Creationism and the Campaign for Texas Governor

THE madness infecting the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) has found its way into the governor’s race. We first wrote about that here: Texas SBOE Now in Governor’s Race.

Now it seems that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White is going to make the SBOE’s behavior a continuing part of his campaign against Gov. Rick Perry. Therefore we’re watching this race — but only because of The Controversy between evolution and creationism.

Here’s Bill White’s campaign website. You already know who Texas Governor Rick Perry is — he appointed Don McLeroy — the creationist dentist, to be chairman of the SBOE. That’s like appointing Dracula to be in charge of the blood bank.

Today, in the Dallas Morning News, we read White derides education board’s actions. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White on Friday joined in the criticism of the State Board of Education for its version of new curriculum standards for history and other social studies classes.

Speaking to several hundred teachers, White attacked Gov. Rick Perry and his appointed chair of the education board as he called for a new direction in public education in the state.

Our usual inclination would be to favor the GOP, but we’re wary these days because of the stupidity and theocracy that’s been taking over the party. All we know about White is that he’s a Democrat and he’s blaming Perry for the behavior of the SBOE. And we see here that he’s doing what Democrats usually do — appealing to school teachers (and presumably their union, if such exists in Texas). Let’s read on:

Referring to the months of heated debate over the curriculum standards, White said, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a governor who appointed a State Board of Education chair who understood that you ought to leave the curriculum to professionals?”

It would be good, not “great.” We also want a governor to be acceptable on a wide range of other issues. To be candid, the typical democrat candidate these days couldn’t get your Curmudgeon’s vote — not even by pandering to our concern for science. We continue:

“Help me tell the rest of the nation that Texas is better than some of the actions taken by our State Board of Education,” White said in urging teachers to support him at the annual convention of the Texas State Teachers Association. The association has endorsed White in the governor’s race.

Aha. It looks like there is a teachers’ union in Texas, and White has their endorsement. How unsurprising. Is there anything else in this article to interest us? Not really. The rest of it is the usual campaign stuff, for example:

The Democrat also repeated his criticism of the Republican governor for not doing more to stem the student dropout rate.

That’s typical political babble, bashing the opposition for things that no governor can do much about.

So what do we think of Bill White? At this point, not much. But we certainly share his dislike of the SBOE.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Creationism and the Campaign for Texas Governor

  1. Bill White: “Wouldn’t it be great to have a governor who appointed a State Board of Education chair who understood that you ought to leave the curriculum to professionals?”

    I agree that it would not be “great” if the governor’s position on other issues undermined it. But ironically restricting science class to subjects that has earned the right to be taught is the “conservative” thing to do, while having taxpayers pay to teach pseudoscience that students already can learn on their own time is the “liberal” thing to do.

  2. Frank J says:

    But ironically restricting science class to subjects that has earned the right to be taught is the “conservative” thing to do …

    Don’t try to be clever in Texas. It’s either Noah’s Ark or the gallows. Take your pick.

  3. How can you search for news and write these things everyday? I would think you have another job. Is this your favorite hobby?

    Sincere question. I am deciding to start a blog, but my plan is for posting once a week.

  4. A couple of things about “pretty boy” Perry: He maintains that the drop-out rate in Texas schools is about 10% while experts say it is more like 35%. At least he could admit there is a problem and ask the school system to attempt some improvement.
    In his first state budget proposal (I think it was the first) he set all lines items to zero. He apparently preferred not to let the legislature know his preferences in advance so that he could then shoot down theirs.

    Bill White is said to have taken a shrewd, businesslike approach in his term as mayor of Houston. Houston has term limits, and he served up to his term limit. I live in a small suburban town adjoining Houston on the south, so we aren’t affected by much that goes on there. However, I did think he was a good guy. On the other hand, I’m a liberal Democrat so what do I know?

  5. G.E. says:

    I am deciding to start a blog, but my plan is for posting once a week.

    Give it a try; it seems that everyone else is. There are over 100 million blogs out there. But unless you’re famous or you post something new every day on an interesting subject, don’t expect much of of a following. Yes, it takes time. But the bloggers I know seem to fit it into the rest of their lives. It all depends on how well you can manage your time. Go for it. If it works, fine. If not, that’s okay too.

  6. James M. Skipper says: “I’m a liberal Democrat so what do I know?”

    Hey, if you’re happy, stay with it.

  7. Curmudgeon: “Don’t try to be clever in Texas. It’s either Noah’s Ark or the gallows. Take your pick.”

    Oh, I think they – Don “big tent” McLeroy at least – are “liberal” enough to accommodate Michael “reading the Bible like a science text is silly” Behe and his Discoveroid family.

  8. G.E.: “Sincere question. I am deciding to start a blog, but my plan is for posting once a week.”

    If you’re not famous or post anything new or interesting every day, being a curmudgeon might help. 😉 Also, avoid claiming that you bring good things to life.

  9. Really, since Kinky Friedman dropped out of the race, there’s no-one worthwhile to vote for.

  10. G.E.
    if your content is compelling, a non-daily approach can work… an example from my favorites list would be Steve Wells’ Dwindling In Unbelief, which is usually worth the wait.

  11. skmarshall says to G.E.:

    if your content is compelling, a non-daily approach can work.

    That’s true, but such blogs are the exception. A good example is Panda’s Thumb, which doesn’t post new articles daily, but the content is always worth a look.

  12. Thanks for the encouragement.

    I sure will give it a try and acquire better time management skills in the process.

  13. retiredsciguy

    G.E., as an alternative to starting your own blog, you might consider finding an existing blog you like and become a regular contributor to the comments. I can highly recommend “The Sensuous Curmudgeon”. Seems as though he has a community of intelligent, thoughtful, witty, etc. regulars.

    Curmy, you do a great job of policing the loonies out.

  14. retiredsciguy says:

    Curmy, you do a great job of policing the loonies out.

    In the bloom of my cyber youth, I used to visit a website that didn’t keep them out. Eventually they overtook the place and now they keep sane people out. The lesson is simple: No toehold, no takeover.

  15. retiredsciguy

    “The lesson is simple: No toehold, no takeover.”

    Thank you, oh Great Curmudgeon, for all your efforts!