Patsy Jindal

by John Derbyshire

What do I have to say about Louisiana Governor Jindal signing the Louisiana Science Education Act? Very little more than I said here back on June 20.

Whether or not the law as signed is unconstitutional per se, I do not know. I do know, though — as the creationist Discovery Institute that helped promote the Act also surely knows — that the Act will encourage Louisiana local school boards to unconstitutional behavior. That’s what it’s meant to do.

Some local school board will take the Act as a permit to bring religious instruction into their science classes. That will irk some parents. Those parents will sue. There will be a noisy and expensive federal lawsuit, possibly followed by further noisy and expensive appeals. The school board will inevitably lose. The property owners of that school district will take the financial hit.

Where will the Discovery Institute be when these legal expenses come due? Just where they were in the Dover case — nowhere! What, you were thinking that those bold warriors for truth at the Discovery Institute will help to fund the defense in these no-hope lawsuits? Ha ha ha ha ha!

Helping to defend creationist school boards in federal courts is not the Discovery Institute’s game. Their game is to (a) make money from those spurious “textbooks” they put out, and (b) keep creationism in the news so that they don’t run out of lecture gigs and wealthy funders. So far as those legal bills are concerned, Discovery Institute policy is: Let the dumb rubes fund their own stupid lawsuits.

Or, as the Discovery Institute’s John West put it in an interview with a New Orleans news service:

“This bill is not a license to propagandize against something they don’t like in science,” West said. “Someone who uses materials to inject religion into the classroom is not only violating the Constitution, they are violating the bill.”

See, the Discovery Instutute does not want any Louisiana school boards bringing religious instruction into science lessons. Heaven forbid! They would never encourage that. Absolutely not! Why, that would be wrong.

All they do is encourage state legislators to pass, and clueless governors to sign, laws that tempt local boards to unconstitutional behavior. The sucker school boards are then on their own, stuck with spending their taxpayers’ dollars on the defense of hopeless lawsuits. But, you know, the Discovery Institute had absolutely nothing to do with it. Nothing! Not a thing! All they did was offer some mild support to a perfectly harmless bill. Heck, they didn’t even lobby the Governor. From that same news story:

At the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that promotes intelligent design and backed the new education act, senior fellow John West said he and his colleagues did not directly lobby Jindal.

The creationists have pulled off their little stunt once again, and Bobby Jindal has been their patsy. I know there is a pro-Jindal factor among my colleagues here on The Corner, and I’m not stepping on toes for the fun of it. I must say, though, I can’t see voting into national office a guy who is duped as easily as this into acting against his voters’ interests. I’d prefer that my President or Vice President not be such an easy mark for a gang of sleazy confidence tricksters.

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