Texans: get out and vote (Huckabee edition)

By Phil Plait | March 3, 2008 3:00 pm

I may have mention the dangerously deranged Mike Huckabee in a post or two in the past. Amazingly, even though he literally cannot win the nod to be the Republican candidate for President, his influence far exceeds his grasp.

It is being theorized that he may bring far-right religious people to the voting booths as a way for them to express their dislike for McCain (one of the few things I agree with them on, though perhaps for different reasons — and I’ll have more on this soon, oh yes I will). Because of the goofiness that is Texas politics, this means that the school board elections may be swayed; getting more fundamentalists to the polls may make it easier for creationists to lie make their way onto the board. This has national ramifications, as Texas has a big influence on textbook sales.

PZ has more, as does Time magazine.

Bottom line: REALITY-BASED TEXANS, GET OUT AND VOTE TOMORROW, and vote on the school board!


Comments (24)

  1. Christian X Burnham

    Districts 2 and 11 in TX get to vote.

  2. Christian X Burnham

    I think our biggest problem is lack of publicity. Many people aren’t aware of the vote- so let’s upmod this story on Digg and Reddit. It might be worth a few more votes.

  3. Christian X Burnham

    Some info for district 2 voters (which includes Corpus Christi) can be found in this article:


    The vote will be on electing a member to the State Board of Education, which determines text books used in TX schools.


    Lupe A. Gonzales wants to stop teachers from teaching science by insisting that the sound scientific theories of evolution be taught alongside creationism.


    Mary Helen Berlanga wants to ‘leave God out of science’. Not because it promotes atheism, but because religion has no place in the science class.

  4. Christian X Burnham

    For district 11 voters

    A good article can be found here:

    Bad: Barny Maddox.

    They don’t get any nuttier than this. A urologist who thinks that Charles Darwin’s theories are ‘fairy tales’. Wants to keep abstinence-only education and is in favor of displaying the Ten commandments in state schools.

    Good: Pat Hardy

    Hardy is a religious conservative, but recognizes that religion should not be taught in the classroom.

  5. Christian X Burnham

    A good general article from Wired which explains what’s at stake:


  6. tacitus

    I wish I could but, alas, even though I live in Texas, I am not a US citizen. Mind you, since I live in Austin, I doubt there are many fire-breathing creationists around my neck of the woods.

  7. Michael Lonergan

    While I don’t agree with Huckabee or his Fundie followers, you get what you deserve if you don’t get out and vote. The right wing evangelical vote is very organized and will get their way if no one counters them at the voting booth.

  8. Not my district.

  9. Christian X Burnham

    With respect, it may not be your district, but we can all raise some awareness (e.g. by Digg, Reddit and other media). This is a situation which could affect us all- not just those in TX.

    Most of us have been treating this as an SEP (somebody else’s problem). We should have been writing letters to newspapers or organizing a campaign, or doing something. I’ve been as lazy as anyone.

    If that’s too much, then just send some money to the ACLU.

    Don’t just brush this off as a local issue in TX. It could have a knock on effect on the textbook industry nationwide.

  10. Ryan Young

    As a Texan whose IQ surpasses retarded country bumpkins infesting our legislation, I shall do my duty with vigor and gaiety.

  11. Quiet Desperation

    I shall do my duty with vigor and gaiety.

    OK. Just don’t forget to vote with all that going on.

  12. Ryan Young

    plus our biology dept. is rife with group-selectionists. which makes me very quezzy.

  13. baley

    Gotta love texans :s

  14. Shelly

    To all Texans:

    The vote that is critical is the Republican primary. You must vote for


    Pat’s a Republican that has kept the fundies at bay. He’s in a true fight right now.




  15. Aerimus


    There was a post up a second ago that yes saying that there are “fire-breathing creationists around my neck of the woods” and gave some example, but the post was deleted. I’m assuming it was due to language, since there were some choice words in there that reflected, well, poor word choice…

    @Michael Lonergan

    Huckabee at one time also had the support of a lot of younger, or libertarian aligned folks too, particularly with his support of the Fair Tax, but early on, that was all glossed over and just considered to be part of his evangelical support (and I know a few people who did support him who would not take to kind to being lumped into that group). But I think of lot of that has faded over time, partly due to his religious rhetoric getting more aggressive.

    Christian mentioned Pat Hardy in one of his post and added a little blurb. That’s a fair assessment of my political incline. I’m religious and I’m conservative, but I think that the school is no place for teaching religion, except in the since of a comparative religion course where the goal is to explain the belief in the religion and how those religions have shape history.

  16. StevoR

    Please Americans, you’re repuation overseas eg. here in Oz is already bad enough without making things worse by voting yet again for morons!

    Minor typo nitpick BA – & I know I’m terrible with typos & grammar myself – but :

    “I may have mention the dangerously deranged Mike Huckabee … ”

    should be

    “I may have *_mentionED_* the dangerously deranged Mike Huckabee …”

    shouldn’t it?

    Hope that helps.

    It never fails to astound me how a group of people smart enough to land on the Moon and send probes like ‘Voyager’ out of our solar system a national culture that has produced the likes of Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan & NASA can be silly enough to fall for the likes of Huckabee – & “Shrubya” Bush so often .. :-(

  17. StevoR

    Christain VX Burnham wrote above :

    “… Bad: Barny Maddox.

    They don’t get any nuttier than this. A urologist who thinks that Charles Darwin’s theories are ‘fairy tales’. Wants to keep abstinence-only education and is in favor of displaying the Ten commandments in state schools.”

    A urologist!!!??

    A qualified Urologist = a doctor – medically trained in the waterworks area …no?

    & this nutter doesn’t believ in basic biology …

    … How the heck did he qualify for his job?

  18. StevoR

    Argh! Typos -please BA give us away to edit here, please!

    Sorry -make that : Christian X Burnham

  19. StevoR

    From the web-blinked Star_telegram article the BAlinked before :


    “… But Kelly Shackelford, president of the Free Market Foundation, which describes itself as an organization that promotes Judeo-Christian values, said the Texas Freedom Network was needlessly pushing the panic button.
    He said that putting another strong conservative on the board would help build a firewall against “liberals who use schools to push their political propaganda.” He said the board’s conservatives typically protect against the insertion of potentially erroneous material into textbooks. …”

    WHAAAA_AAATTTT!!!??? Erroneous material like, say, creationism?

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at such hypocrisy.

    “… District 11 covers about three-fourths of Tarrant County, plus all of Ellis, Johnson and Parker counties. There is no Democrat running for the position.

    No Democrat running – Why not?

    Is Texas really so stupid that they can’t find an intelligent person to compete in the great democracy as opposed to this all Retardican party field? ;-(

    R.A. Dyer reports from the Star- Telegram’s Austin bureau. 512-476-4294

  20. Tom Marking

    It seems like Maddox got beat by 20 percent so it was not close:


    RACE NAME: Member, State Board of Education, District 11
    Patricia “Pat” Hardy – Incumbent 58,867 59.08%
    Barney Maddox 40,761 40.91%
    Precincts Reported: 572 of 572 Precincts 100.00%

    The other creationist, Gonzalez, also lost by a wide margin:


    RACE NAME: Member, State Board of Education, District 2
    Mary Helen Berlanga – Incumbent 93,844 58.42%
    Lupe A. Gonzalez 66,786 41.57%

    So, as I suspected all along, the creationists did not even come close. The Huckabee factor did NOT materialize in Texas as predicted. He got blown out by John McCain. So can we get a post “dedoomifying” Texas, please? We are NOT the hick, chewing-tobacco state some of you have envisioned.

  21. Aquaria

    //No Democrat running – Why not?

    Is Texas really so stupid that they can’t find an intelligent person to compete in the great democracy as opposed to this all Retardican party field? ;- //

    The issue has been a point of contention for many years now in Dem circles, nationwide. It *is* depressing and disheartening to open a newspaper and see dozens of Republicans running unopposed in “small” offices across so many states (it’s not just Texas)?

    This is a failure of the Democratic party at the national and state levels. But especially the national. The party stopped supporting the lower tiers of candidates well before I got involved with Dem politics at the local level, and that was in the late 70s. Anyway, it’s been a longtime problem, and one Howard Dean resolved to fix when he became head of the DNC. He’s said that he wants the Dem party to contest every race, every time.

    This is a smart policy.

    1) Not challenging any race frees up campaign money for the other team’s party. This is why the Republicans have done so well at the national and state levels. They’re not having to send all their $ downstream for the dogcatcher elections. That means they can divert money to troubled campaigns elsewhere, or pour more money into higher level races. Yeah, it costs you money to run some “piddly” office’s campaign, but not making the other party spend money deeper into the ballot is just plain stupid, and political suicide. You have to starve the beast. And the beast for the Republican campaign strategy is money, money and more money.

    2) Getting people elected at the local level gives a party’s candidates experience for the next step up the political ladder. It’s all fine and good to wake up one morning and decide to run for state rep, but the reality is that you will be at a serious disadvantage as a campaigner against a more experienced pol. The voters will also be warier (justifiably) about your inexperience. It’s just an ugly fact of life that someone who has experience in even a small office will have more trust from voters about being effective in office–and never mind how experience as a campaigner will enable him to know better how to exploit an opponent’s weakness. Again, not grooming candidates for higher office from the ground up is just plain stupid, and political suicide.

    My advice to anyone who can’t understand why the Dem party is so F*@#ing annoying and seems to shoot itself in the foot so often is to get involved with your local party. First, you’ll understand why it’s so messed up (the blue-haired ladies will be the first clue). And second, you can’t do anything to change it if you don’t get behind the curtain. Only from the inside can you can do something to change it. It ain’t easy. I’ve been at this game a long time, in different states, and I swear the experience proves I’m a masochist. Or an eternal optimist. But you can’t do anything sitting on the sidelines, belly-aching. You just never know when you’ll make a difference.

  22. Tom Marking

    “Is Texas really so stupid that they can’t find an intelligent person to compete in the great democracy as opposed to this all Retardican party field?”

    Based on my experience with past elections it seems that once you get past the first two pages of the ballot there are no more Democrats to be found, at least in Texas. They seem to contest only the top jobs. In fact, for some precinct and county positions in Texas you will often find a Republican running against a Libertarian with no Democrat at all. Truly pathetic that the Libertarian Party can field a candidate but the Democrats can’t. And if it’s intentional policy then I agree that it is political suicide in the long term.

  23. Sharolyn Brackins

    Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…gets solved properly asap.


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