Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently urged his Republican Party to “stop being the stupid party.” In order to win elections, he also advised Republicans to reject anti-intellectualism. While this sounds like an excellent step forward, it will depend on their interpretation of “stupid” and “anti-intellectualism.”If you will remember, the signing of that bill resulted in the law of unintended consequences taking effect. First, the Society of Comparative and Integrative Biology packed up its tent and moved its annual meetings to utah. Then the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology asked the Louisiana legislature to repeal the law, New Orleans CityBusiness wrote that the bill's passage has hurt business in the state, and then, the coup de grace, Livingston Parish elected to test the limits of the bill by attempting to introduce creationism into the school curriculum. Louisiana became persona non grata in the scientific world and the whole escapade reminded your average voter that the anti-science problems that the GOP hav historically had, have not gone away.
This is the same Jindal who, in 2008, signed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which also sounds good on the surface. The act allows local school boards to approve supplemental materials for public school science classes as they discuss evolution, cloning and global warming.
Though marketed as support for critical thinking in classrooms, the law was actually designed to open the door to teach creationism and scientifically unwarranted critiques of evolution in Louisiana public school science classes.
The GOP must take a hard pro-science position and integrate it into its platform, so that when people hear the views of congressman Paul Broun, who won re-election handily, they will recognize them for the dreck that they are.