Lightning Round: Spinning in Our Graves.

  • Here's another depressing entry in America's continuing descent into intellectual stupor, with 15 to 20 percent of high school biology teachers giving lectures on "creationism" instead of the foundations of modern biology. Look, this isn't hard. Teachers can acknowledge the "controversy" from the outset, and explain that this is a science class, not theology. It would actually be a great opportunity to explain the difference between scientific and philosophical inquiry. And while we're on the subject, I would fully endorse a philosophy of religion course for high school students. "Winning the future" requires, you know, mastering the past.
  • To this day, I have no idea what the concrete goals of the Tea Party "movement" are, which is probably one indication that comparing them to the abolitionists, the suffragists, and civil-rights movements doesn't make any sense. I suppose it's a form of progress that the Tea Partiers are cognizant that these movements -- controversial in their own time -- are now broadly accepted facts of American life, and thus worthy of emulation, but that does not alleviate the basic confusion arising from the question, "What the hell do the Tea Partiers want?"
  • In today's edition of Irresponsible 2012 Election blogging, we learn that Rick Santorum is spinning his crushing 2006 Senate re-election defeat into early-state primary conservative bona fides: "It's not like I ran to the middle. I was going out and talking about things that probably caused me to lose more." He was being "authentic," see, and not worrying about what the rest of the non-conservative American electorate thinks. Since it's not entirely inconceivable that Santorum could win Iowa, we might get to see this theory put to the test.
  • Remainders: "An alternative to suggesting that the D.L.C. was not all that successful, however, may simply be that it was not all that important"; perhaps if there was more voter mobilization among the poor, the GOP wouldn't have as easy a time being the party with pathological contempt for the poor; Ron Paul uses a monetary policy hearing to legitimize crank libertarian theories; and House Republicans go all in to redefine women as subhuman baby-making machines.