I would have thought that it was a relief, a minor bit of unconcern, that Mitt Romney nominally supports evolution (he’s one of those waffly theistic evolutionists, so he doesn’t really…but at least he wouldn’t be brazenly contradicting all of the evidence). But there’s a potential problem looming: who will he pick for vice president? Who does he turn to advice on education? Ken Miller discusses the situation, and points out that his key advisor on education reform and potential VP pick is…
Bobby Jindal, creationist governor of Louisiana.
Jindal has an elite résumé. He was a biology major at my school, Brown University, and a Rhodes scholar. He knows the science, or at least he ought to. But in his rise to prominence in Louisiana, he made a bargain with the religious right and compromised science and science education for the children of his state. In fact, Jindal’s actions at one point persuaded leading scientific organizations, including the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, to cross New Orleans off their list of future meeting sites.
What did Jindal do to produce a hornet’s nest of “mad scientists,” as Times-Picayune writer James Gill described them? He signed into law, in Gill’s words, the “Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA), which is named for what it is designed to destroy.” The act allows “supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials” to be brought into classrooms to support the “open and objective discussion” of certain “scientific theories,” including, of course, evolution. As educators who have heard such coded language before quickly realized, the act was intended to promote creationism as science. In April, Kevin Carman, dean of the College of Science at Louisiana State University, testified before the Louisiana Senate’s Education Committee that two top scientists had rejected offers to come to LSU because of the LSEA, and the school may lose more scientists in the future.
And now Jindal is poised to spend millions of dollars of state money to support the teaching of creationism in private schools.
But don’t panic! Jindal is currently just one possibility for VP, and there are plenty of other Republicans Romney might pick…like Nikki Haley, or Rick Santorum, or Michele Bachmann…
OK, panic. There’s no way we’ll be happy with anyone he chooses.
If politicians are mirrors, Bobby Jindal needs a spit-shine.
From what my ex-mormon nigel says, mormons are okay with evolution except for humans. Recently more mormons are becoming creationists though; church guidance isn’t strong on this (but they do hilariously deny that intersex people are born, god wouldn’t do that, you see).
Didn’t bobby jindal fuck up really hard last time he was on the national political stage? I also thought he was strategically better to keep in office in louisiana than other potential vp picks…
They are taking their sweet time picking someone. Maybe the think that palin wouldn’t have fucked things up so badly if she had just been picked later on and had less time to make people hate her guts.
I assume calling these picks “#2” was very intentional.
If Jindal gets picked as a VP running mate and loses, maybe he will quit his gubernatorial position like Palin did.
It’s almost certainly going to be a hardcore christofascist.
1. There aren’t even many Tea Partiers that aren’t christofascist creos.
2. He badly needs to shore up his base which is, of course, christofascists.
Romney isn’t even a xian at least according to 1/2 of xian ministers and 3/4 of their sheep.
IIRC, Palin was picked just days prior to the convention. You can’t get much later than that. Maybe if she was picked earlier, she would have had more opportunity to stick her foot in her mouth and get dumped before the convention. But then the base would have been pissed because they appreciated her dumb dribbles.
He will be made an honorary Christian ‘cuz he’s running against a moozlem.
Gov. Jindal is also another one of the many illustrious classmates and notable fellow alumni of that prestigious Ivy League University of a certain connoisseur of fine photographic equipment who shall remain nameless.
Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says
Can we nominate our own candidates for VP?
What do you say PZ, are you up for the challenge?
Interesting how the Republican powers that be apparently aren’t worried about the Democrats pulling a Birther or Jindal or Halley. Especially Jindal, who apparently wasn’t conceived in the US. There’s also the potential problem of Jindal being one of those dratted Catholics, and Halley still attending Sikh religious ceremonies, despite being a Methodist. A Mormon Pres, with a Catholic VP or a VP still connected with “idol worshippers”(or whatever weird interpretation of Sikhism they’d come up with) should be enough to get the really Christian kooky end of the party a bit fidgity, you’d think.
I’m still thinking it’ll be Tim Pawlenty, who has the fundie creds but not so much baggage that we know of. That’s the advantage of dropping out of the Republican primaries early–less opportunity to make a national fool out of yourself.
I suspect the Repubs will want somebody to shut up and act dignified this time around. No winkies, no starbursts.
Also, I think Pawlenty can at least see Canada from his house, right?
On the bright side, Jindal can probably see Cuba from his porch.
It really doesn’t make sense for Romney to pick Jindal. Romney already has Louisiana and surrounding states sewn up, and we don’t have that many electoral votes anyway. Jindal doesn’t represent a demographic that Mitt needs to woo; how much difference is the Hindu convert to Catholic vote going to make in this election? Jindal is not a charismatic person, either. So what exactly would Jindal bring to the ticket?
If Jindal is the VP will that mean exorcisms will be covered in my health care plan?
Ashley F. Miller says
Please take Nikki Haley away.
Subtract Hominem says
I think that strategically, it would make sense for the Romney campaign to look at Olympia Snowe, whose name I haven’t even heard mentioned by anyone who isn’t me. She’s:
· not especially gaffe-prone
· a woman
· from the Senate, rather than another governor
· retiring from her current seat anyway
· generally highly-regarded by independents, moderates of both parties, and her constituents (in a “blue” state with a Republican governor and two Republican Senators)
I’m not sure why her name doesn’t come up in these discussions. Is it because she and Romney are both New Englanders? Is it because she’s insufficiently far-right? Has she already turned the job down? Something else? More than one of the above? Ô,õ
Call me naive, but I don’t believe that straight-up creationism plays to anyone but the craziest part of the Rethug base, the part that’s already locked into voting Romney because he’s not Obama. It won’t play to the middle that Romney needs to win over now. He’ll pick someone boring and inoffensive that people could imagine actually being president.
Being highly regarded among moderates, being willing to work with both parties, is, as far as I know, a disqualifier. The GOP has convinced itself that it has the only possible answer to everything and that they are doing the bidding of gods. To compromise means that you have done a deal with the devil. So I do not think Olympia Snow stands a snowball’s chance in hell of being chose.
Or Chris Christy, Condoleezza Rice, Jeb Bush, The Newt, Rand Paul, Rick “Elmer Gantry” Perry, Scott Walker…just to name a few others. Interestingly, many of them are considered dull, uncharismatic, and inexperienced…why a lot like Mitt. Who would have guessed? I can hardly wait to find out who gets the tiara. It should be the crowing achievement to his campaign.
All of which is scary enough, except Mittens is about to restart the cold war…in Poland no less…by attacking Putin. Isn’t that nice of him. Putin is a shit, for sure, but that isn’t going to get rid of him, and Mitt is just exploiting the situation for political gain.
Wow! I just learned that he called Jerusalem the “capital” of Israel on Sunday. That’s diplomatically very stupid, like calling Taiwan “China.”
Perhaps he should get his special underwear a couple of sizes bigger so his brains can get some blood flow.
What’s the big deal? His V.P. only matters if he makes it to the top job, which isn’t going to happen.
…It isn’t going to happen. It isn’t going to happen. It isn’t going to happen. It isn’t going to happen…
Oh, let’s do hope so. If Romney/Jindal were to win, we’ll need one or ten.
He may surprise everyone and choose Condoleezza Rice. Although that would displease his hardcore, anti-choice, anti-gay supporters.
Doesn’t matter who he chooses as far as I’m concerned.
I know I’m going to regret asking, but I can’t help myself. How do Mormons account for intersex people? Do they deny that intersex people exist like the creasciolists deny C14 dating? Or do they think it’s some sort of Satanic corruption?
Please, please, please, let Mitt choose Jindal. There’s a certain percentage of the base who’ll be voting only reluctantly for Romney anyhow, due to his being not exactly Christian. Jindal, being Catholic, is also not exactly Christian, and is brown and an anchor baby to boot. That will not, of course, cause any of Xian right to vote for the evil Kenyan Mooslim Atheist Socialist, but maybe at least a few of them will stay home. Or, as recently suggested, write in Jesus.
Please, please, pretty please with a ribbon on top, please listen to Eugene Delgaudio and pick Chuck Norris as your running mate.
Oh YEAH baby! I want the craziest Veep possible! The Tea Baggers are gonna do what they’re gonna do, but a real nutjob on the ticket might light a fire under the Liberals. And most importantly, the Independents who might like Mitten’s “Business Experience” (because, ya know, governing 300 million citizens and protecting their rights is JUST LIKE running a slash-and-burn hedge fund) might realize that having a dyed-in-the-wool creationist a heartbeat away from the Presidency is actually kinda bad for business.
coleslaw is right. Jindal brings nothing to the ticket. Louisiana is sadly going to go for Romney anyway, given that Obama hasn’t gotten any whiter the last three years. And even if Louisiana were in play, it’s not as if we’re an electoral prize. Plus, nationwide whom does Jindal attract to the ticket? Rowdy Ayn Randers? Neocon nerds? Exorcism enthusiasts? Ivy League creationists? (the last of these is surely a small group!). My mother actually hopes he doesn’t get the Veep or a cabinet position, because despite the fact that he has seriously f^%*ed up this state, for every other job where he did the same, he was able to skate away to a new position before it became apparent just how poorly he had done. I think she has a point… so as much as I’d love for him to just go away, I agree with my mother – I want him to remain governor so he has to stew in this massive rancid cluster-f*ck that he has created.
Funny how you left out raging racists.
Holy fucking shit. Do people really pay this little attention to American politics?
Calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel may be diplomatically stupid, but politically it’s very smart. Extremely smart.
Remember, as far as Israel is concerned, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital as Israel – it was the first country to do so. Calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel was a shout-out to Romney’s base and to the Israel lobby, one of the most powerful lobbies in American politics.
We can laugh at Romney on the internet all we want, but that particular statement played directly to the American electorate. You sure as hell won’t hear Obama say that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel – it would be political suicide.
Rumor has it she’s not interested.
Rice as a running mate would be a gift to the Obama campaign. Here’s a woman who lied right to Congress about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and who thought a memo saying “Al Qaeda determined to carry out an attack inside the United States” was a “historical document”.
Unfortunately, given the way Democrats in the Senate bowed and scraped to her during her confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, I suspect it’s a gift the Obama campaign would return unopened.
Romney is a huge stinking #2.
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
If only it really was taking her away. It wouldn’t be.
If Romney were anything of intelligent, He would pick someone like Ohio gov. John Kasich, or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Both states went to Obama/Biden in 2008,and both are considered to be battleground states now. Would either choice really help him ?
I don’t know. If the real political territory matches my perception of things, I think Obama will win handily. If the people are more polarized than I believe, then Romney could still win in a “too close to call” ending. On the other hand, I can’t tell what the outcome of all the new “James Crowe, Esquire”* laws will have on minority turnout.
*newer and fancier Jim Crow laws.
Bobby Jindal sucks balls. Please take him off our hands. Thank you. Louisiana.
Francisco Bacopa says
Harman Cain is still out there. Why not? Condi is a bad choice. It would be easy to say she was responsible for 9/11 by not reading her briefings and not listening to Clark about Osama. I must point out that Obama has the hawk position. Osama is dead GM is alive. Republicans have proven they can neither prevent terrorist attacks, nor retaliate against them.
He needs someone with credibility, and he probably won’t pick a woman just because Palin will echo in people’s minds for a while. What about Colin Powell?
While, AFAIK, Colin Powell still considers himself a Republican, I suspect he wants little, if not nothing, to do with the party or politics.
Plus, he endorsed Obama in 2008.
My guess is it’ll either be Walker or Pawlenty. Maybe Rubio. Maybe maybe Scott. I doubt many notable names want to be on the ticket even if Romney asked. Partly because many don’t like him, and partly because they think it likely Obama will win again and they’d rather prepare for a shot in 2016 than be embarrassed this year.
lol India had so many lousy politicians, we exporter Jindal and Haley to USA.
Pawlenty would be a good strategic choice. He’s bland, comes across as moderate, and people outside Minnesota don’t know what a douche he is. He wouldn’t help Romney win Minnesota, though.
I hope he does pick Jindal. At the very least, that will be a death-knell to the Romney campaign. Worst possible outcome is that Jindal is no longer Governor, and in a useless job.
I’m with #39 – TPAW!!!!! WHOOOOO!!!
It was difficult to type that. Tim Pawlenty is so incredibly (and intentionally) boring that he’s the only one who can make Mittens the least bit interesting. The deathly dull duo would make the tea party happy but the swing voters would leave in droves (and the dems need that to balance out vote suppression efforts and judicial tie breaking(bush v gore)).
Lynna, OM says
Mitt Romney not only waffles on evolution, he also waffles on abortion and women’s rights.
Rachel Maddow recently provided context, history, and several examples of Romney endorsing bans on all abortions, including abortions for women who were impregnated during rape or incest.
Lynna, OM says
I posted this some time ago in The Endless Thread, but I think it’s worth taking another look. Romney’s plans for education unfortunately sync fairly well will that Jindal has already done in Louisiana.
A lot of educators have been bemoaning Mitt Romney’s plans for dealing with education after a few billionaires buy the presidency for him, but Diane Ravitch presented the most succinct evaluation in The New York Review.
I really wish that the New York Review of Books would make the entire article by Diane Ravitch available to the public. You have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing.
Lynna, OM says
Mormons and evolution. Sigh. As with most things that require thought and are reality-based, mormons want to have it both ways when it comes to evolution. Most of them would dearly love to be creationists, especially when it comes to the human race, but they know that won’t fly in the real world, so they look for ways to obfuscate, to say they agree with scientists but that scientists don’t know everything, to do some creative pole dancing around the iron rod that is the Book of Mormon, and, above all else, to maintain deniability when it comes to pronouncements by the Prophet.
Occasionally, the mormon General Authorities are let out in public where they say what they actually think. As does Apostle Russell M. Nelson in this speech given in April of 2012 — the anti-science is presented at about 28:30. I don’t know if you can survive if you watch up to that point.
Nelson spends a lot time detailing the divine provenance of everything associated with the human body, including eyes, the ability to reproduce, and healing by virtue of obedience to divine law.
He segues into a discussion of the Big Bang (with much supportive laughter from the audience) at about 35:50. Elder Nelson’s speech clearly refutes evolution, and then goes one step further to misunderstand Big Bang Theory.
Lynna, OM says
More Mormon Moments of Madness that cannot be denied because they have been preserved. This looks like an official stance on evolution:
Here is Steve Benson’s tale of leaving the mormon church. His research on the Mormon Church’s official position on the theory of organic evolution is recounted in detail, including interviews with mormon high-and-mighty apostles. http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon173.htm
Pawlenty does have the Republican economic program down pat: borrow a shitload of money to give the illusion of prosperity, make sure the bills don’t come due until after your term ends, then blame the ensuing budget shortfall on Democrats and use it as an excuse to cut spending.
Lynna, OM says
Right. Playing somewhat the same tune, Romney’s “rescue” of the 2002 Olympics required more taxpayer money than the seven previous U.S.-based Olympics combined. Romney and his team just buried the taxpayer-money story and highlighted instead the Romney-to-the-rescue-on-his-white-horse story.
You will note that Romney did not really use his supposed skills as a businessman to rescue the Olympics. Unless you count sucking money out of the federal government as a business skill. And even then you’d have to take into account the amount of taxpayer money that went to mormon cronies, cronies who provided services or goods at inflated prices.
Lynna, OM says
Paul Ryan has been mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential pick. An article in The New Yorker might make one pause before seconding that opinion. Excerpt below.
Lynna, OM says
Whoops, forgot the link for the article about Paul Ryan.
Does it normally take this long to pick a running mate, or is he just having trouble with giving an American a job for a change?