McCain and his platform

MCCAIN AND HIS PLATFORM…. One more thought on Sarah Palin’s interview with James Dobson. This exchange about the Republican Party platform, which includes some very conservative measures and Palin boasted about today, is important:

DOBSON: In your private conversations with Senator McCain is it your impression that he also strongly supports those views? I know that he did not oppose that platform when it was written. Do you think he will implement it?

PALIN: I do, from the bottom of my heart. I am such a strong believer that McCain believes in those strong planks and we do have good conversations about some of the details too, about the different planks and what they represent.

Some of the “different planks” in this year’s Republican Party platform include a constitutional amendment to ban on all abortions, including in cases of rape or incest, and opposition to taxpayer-financed embryonic stem-cell research.

The problem is, McCain says he opposes a constitutional amendment to ban all abortions and supports taxpayer-financed embryonic stem-cell research. And yet, Palin assured Dobson that McCain is on board with “the different planks.” Indeed, she’s a “strong believer” that McCain “believes in those strong planks.”

That raises a few possibilities:

* McCain’s real positions are different from his stated positions.

* Palin doesn’t know what McCain’s real positions are.

* Palin was deliberately misleading Dobson.

Dobson explained how thrilled he is at the right-wing positions in the Republican platform, which he noted are even more conservative than “during the campaigns of Ronald Reagan…. There are principles there that just, I’ve been fighting for 30-40 years.”

Dobson wants to know if McCain really believes in his platform and if Palin’s right about McCain’s positions.

Here’s a wacky idea: maybe the McCain campaign can clarify.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.