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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Bobby Jindal Mocked on The Tonight Show

By Phil Plait

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Bobby Jindal. He’s the governor of Louisiana, and until Tuesday was one of the countless people running for president under the GOP banner.

He is not exactly a steely-eyed promoter of science, just as I am not exactly a fan of his. So I was pretty happy to see him roundly mocked by Jimmy Fallon and Aziz Ansari on The Tonight Show last week:

The best part happens starting at 2:09, where they flay him for his anti-science views. I loved it, not only because it’s so well-deserved, but also because it saves me from doing it myself.

Oh, who am I kidding? Let me add a little bit here.

Jindal came to national prominence in 2009 when he was chosen to give the GOP rebuttal to a speech by President Obama about a stimulus package. He mocked the government for spending money on something as silly as volcano monitoring. Who could disagree with that? I mean, c’mon, how could anyone want to spend money on researching potentially huge natural disasters that might significantly destroy a large part of a state and kill thousands of people? Certainly that’s not something the governor of Louisiana could possibly endorse.

Over the years he’s rarely missed an opportunity to stomp on the Constitution that he took an oath to uphold. For example, he signed the blatantly terrible “Louisiana Science Education Act” into law, which allows creationism to be taught in public school (lest you think I exaggerate, Jindal admitted that’s what it does). This is a patently unconstitutional law, and every year hero-of-science Zack Kopplin has fought to get it repealed, but every year the creationists and other fundamentalists in the Louisiana government uphold it.

Unshockingly, he’s also a climate change denier.

So, yeah. Happily, his chance of getting the GOP nod for president was always essentially zero, and now is identical to it. That’s good. Even better, he won’t be governor of Louisiana much longer; term limits means he’s out next January after an election later this month. Perhaps once he’s out of power, the damage he’s done can start to be reversed.

If so, then this too shall pass. Still, I hope history remembers him for all these outrageous and ridiculous stances … and also as the guy who said the GOP “must stop being the stupid party.”

Tip o’ the pistil to Ryan Bays.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the GOP primary.

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