Readers of this blog know that I have been skeptical of John McCain’s support for science. Although he has said he supports increasing science funding, he appears to consider recent science funding budgets that have not kept pace with inflation to be “increases.” He has also since called for a discretionary spending freeze.
In recent years vocally anti-science elements have hijacked the science policies of the Republican party — a party that actually has a strong history of supporting science — so the question has been where McCain stands, or at least which votes he cares about most. The jury is still out on McCain, but Palin just publicly blasted basic science research as wasteful government spending.
The project that she singled out, incidentally, appears to be research that could eventually lead to new treatments of Autism. Ironically, Palin brought up this “wasteful” research as a program that could be cut in order to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.