McCain/Palin vs. Bears

The Republicans are now officially the Stephen Colbert party as they rally around a tough anti-bear platform.

“We’re not going to spend $3 million of your tax dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana,” McCain continued. “I don’t know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue, but …”

As Gail Collins points out,

This is an old line… But even if it was the biggest waste of $3 million in history — even if it was money to sedate grizzlies so hairdressers could apply attractive red tints to their fur — do we want a candidate for president of the United States obsessing about it?

It’s now evident that McCain chose Palin as his Soul Mate in part due to her equally fierce anti-bear policies.  As Palin wrote in a January 2008 Op-Ed in the NY Times (weird! didn’t remember that one),

This month, the secretary of the interior is expected to rule on whether polar bears should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. I strongly believe that adding them to the list is the wrong move at this time…..The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, has argued that global warming and the reduction of polar ice severely threatens the bears’ habitat and their existence. In fact, there is insufficient evidence that polar bears are in danger of becoming extinct within the foreseeable future.

Palin’s position reminds me of the administration torture policy, where failure to become fully extinct in the foreseeable future is analogous to failure to die, and anything below that standard falls short of torture or environmental crisis.  Anyway, presumably these positions were inspired by Stephen Colbert’s well-known “arctophobia, the fear of bears,” which he describes as “giant, marauding, godless killing machines.”

Maybe this all has some encoded relationship to the Russia-Georgia conflict and a symbolic revival of Cold War politics?