Pharyngula

It’s all connected

Huckabee may not stand a chance of winning a presidential nomination, but he can still make his pernicious influence felt.

Next year the Texas State Board of Education will be writing the science curriculum standards for Texas public schoolchildren, and Huckabee may bring enough conservative fundamentalist voters to the polls on March 4 to swing the balance of power on the board to the supporters of creationism. “If Huckabee marshals the religious right in Texas, particularly in North Texas, it has profound implications for the state board,” says Kathy Miller, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), an Austin-based advocacy group whose stated goal is to “counter the religious right” in public policy issues, particularly education.

Not mentioned in the article is a potential counterbalance: a lot of moderates and liberals are strongly motivated in this election cycle to boot the bozos out. At least in Minnesota we saw a tremendous surge in DFL participation in the caucuses — there are a few sensible moderates and liberals left in Texas, right? And 100% of you are going to get out and vote, right? You’d better. Complacency is not allowed.

Comments

  1. #1 Glen Davidson
    March 3, 2008

    Yes, if anything the motivation trends are toward increased Democratic turnout at the polls, not people voting for Huckabee’s moribund candidacy. Not that he’s no threat, for he gets people to vote for him no matter that he has no realistic chances at all, so you are going to get some anti-science voting that way.

    But the real fight is between Obama and Clinton. I just hope that those coming out to vote for either of those are motivated and knowledgeable about the threat to Texas education.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  2. #2 Michelle
    March 3, 2008

    Let’s hope things go well for the kids of texas.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    March 3, 2008

    It is shocking to see such a well done piece in that rag, TIME, but yes it is real.

    However, the counter effect you mention could backfire, over the medium to long term (see this.)

    The idea is that Obama draws off moderates from the Republican party, essentially purifying it. That could be bad too.

  4. #4 Holbach
    March 3, 2008

    Hey, maybe while the Huckster is talking to a bush and
    waiting for it to start burning, a giant Burmese python
    will crawl out and grab the moron while he’s still in
    Arkansas, crush and swallow him, and then crawl over to
    the Texas side and shit him out. Then you can say that
    both the snake and Huckabee did their bit for Texas.

  5. #5 Matt Penfold
    March 3, 2008

    Is it not time to Americans to consider removing the right to set the curriculum from school boards ? Surely the people who decide what gets taught should be teachers, experts in the field and employers. School boards would still have job to do, such as deciding on the number places needed in each school, opening and closing schools to accommodate demographic changes etc, but the idea someone with special understanding of a subject is in anyway qualified to decide what gets taught seems to me to be insane.

  6. #6 Holbach
    March 3, 2008

    I just watched the comedy in Rome for the sixth time and
    am still in tears. What a hoot! We needed that video to
    counter the baby bible bashers! The pope comedy is funny
    and watchable over and over, the other one is downright
    pathetic and hard to view in multiple pukings.

  7. #7 zer0
    March 3, 2008

    If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain. I plan to keep on complaining.

  8. #8 Hank Fox
    March 3, 2008

    I grew up in Texas, and I have a different take on all this.

    It really looks to me like the main reason Obama and Clinton are getting about 10 times the aggregate donations, and 3-4 times the voter turnout over McCain is BECAUSE the GOP had a lock on government for the past 8 years or so.

    It just might turn out that the GOP’s own successes killed it as a viable party for the next ten years or so. We saw what they did, we learned what they really wanted, and we discovered we wanted no part of it.

    The same thing would happen in Texas.

    I suggest everybody just back away and let the godders have the Texas schools, let them have the government, let them take it all. Let them turn it into a fundamentalist Christian homeland if they want. But keep a list of the leaders and top pitchmen as the thing progresses.

    Give it ten years.

    Once the fundie-educated generation grows up and starts hunting jobs, and finds they’re virtually unemployable in any position paying better than minimum wage …

    … publish the list on Texas highway billboards and say “These are the people who did this to you and your kids.”

    I’d pay to see what would happen next.

    And Texas would be a cautionary tale for other states, and the world, for a generation.

    Why waste our caring, our energy, our big intellectual and activist guns on people who hate truth itself? Let them have what they want, and let them find out where it leads.

  9. #9 Hipple, Rev. Paul T.
    March 3, 2008

    I can see a True leader like Rep. Tom Tancredo getting out the Christian vote on that one, but not someone like Pastor Gov. Mike Huckabee, or Capt. Sen. John McCain, the darling of the liberal MSM.

    Pastor Gov. Mike Huckabee lacks credibility with Texas Christians–and most other Good Christians–because of his soft positions on illegal immigration and the Bombing of Mecca and because of his crooked teeth.

  10. #10 BrainyBiotch
    March 3, 2008

    My state scares me.

  11. #11 James F
    March 3, 2008

    #8
    Hank,

    Here’s the problem, from Greg Laden’s blog:

    Texas has a state-wide school board. This means that when it comes to textbook adoption, Texas is the largest single customer, and thus, traditionally, Texas has determined the fundamental nature of textbook production in the United States for years.

    As satisfying as it would be to see the (mis)leaders “get theirs,” the sheer number of our fellow Americans affected by this means we can’t ignore it.

  12. #12 raven
    March 3, 2008

    Texas is already a National Sacrifice Area for the ideologues of the Theocratic party. The state has higher rates of poverty, child poverty, and teen age pregnancy than the national average. This is despite floating on vast amounts of money due to $103 barrel oil.

    As long as fundies want to wallow in ignorance and poverty, nothing will change. Not a choice many of us would make but that is one reason why we aren’t living in Texas.

  13. #13 BlueIndependent
    March 3, 2008

    Hank, as much as I am with you in spirit, the fact is letting them get an inch means some way they’re going to get a mile. Also, the fundies will undoubtedly scare away the smart people in Texas, and then there won’t be any billboards pointing out the problem because everyone mostly agrees with the fundie garbage.

    It’s kind of like (but of course not totally analogous to) the argument for more prominent political parties in the US. Sure, we can have anywhere from 3-5 political parties that are viable. But with each existing party the fundies gain more opportunity. They can always turn out their cretinous base and get that 20+1% to take a very important election, and get their chosen messiah into office on the backs of other more moderate, more intelligent opposition.

    As James points out, Texas appears to be the California of school texts books. They drive things, and having a fundie school board in the second most populous statedetermine what my children (if I had them) might see is not a comforting idea.

    Fundie crap needs to be stepped to anywhere it appears. It’s had millenia to produce good for humanity and has proven time and time again to be an abject failure. Get society to oppose them. At the very least, even if they raise fundie kids, the children will grow up seeing opposition to the crap their parents told them, and some of them are likely to turn for the better.

  14. #14 Phoenix Woman
    March 3, 2008

    Even better: Try running for school board, if you can. Science education wouldn’t be so piss-poor in this country if Pat Robertson and his disciples hadn’t found it so easy to hijack the nation’s school boards.

    And now for something completely different: Male spiders of certain species play dead to get laid.

  15. #15 DrClown
    March 3, 2008

    I will be voting, and I will be passing this on.

  16. #16 Charles Wade
    March 3, 2008

    Meanwhile, over at another blogsite… Jeremy Shere at Earth Sky Blogs just reported some of his views concerning the trailer for Ben Stein’s “Expelled”. He did a very nice job, but already his site is getting comments from pro-IDers. Check it out at http://blogs.earthsky.org/jeremyshere/2008/03/03/ben-steins-intelligent-design-movie/ .

  17. #17 Maria
    March 3, 2008

    I think Huckabee knows something that the public doesn’t know about in regards of this election.He’s very smart. I heard Lincoln won the in Brokered Convention.Just curious,why is it McCain is not excited about campaigning in Ohio or Texas,is he dropping out soon? To tell you the truth,he’s not really qualified to be a Republican.He’s not a true conservative.He’s not totally pro-life and he’s not loyal to America.

  18. #18 Maria
    March 3, 2008

    A vote for McCain is a vote for Obama. I’m not going to vote for McCain because he doesn’t meet my criteria. He’s not a republican.He should have joined the democrat party and run a race with Hillary or Obama.Americans must wake up before it’s too late. If Obama wins,we’re going to pay Global Poverty Act tax.McCain can never win over Obama.Welcome Obama to the White House.My family and I will immigrate to Canada if you win, unless you change your Change attitude.

  19. #19 Emmet Caulfield
    March 3, 2008

    Huckabee said:

    “I am not planning on writing the curriculum for an eighth grade science book”

    Yeah, because if you were, you might have to read one.

  20. #20 blf
    March 3, 2008

    My family and I will immigrate to Canada if you [who?] win, unless you change your Change attitude.

    Please don’t. Canada’s still a nice country.

    And, by the way, you are aware you can’t carry your gun in Canada?

  21. #21 MAJeff, OM
    March 3, 2008

    To tell you the truth,he’s not really qualified to be a Republican.He’s not a true conservative.He’s not totally pro-life and he’s not loyal to America.

    And these are the crazy people we’re supposed to be reaching out to? Can we just give them an island and let them go on their way?

  22. #22 raven
    March 3, 2008

    Maria:

    My family and I will immigrate to Canada if you win, unless you change your Change attitude.

    Maria, please do so. You sound incredibly stupid and the Canadians are just waiting for some dumbness genes to ruin their gene pool. BTW, a conservative in Canada would be considered a liberal in the USA and the liberals would be considered commies.

    I’m sure you can find a lot of people to pay your way out of this country. If we can just get 50 million of your closest friends and you to emigrate to any place we just might survive. And the average IQ will go up about 50%.

    BTW, the word you should use is emigrate, to leave the country not immigrate meaning to enter the country. If you weren’t stupid, you would know this.

  23. #23 MAJeff, OM
    March 3, 2008

    Maria:
    My family and I will immigrate to Canada if you win, unless you change your Change attitude.

    Watch out, Alberta. You might see some wagon trains soon.

  24. #24 raven
    March 3, 2008

    Maybe Huckabee is playing the God Smiting card. McCain is 72 years old. He could drop dead any time. He has already had melanoma twice. Melanoma can be a stealth metastatic cancer. Sometimes a patient shows up with metastatic disease and the primary tumor can’t be found. Quite often these patients have visceral metastatic melanoma and the primary tumor can’t even be found or appears to be an innocuous skin blemish.

    Even if I agreed with his ever changing politics, for an important position like president of the USA, choosing someone that old just seems foolish. We have 300 million people, seems like someone should be qualified to be president who isn’t on the edge of death.

  25. #25 J
    March 3, 2008

    I would bet money that some Huckabee supporters have been saying their death prayers against McCain.

  26. #26 Tom
    March 3, 2008

    Maria–did you think I was stopping you from leaving right now? Well, I’m not, so you’re free to go. Pleeeeeeeease.

  27. #27 Dahan
    March 3, 2008

    Maria,

    No please don’t go to Canada. I have friends that are Canadians. They’re good, decent people who don’t deserve to have to deal with you.

    Actually, on a more serious side. You find McCain and Obama to liberal, so you’re going to move to Canada?! LMAO! OK, good luck with that! We all know how conservative those damn Canadians are. You meant this as a joke right? You can’t be this stupid.

  28. #28 misterbowen
    March 3, 2008

    Maria @17 & 18:

    Maria, you’re a fuckwit. Good riddance to you and yours.

    FWIW, though I won’t be voting for him, I don’t see how it is possible for anyone–even a fucking loon like Maria–to question whether McCain is loyal to America…

  29. #29 Dahan
    March 3, 2008

    Maria,

    Just out of curiosity. If your comment wasn’t a joke, just where WERE you planning on moving that’s more conservative than present day America? The Vatican? Germany circa 1939? Where?

  30. #30 MAJeff, OM
    March 3, 2008

    Just out of curiosity. If your comment wasn’t a joke, just where WERE you planning on moving that’s more conservative than present day America? The Vatican? Germany circa 1939? Where?

    I’m sure Mugabe would welcome some Christian pilgrims.

  31. #31 J
    March 3, 2008

    It’s far worse than that! Have you seen what passes for Canadian cinema these days?

    P.S.: NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!!!!!

  32. #32 blf
    March 3, 2008

    I’m sure Mugabe would welcome some Christian pilgrims.

    I don’t think so. As vile as Mugabe is, I’ve never heard of him having any unusual dietary habits.

  33. #33 JimC
    March 3, 2008

    Ok guys serious question. I am unfamiliar with alot of the candidates on the Texas ballot for state school board and at this late date doing alot of reading to catch up will be tough.

    Does anyone have the cliff notes version on who needs to be bounced to ensure good science ed in Texas?

  34. #34 James F
    March 3, 2008

    JimC:

    Vote for Pat Hardy over Barney Maddox (District 11) in the Republican primary and Mary Helen Berlanga over Lupe Gonzalez (District 2) in the Democrat primary.

    See:
    http://www.texscience.org/documents/sboe-march2008-essay.htm
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/02/texans_of_fort_worth_parker_el.php

  35. #35 kerovon
    March 3, 2008

    Unfortunately, I turn 18 about a month AFTER the primary, so I can’t get out and vote for that. On the other hand, that means I’m close to getting far away from Texas for college, so I will avoid the initial backlash of any stupidity that gets elected in.

  36. #36 Graculus
    March 3, 2008

    My family and I will immigrate to Canada if you win

    We’re all commie pinko tree huggers, we have gay marriage, no restriction on abortion, and universal health care.

    You won’t like it here.

    More to the point, we won’t like you here. We already have enough stupid, we don’t need to import any more.

    <>i>just where WERE you planning on moving that’s more conservative than present day America? The Vatican? Germany circa 1939? Where?

    Saudi Arabia sounds about the *ahem* right *ahem* speed.

  37. #37 MAJeff, OM
    March 3, 2008

    I don’t think so. As vile as Mugabe is, I’ve never heard of him having any unusual dietary habits.

    I was thinking more of his authoritarian brand of christianity. Then again, maybe it’s just his own sense of messianism.

  38. #38 JimC
    March 3, 2008

    Thanks James F

  39. #39 uncle noel
    March 4, 2008

    There are more than a few sensible moderates and liberals in TX. Just not 51% in the contested districts (OK – not 51% almost anywhere in the state). These are local races in conservative, i.e.,ignorant, areas. They may win their primaries.

  40. #40 James F
    March 4, 2008

    So far, so good, folks. Huckabee conceded!

    It’s still early, but both Pat Hardy and Mary Helen Berlanga are winning their primaries. I’ve got my fingers crossed that not one, not two, but three creationists will have been knocked out tonight.

  41. #41 Jason
    March 12, 2008

    Meanwhile, over at another blogsite… Jeremy Shere at Earth Sky Blogs just reported some of his views concerning the trailer for Ben Stein’s “Expelled”. He did a very nice job, but already his site is getting comments from pro-IDers. Check it out at http://blogs.earthsky.org/jeremyshere/2008/03/03/ben-steins-intelligent-design-movie/ .

    The conversation is still going. An incredible genius by the name of HJ posted a collection of half thoughts beginning with, “I would think someone who hundreds of million followers, had his book on the best sellers list for over 1900 years and friends killed, because they wouldn’t deni him. I would call that more than a mere existence.” He seems to be misunderstood about a lot of other things as well.