Qualified by the usual caveat, of course. He won’t say which theory he favors (beyond acknowledging some unknown role of the creator), but clearly he’s sufficiently sold on ID that he thinks it merits being laid in front of kids as an alternative to evolution. Which is a dodge, really, in the same way that the Truthers’ irritating “just asking questions” defense is a dodge: It uses the spirit of free inquiry as a way to avoid the threshold question of how credible any theory has to be to end up in the curriculum. Doubtless there are far left parents (and far right, per the Paulnuts) who wouldn’t mind seeing competing theories of 9/11 taught in history class so that kids can “make up their own minds,” but that ain’t likely to happen. Or actually, given the orientation of teachers’ unions, maybe it is. Stay tuned!
The politics of this issue are convoluted — majorities want both evolution and creationism taught, but roughly twice as many voters are less likely to vote for creationist politicians than more likely — so Jindal’s non-answer is the safe way to play it. But can we please, at least, lay off the federalist rhetoric he uses here until it’s settled whether ID violates the Establishment Clause or not? It’s a fine conservative idea that local school boards should have more power than state boards or the DOE, but constitutional violations are constitutional violations all the way down the chain, federalism or no. Jindal surely knows that too, which I guess makes that his second dodge.