Friday, May 12, 2006

Are They Embarrassed Yet?

Jacob Weisberg, whose article on gas prices I talked about here, pans Kevin Phillips new book here, which I previously mentioned here. (Is that enough heres?) Among the reasons Weisberg thinks that Phillips is overreacting:

The appearance of extremism on issues of church-state separation and stem-cell research has helped dig a deep hole for the president and his party, alienating secular and libertarian Republicans uncomfortable with the revival-tent atmosphere. And evangelical power appears to have peaked. Since the Terri Schiavo debacle, the religious right has mainly embarrassed itself by battling evolutionary theory. Phillips doesn't recognize any of this.
Would that everyone saw things this way. One thing I've learned about watching creationists is that they completely lack a sense of shame.

I wonder if maybe it's Weisberg who has it wrong, that while the anti-evolution crusade looks dumb to most educated people, it plays well with the masses. After all, we don't see too many politicians paying a heavy price (as they should) for attacking science. But then again, we saw what happened in Dover, when the school board was completely swept out of office for its tomfoolery. But that may have less to do with embarrassment and more to do with pragmatism.