Bobby, We Hardly Know Ye, But We Damn Well Better
I was sickened reading Michael Gerson's clinically insane profile of Jindal that Digby linked to. I'll focus on just one sentence:
Jindal has the ability to overwhelm any topic with facts and thoughtful arguments -- displaying a mastery of detail that encourages confidence.Oh, really? Confidence? We talking about this Bobby Jindal?
...in an essay Jindal wrote in 1994 for the New Oxford Review, a serious right-wing Catholic journal, Jindal narrated a bizarre story of a personal encounter with a demon, in which he participated in an exorcism with a group of college friends. And not only did they cast out the supernatural spirit that had possessed his friend, Jindal wrote that he believes that their ritual may well have cured her cancer.Just what the world needs: Another seriously disturbed world leader. People, this is the kind of extremism that begs comparison with the likes of Osama bin Laden, and Jindal does not come across as the more rational of the two.
Reading the article leaves no doubt that Jindal -- who graduated from Brown University in 1991, was a Rhodes Scholar, and had been accepted at Yale Law School and Harvard Medical School when he wrote the essay -- was completely serious about the encounter. He even said the experience "reaffirmed" his faith.
But of course, Jindal doesn't stop with exorcism. He's also a creationist whose grasp of science is alarmingly stupid:
don’t think students learn by us withholding information from them. … I want them to see the best data. I personally think human life and the world we live in wasn’t created accidentally. I do think that there’s a creator. … Now the way that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness.This is called by those in the biz "teach the controversy" creationism, ie the notion that since there's a controversy over evolution, public schools should teach "intelligent design" creationism as well as evolution by natural selection. There's just one teensy weensy problem with this position: there is no controversy over evolution.
And Gerson thinks this clown shows a mastery of detail and uses "thoughtful" arguments! (Oh, how that word has been perverted by the right wing; I've seen defenses of the KKK described as "thoughtful.")
Clearly, an ignorant, unstable extremist like Jindal belongs nowhere near the levers of political power. Equally clearly, Michael Gerson has no business foisting his deranged opinions from the pages of a major metropolitan daily. We need to remember this, folks: despite the enthusiasm with which once-respectable media treat these people, modern conservatives are not responsible actors. They should never be taken seriously for to do so is dangerous: see Perle, Richard and the Bush/Iraq War.