Dodd Receives Endorsement, and Needed Boost to Campaign

The Democratic race has felt like the top four in terms of the national polls are virtually written in stone with everyone else barely registering. The question today is whether a major endorsement will give Chris Dodd the attention he needs to increase his support. As it isn’t even Labor Day yet, there certainly is plenty of time for the dynamics of the race to change. Four years ago the endorsement from the firefighters helped Kerry, but there were also many other factors which contributed to Kerry’s victory. It is premature to evaluate Dodd’s chances, but at least this endorsement gives his long shot candidacy more credibility. The Washington Post quoted IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger:

Schaitberger said Dodd won the union’s support because of an unmatched record over 30 years of “carrying the water” for the union in Congress. But equally important, he said, is his union’s belief that Dodd has the leadership skills to keep the country safe during an era of terrorist threats.

“We believe Chris has the experience we need right now in a pretty tough world,” he said in a telephone interview.

Schaitberger said he and his members were not daunted by the long-shot character of Dodd’s candidacy. “Yes, right now he’s not polling,” he said. “It would be facetious to suggest anything else. But I don’t think the polling is worth spit.”

Schaitberger said firefighters play an integral role in communities across the country and, perhaps more significantly, understand the caucus process in Iowa “better than all the highly paid Washington types.”

Hillary Clinton also received a union endorsement from the United Transportation Union.

Texas is Doomed

The creationists never give up. After the Supreme Court ruled that creationism cannot be taught in the schools they first tried to rename it as intelligent design. They ran into legal problems in Dover, and political problems in Kansas as the IDiots were voted out of office. PZ Myers believes that they have a new strategy which might be in use in Texas.

If the creationists cannot convince enough people to drop creationism their next plan is to embrace the word “evolution” but redefine what it means. On the surface it would appear that the recent decision by the Texas school board not to include intelligent design in science classes is a victory. If Myers is right, the evolution they will wind up teaching is not actually evolution:

It’s a cunning plan to sow confusion, which is ultimately all the Intelligent Design creationists are good at. If state education standards mandate instruction in evolution and if the laws of the land make teaching Intelligent Design creationism illegal, well, they’ll adapt and teach “evolution” … it’s just that this version of “evolution” flouts the ideas of experts, ignores the evidence, misrepresents the theory, and promotes a role for design in “evolutionary” history.

It’s an interesting tactic. Simply write a very bad book about evolution, market it appropriately, and find enough ideologically motivated science teachers to use it, and they will have effectively continued their efforts to subvert science education in this country. After all, the successful court challenges to block creationism in the classroom have done so on the basis of their violation of the separation of church and state, not so much on their quality and competence; propagating awful science is probably constitutional.