Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the (political) water….
The New York Times, American Constitution Society and other media have recently highlighted David Barton, a character I encountered back in my days at the ACLU. Barton has spent decades providing phony “historical” ammunition to the “Christian Nation” folks, the ones who populate Fox News and the 700 Club insisting that there really isn’t such a thing as separation of church and state. When it looked like the culture warriors were fading, I assumed he and the other historical revisionists had retreated into whatever strange places they inhabit; apparently, that was wishful thinking. According to the Times, Barton is the “favorite historian” of several of the current GOP Presidential aspirants.
Something tells me Barton and his ilk also have the ear of our would-be Governor, Mike Pence–a man who has never experienced humility or doubt, nor let inconvenient historical evidence shake his serenely theocratic worldview. Pence was the lawmaker who–when he wanted to strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over some of his favorite culture war issues–explained that Marbury v. Madison had been wrongly decided. (For those of you hazy on your history, that was the case that established the right of the Supreme Court to have the last word on whether an act of Congress was consistent with the constitution. And I won’t say it’s been established law for a long time, but the “Madison” of the caption was James Madison). Take that, all you smarty-pants law professors and judges!
With Pious Mike as Governor, Indiana can complete that trip back to the Dark Ages we just began with the most recent legislative session.