McCain and Jindal

By Phil Plait | July 23, 2008 10:56 am

I’m getting email that John McCain is stopping in Louisiana in an unexpected move, and rumor has it he’ll be chatting with the antiscience ID-supporting creationist exorcist Governor of that state, one Bobby Jindal. Jindal is considered to be on McCain’s shortlist of vice-presidential candidates, which all by itself is an excellent reason not to vote for McCain.

If you want more info on Jindal and why he would be a disastrous VP, then start here, and then search the blog for more posts about this guy.

Comments (63)

  1. Doc

    Actually, I hope McCain does pick Jindal for his VP. That would push the moderates away and be a serious boon for Obama.

  2. crunchyjell0

    I agree with Doc, McCain already has all of the christian fundamentalists and lunatics voting for him. Picking Jindal as his VP would only push the moderates to vote for Obama.

  3. Justin

    He won’t get picked. Jindal has too much baggage even for the republicans.

  4. Russ

    Jindal makes baby jesus cry…

  5. MattGS

    Basically, yes. Picking Jindal could potentially strengthen Obama. But it’s a bit like Russian Roulette. If you lose, you LOSE. Please do the right thing, America.

  6. Jose

    Why does this site always take such an anti-idiot stance? Where’s the balance?

  7. Rose

    Love that picture of him – he has the same “monkey-faced” look as Dubya.

  8. Russ

    Just got the news, it won’t be Jindal! Hooray!

  9. RL

    Its been reported all morning (for hours at least) that Jindal withdrew his name from any VP list being created.

  10. You know, Jindal’s stance on ID is really really dumb. But you have a tendency to let that obviate everything. He is, by all accounts, doing a good job in rebuilding Louisiana. I oppose ID and creationism with every fiber of my being, but I don’t think it should the end-all, be-all litmus test of every politician everywhere on everything. If I were presented with a political candidate with whom I agreed on everything except, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat. Jindal would be running for Vice-President, not Dictator. With a Dem Congress and zero actual power, his ability to implement ID polic is statistically zero.

    It’s reasonable to oppose McCain or Jindal or the GOP in general. But I tire of these, “He supports ID! He’s evil!” memes.

  11. KC

    Jindal announced Wednesday that he doesn’t intend to run for VP on McCain’s ticket.

    Shrug. Different people have different litmus tests. If they want to make ID that test, well, it’s a free country.

  12. redx

    “If I were presented with a political candidate with whom I agreed on everything except, I’d vote for him in a heartbeat. Jindal would be running for Vice-President, not Dictator.”

    So he wouldn’t be running for Cheney’s job then? :)

    A litmus test is useful, because it tells us other things than just the test results. Sure the paper turns red, but that’s not the big issue. If the paper turns red, you probably should pay a bit of attention handling the stuff and be careful with it around metal.

    He believes in magic. He believes that creationism by other means should be taught to children in school, even though it has no relevance to actual science. He is uninformed about reality, and likely chooses his ignorance due to his faith and party.

    He supports ID. He’s probably wrong about a lot of other issues I care about. He probably won’t make science a priority.

  13. Daffy

    Once again we see that there are people who will vote for ANYONE simply because they are a Republican. Litmus test? Give me a break…how much more of a litmus test can you get than, At-Least-He’s-Not-A-Democrat?

  14. Joseph Hillenburg

    Phil, you’re a smart guy, but can you please stay non-political? There are plenty of us who are socially moderate, scientifically literate, but are conservative in other ways and do not agree with the pandering to Obama that occurs in scientific circles. I think you’ve been reaching in many ways in your attempts to lambast McCain. He’s not really associated with many of the causes you’ve been trying to suggest.

  15. Duane

    Feel free to start your own blog. Good luck!!

  16. This a bit OT but should only warrant a short answer… How is the Vice President candidate for each party chosen in the USA? I understand the primary elections picking the presidential candidate, but is there a democratic process to pick the VP candidate, or is it at the whim of the presidential candidate with lots of prayer that he doesn’t pick a total wanker?

  17. Chip

    Joseph Hillenburg Says: “Phil, …can you please stay non-political? There are plenty of us who are socially moderate, scientifically literate, but are conservative in other ways and do not agree with the pandering to Obama that occurs in scientific circles.”

    i.e.
    Phil, could you please wear a powdered wig and please don’t use that new fangled “telescope” Mr. Galileo keeps peering through. He misinterprets the infallibility of the heavens with so-called markings upon the lunar surface and handles on Saturn. Scoff scoff !

  18. I’m not American, but seriously, I’m going to miss Bush. I mean, who, on the current ticket can speak English so eloquently? “Turrist”, “nurklar” and other words of awesomeness.

  19. RL

    Evolving squid: The answer is that the presidential candidate picks the VP candidate for his/her party. It’s often seen as a sign of their judgement.

    In the old days, before the 12th amendment, the number two vote-getter (electorla college votes) was VP. This sometimes led to trouble when they did not get along.

  20. Nrojb

    Hillenburg,

    where is the name Obama mentioned in this blog entry? Where does it say that McCain shares Jindals views? I read that McCain may choose him as a VP and that he is stopping to meet with him. Jindal is a certified nut. At least the white house probably has plenty of spooks to excercise.

  21. JohnW

    “I understand the primary elections picking the presidential candidate, but is there a democratic process to pick the VP candidate, or is it at the whim of the presidential candidate with lots of prayer that he doesn’t pick a total wanker?”

    I do believe the choice is “vetted” by the convention delegates, but that’s pro-forma. It’s pretty much whoever the Presidential candidate picks.

    For a week or so there, I thought the move to the Discover Magazine was going to mean less or no politics, Phil. I’m glad that’s not the case. But…

    I love how McCain even considering Jindal is grounds to vote against him, but going to a racist America-hater’s church for 20 years is just fine for Obama! At-Least-He’s-Not-A-Republican!

  22. madge

    If McCain gets in I have an awful feeling the world will look back on the Bush era as some kind of golden age (shudder) Please America do the right thing this time. And Phil….you keep blogging whatever you feel the need, the want or the whim to blog: Astronomy, science, critical thought, religion, humour, politics, WHATEVER. We are right behind you. Onward and upward ALL THE WAY! :)

  23. Law Mom

    The litmus test for me is not whether the candidates are Christian, or creationist, or IDers. The litmus test is whether they will force their personal beliefs down my children’s throats by teaching them in school that these mythologies are true. Jindal fails that test, sorry.

  24. RL

    Even though the blog page has “Discover” in it, I’m starting to wonder if this really the Huffington Post instead. Sheesh.

  25. Duane

    Look at it this way: If I don’t like what I read here, I can always “Discover” other blogs!

  26. Quatguy

    Keep up the good work Phil. Your choice of posts is good enough for me to keep coming back for more.

    Law Mom…I agree with you 100%

  27. Jose

    @ Joseph Hillenburg
    Phil, you’re a smart guy, but can you please stay non-political? There are plenty of us who are socially moderate, scientifically literate, but are conservative in other ways and do not agree with the pandering to Obama that occurs in scientific circles. I think you’ve been reaching in many ways in your attempts to lambast McCain. He’s not really associated with many of the causes you’ve been trying to suggest.

    McCain may not be actively involved with promoting things like ID, but he’s willing to turn a blind eye to them in order to garner votes. That’s pandering, and it could have a direct negative effect in the scientific community and everyone else in the world.

    Scientists supporting Obama because he supports science is not pandering.

  28. KC

    So far Phil strikes me as leaning to the left, plus I get the impression that he considers ID and AGW to be make or break issues. That’s his right and this is his blog.

    It’s also, apparently, not objectionable to Discover, and keep in mind this isn’t the same as sanctioning these views. It merely means that it doesn’t find them objectionable. Whether or not readers do as part of their litmus test is another thing. Different strokes for different folks.

  29. Quiet Desperation

    I still don’t like either candidate. McCain is Bush2 and if even half of Obama’s plans get implemented, the federal government will collapse into a gravitational singularity and take our GDP with it.

    The only person who can tax his way to prosperity is a King.

    And I’m real sick of “Do the right thing” when it actually means “Agree with me”. You know where you can stick *that* condescension. Sheesh! I almost want to vote for McCain out of spite. Well, no, not really… ;-)

    Chip: Your response to Joseph Hillenburg made zero sense. Joe described himself as moderate, so you equate him to one of Galileo’s persecutors? Huh?

    Squid: The presidential candidates (and their team) pick a VP, in theory, to “balance” a ticket. If the P candidate is strong in the south and west, they make pick a VP candidate that appeals to the north and/or east. You savvy?

    Daffy: And there are people who will vote for anyone because they are a Democrat. Or a Libertarian. Or a whatever. Your point?

    Jose Says: Why does this site always take such an anti-idiot stance?

    Heh heh. :-)

  30. KC

    Jose:

    This is politics. When it’s appealing to groups we don’t like it’s called pandering. When it’s appealing to us, it suddenly becomes responding to the voice of the people.

    Why yes, I’m am a cynic. How did you know?

  31. Scientists cannot afford to remain apolitical when science itself is a hot-button political issue.

  32. Jose

    @KC
    This is politics. When it’s appealing to groups we don’t like it’s called pandering. When it’s appealing to us, it suddenly becomes responding to the voice of the people.

    Why yes, I’m am a cynic. How did you know?

    I don’t know what Obama believes in his heart about science. Maybe he’s pandering to the scientific community, maybe he isn’t. But that’s not the accusation. The accusation is that the scientific community is pandering to Obama, which is just silly.

  33. KC

    Well, yes, it is silly. I’m sure some scientists will vote for McCain, some for Nader, some for Bob Bar, and some for Obama. You might have some organizations pandering to specific candidates who they think will be elected. That’s part of politics, too, and I don’t know if the science community plays that game or not.

  34. Chip

    Quiet Desperation Says:
    “… Your response to Joseph Hillenburg made zero sense. Joe described himself as moderate, so you equate him to one of Galileo’s persecutors? Huh?…”

    Actually I referred to a powered wig, (an adornment more associated with the fashion after Galileo’s time,) and the conservative reactions to Galileo’s telescope, (which is associated with Galileo’s time,) both in the response as comical indicators of narrow-minded conservatism, the latter with a touch of pompous self-righteousness.

    To me, “moderate” is Phil saying whatever he wants on his blog without interference. That’s moderate. But to be even handed, I also find many of your posts senseless – and motivated by pompous ideology I don’t share – so in terms of mutual senselessness, I’m sure we’re even.

  35. Davidlpf

    Once politicians started getting envolved in trying to tell scientist what they can or can’t investigate they open the doors the other way.

  36. Trebuchet

    Jindal wasn’t a viable VP candidate anyhow, at least not as a Republican. He’s a Roman Catholic, an asset in Louisiana but a fatal flaw in the rest of the Bible belt. He was born a Hindu. And he’s other than white. None of which should in any way disqualify him, but if the idea is to regain the trust of the religious right so they’ll support McCain, he’s not the guy.

  37. MattGS

    @Quiet Desperation:
    “And I’m real sick of “Do the right thing” when it actually means “Agree with me”. You know where you can stick *that* condescension.”

    Nice. Vote for whoever you like, but accept the consequences of it. As long as your politics affect the rest of the world (wars, destabilisation of the Middle East, soaring oil prices …) we have every right to judge you. Deal with it.

  38. justcorbly

    Squid: Each party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees are selected by a vote of the delegates at their conventions. The delegates are selected by each state’s party organization (50 states, 50 sets of rules).

    In the modern era, many state party organizations hold primaries. Other states hold caucuses. The winning candidate acquires the “pledged” vote of that state’s convention delegates.

    Party rules, i.e., not the law, typically require a delegate to vote for the candidate he or she had been pledged to — on the convention’s first ballot. After that, they’re up for grabs.

    Candidates for president and vice president are placed in nomination and the delegates vote. In the modern era, the presumptive nominee names a VP candidate and the delegates all dutfully line up and nominate that person.

    Because most of what happens during a convention is governed by party rule and not the law, and because a convention can rewrite rules, things can get interesting, in theory at least.

  39. Some level of science literacy, rationality, and respect for such are to me absolute litmus tests for someone to be president, as is a track-record of not picking people without those qualities for jobs of responsibility. We’ve already suffered through eight years of an administration that filled posts based on loyalty rather than merit. Someone without an understanding of eight-grade science, as Huckabee put it, isn’t qualified to have any job that requires an understanding of science at more than a middle-school level. Presidents make policy all the time that requires scientific understanding, and competent advisors (assuming they’ve even been appointed) are not always enough. McCain has put himself on the losing end of this issue with his superstitions and pandering. I don’t think Phil is playing politics or right vs. left here so much as being an advocate for science/reason and demanding our would-be leaders give it more than superficial lip service.

  40. Daffy

    MattGS:

    You have to understand (and I am quite serious), we are just coming out of many years of Republican rule, where even the slightest criticism of the (Republican) government was (and is) regarded as unpatriotic, if not down right treasonous. They don’t just object to other countries criticizing…they object to ANYONE criticizing. Dissent is to be silenced.

    And for you Republicans about to answer this, let me just tell you: I came out against Bush’s war from the very beginning (earlier, actually), and received 2 death threats, and dozens of variations on “traitor” for my trouble. The rest of the country may have forgotten all that. I have not. You people are scary.

  41. Jindal has now said he will not be the running mate. So in Bizarro-Republican-opposite-universe, I guess that means he will.

  42. Steve

    Why does everyone refer to it as you republicans or you democrats like everyone within the party agrees with each other or their party leaders?

  43. Davidlpf

    Jindal will probably be the kiss of death for McCain, I do not think either Obama or McCain can screw up the ecomony any more then Bush.

  44. SLC

    The saddest part of Jindal is that he has a degree in biology from Brown, Un. I understand, however, that he never took a course from Ken Miller.

  45. Kurt

    With Jindal on the ticket Obama will easily lose.
    There are people all over the south and up to Virginia with car signs that say ” Jindal for VP”.
    Talk about CHANGE- An Indian American with an accent that has done a lot of good for people- economy, taxes etc.
    His views on creationism are wrong. But if you are a one issue voter than be it. And do not tell me that “oh but this will affect his policy decisions”. They will not. Jindal will NOT let his views get in the way of policy decisions any more than Obama/Rev. Wright’s views will.

  46. James Schend

    It would be better of Phil would start a second, political, blog so those of us who only want to see science stories on the RSS feed can. Frankly, and no offense to the guy, but I don’t want to read political opinions, and if I did there are already 40,000 blogs out there with nothing but. In addition, it’s not like creating a new blog is labor-intensive, it’s like 4 fields to fill out in your blog software.

  47. James, if Phil started a second political blog it would be inconvenient to the majority of us that like seeing all the posts in one spot. As far as RSS feeds go I think you’d be safe ignoring a story labelled “McCain and Jindal”. Anyway everything comes back to politics eventually.

  48. You Americans have to vote for Obama. He shoots baskets and scores. He is sporty. Everything else is inconsequential (Yeah, I know McCain plays golf but he probably doesn’t play on a public course). He’d be elected in a heartbeat in Australia… well maybe not, like most of your Democrats he probably leans too far to the right. ;-)

  49. Pisces

    Although he liked to paint himself as a maverick Republican, McCain seems to become more like members of the current administration as November draws closer. He was a MAJOR supporter of the Iraq invasion, and recently has been cozying up to the religious right. From what i’ve seen of interviews he has no practical working knowledge of science, diplomacy or finance.
    This seems common to most of our recent Republican presidents who are merely talking heads for the party’s agenda. IMO Dubya gets too much credit…he certainly isn’t smart enough to cause all the trouble he has….It took a whole administrative team to frack things up to the point that they are today. If McCain got elected i don’t think you’d even notice the difference….a different puppet would be doing the talking…..the same people would be operating the strings.

    I’m not a Democrat….but it seems to me they are the free thinkers. If Obama is elected i think HE will be president….i don’t believe anyone’s putting words in his mouth or forcing his decisions. And he seems like a pretty smart guy too. Imadgine…..a pres who isn’t a dummy! What a concept! Still, ya gotta wonder….if Al Gore had run again……

  50. Jose

    Jindal will NOT let his views get in the way of policy decisions any more than Obama/Rev. Wright’s views will.

    I don’t know if his creationist views will have an effect on his policy. What I do know is that his creationist views show he’s an idiot. If he fails to see how laughably stupid his position is on this one issue, how can I trust him on other issues.

  51. Quiet Desperation

    Chip: I also find many of your posts senseless – and motivated by pompous ideology I don’t share

    Dude, I don’t even *have* an ideology. I judge every issue on a case by case basis using as much skepticism as I can bring to bear. You’re just seeing me through the filters of your own ideology. That would make the most rational ideas seem senseless to some.

    There’s also the possibility that you mistook some of my obviously (or I at least I think they are obvious) posts for serious ones. Happens all the time. The intertoobs is full of people very full of themselves.

    For example, I don’t *really* think Obama will cause the federal government to collapse into a gravitational singularity. Honest.

    I figure dense neutron material at the very worst. ;-)

    MattGS: we have every right to judge you. Deal with it.

    You know, I *did* put a smiley at the end of that paragraph. Deal with yourself.

    Shane: He’d be elected in a heartbeat in Australia…

    Nah. people would think he’s an abo.

    Smiley for the humor impared —-> :-) See it? See the smiley? Right back there. Go look again. I’ll wait.

  52. Quiet Desperation

    It would be better of Phil would start a second, political, blog so those of us who only want to see science stories on the RSS feed can.

    Although I am firmly in the “Phil can post what he darn well wants” camp, that’s *not* a bad idea for the RSS feed. It might lower the level of whining.

  53. TSFrost

    I can NOT believe we still get people complaining when Phil posts something not of interest to them. I mean, how hard is it to just skip over certain topics? The heading to this post is “McCain and Jindal”. It’s a good guess it’ll be somewhat political. I for one have zero interest in any Doctor Who posts. So I quietly pass over them without so much as a “stick to astronomy.”

    As for the politics, I am disgusted that once AGAIN, I’ll only be voting for the lesser of two evils, instead of a candidate I actually support.

  54. MarkW

    The fact that people are complaining about Phil being left-wing just (to me, and many non-US visitors I would imagine) simply demonstrates how far to the right political discourse in the States has swung.

    On a European scale, I would put the Democrats as centre-right, the Republicans as hard-right. You don’t have a left-wing in USA politics as far as I can tell. Having said that, we don’t seem to have a left-wing party in UK politics any more either.

    But then I guess I’m just a pinko commie lol.

  55. MarkW

    Oh yeah, and I forgot to add: I strongly suspect that any politician here in the UK that openly espoused creationism/ID would thereby immediately make themselves unelectable.

  56. Lawrence

    I, for one, would just like to get someone in office that shows a little common sense – because over the last eight years (and then some), I’ve seen almost none.

  57. MattGS

    @Quiet Desperation:

    Telling me to stick my “condescension” somewhere and putting a smiley a couple of sentences later does not make it “humorous”.

  58. justcorbly

    If Jindal is on the ticket, he will be portrayed as Dan Quayle redux, with reason. In addition, Jindal’s appeal to the GOP base — his looney views — is precisely what will repel the rest of the country, who at this point have never heard of him.

    McCain needs to pick an energetic, dynamic personality. His choices are limited because politicians with national ambitions are going to think twice before joining an almost certainly losing effort.

  59. “…and rumor has it he’ll be chatting with the antiscience ID-supporting creationist exorcist Governor of that state…”
    “…Jindal is considered to be on McCain’s shortlist of vice-presidential candidates, which all by itself is an excellent reason not to vote for McCain.”

    So by going on rumours and possibilities you have used this opportunity to write a screed against republicans. One might have thought that it would be a little more honest to actually wait until a republican VP is nominated but that would mean passing up on the chance to rake the muck.
    By the way:

    “I’ve got the job that I want,” Jindal said. “I’m not going to be the vice president. I’m not going to be the nominee.”
    - Bobby Jindal, from the sources you cited but did not read

    So the guys says that he’s not going to be a VP nominee, he could change his mind but that sounds pretty final to me. I love your science/sceptical writing but I can’t stand the political shilling.

    Mark

  60. John Phillips, FCD

    What I find amusing is the number of people who complain about Phil’s political posts yet if they bothered to read his ‘about’ piece on the right of the page they would see that his major interests and aims include fighting against the misuse of science and those who are anti science. Jindal has already proved that he is anti science with his so called academic freedom bill in his state thus this post is perfectly in line with Phil’s stated aims for his blog.

    You always have the option of ignoring the posts simply from the title. After all, it was fairly obvious even to a non USAian like myself what a post titled McCain and Jindal was likely to about. Thus, for instance, I am not and never have been a fan of Dr. Who, it just never appealed to me from the very first series in the 60s, even though I am generally a huge SF fan. So when I see a post with a title indicating that it is about Dr. Who, unless I have a lot of time to waste, I simply skip them and move on to something that interests me more. Obviously a really difficult concept for some.

  61. Quiet Desperation

    Telling me to stick my “condescension” somewhere and putting a smiley a couple of sentences later does not make it “humorous”.

    Aww… you poor thing.

  62. MattGS

    Why? I don’t feel bad.

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