!” “Whuh?” “He believes that tiny invisible animals cause disease!

(warning: a bit of cussing)

Diseases caused by tiny animals? Sometimes (e.g., some parasites, and I think malaria would fit that description), but aren’t way more diseases caused by bacteria (prokaryotes), and sometimes by yeast, or other single celled eukaryotes? Those aren’t animals.

Henry

Henry J said:

Diseases caused by tiny animals? Sometimes (e.g., some parasites, and I think malaria would fit that description), but aren’t way more diseases caused by bacteria (prokaryotes), and sometimes by yeast, or other single celled eukaryotes? Those aren’t animals.

Henry

Hey, they were in character! You think the people in the ad are supposed to know about prokaryotes and eukaryotes? That’s book learnin’ - work with me here. ;-D

Oh. Wonder if they went to the same elementary school I did? In the general science class there, life was composed of two kingdoms (plant and animal), and everything alive was shoved into one or the other, whether it fit or not. (Of course, back then I didn’t know a lot of it didn’t fit in those two “kingdoms”. LOL )

Henry J

In January, 1966 I was invited to attend a three-year camp program hosted by the US Armed Forces. I took a train ride down to Ft. Benning, GA for basic campground training, then transported across another state line into an alternate universe known as Alabama. Weekend Bible tents, dry counties, dilapidated infrastructure, separate rosters for white and colored war dead, swimmin’ pools…movies stars. Wait a minute, scratch those last two…that was a TV show.

By 1967 I was compelled to volunteer for duty in the Republic of Viet Nam to get out of Alabama…best move I ever made. In the 80s I drove through the “A” state on my way to Florida to see the folks. Bear Bryant was gone…seemed to be more pavement and traffic lights…and the population had regressed even further into their evolutionary (whether they knew it, or not) dead-end.

Don’t even bother raisin’ a ruckus about this post, as I’m very unlikely to ever return (although there will always be the temptation to fly the family down to your sandy whitish beaches and roll around in the tar balls that promise to be washing up for, at least, the remainder of this century).

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on May 11, 2010 8:20 PM.

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