A whuh?!? Can it possibly be true?Yes, I hear you asking that, and I can see your drop-jawed, dumbfounded look of woozy shock right through this monitor. Pick your jaw off your keyboard, and brace yourself, because it really is true.
I'm a politics dork, and I'm okay with that.
Anyway, one of the functions of a politics dork is that I moderate an old-fashioned Motet forum or "world wide web chat room" (remember those?) - called the New Cafe Politics Forum. The forum is old and only has around 20 or so participants who "chat" with any regularity, but I still go back to it because it's one of the few places I get to interact on-line with real, honest-to-God right wing nutjobs. And no one can ban me . . . because I'm the moderator.
At any rate, during a discussion not long ago in our "Is the Reagan Reich on the Verge of Collapse?" thread, we got off-topic, as we often do, and came to a discussion about public education. We were discussing the advisability of private school vouchers paid for by taxpayers . . . an idea so stupid that even the Wrong Wingers in Indiana seem to have understood that it can't work. But don't get me started, this post isn't about vouchers.
"We know Dave," you're saying, "so far it doesn't seem to be about much of anything."
It was during this discussion about vouchers that one of our looniest loons at the NewCafe, a god-awful, evil right wing wacko who goes by "Liz"-almost certainly a pseudonym- made this comment:
Get rid of all public schools and put competitive private schools in their place. WE will all save money and the kids will actually learn something.Now I read "Liz's" completely lunatic comments and was about to come up with some pithy response, or ignore it . . . when I was struck by something that made me do a double-take.
I was like:
Wait a minute, did this crazy bitch just advocate dismantling all public schools in their entirety? WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!So I looked back again, as you can now, and see:
Nope, she ain't kiddin. She means it - we should dismantle all public schools. So I was thinking to myself:
Does this completely insane teabagger have any fucking clue of what she's actually implying?And of course, she doesn't. She doesn't know what it would mean to lay-off hundreds of thousands of teachers nationwide and push them all into religious or other private schools. She has no fucking clue that huge swaths of the population can't afford private schools; that private schools are more expensive than public schools; nor is she, nor could she ever be aware of every other relevant fact that would illuminate how utterly schizoid an idea like "eliminating public education" is . . . to say nothing of the fact that it's illegal. The simple fact that just about anyone with a High School diploma can teach at a private school never entered her mind. And surely "Liz" either doesn't know or doesn't care about the fact that millions of children would likely be cut out of schooling altogether.
(If you're lucky enough not to know this "Liz" person as an online persona, you'll just have to trust me. She really doesn't know what the fuck she's talking about.)
Now this was just one small spark of a comment in an ongoing volcano of crazy, but it got me thinking.
How the hell did we get to the point that advocating for totally dismantling public schools - a nihilistic "burn it to the ground" approach that would obviously solve nothing - can be considered by some to be a perfectly reasonable and rational approach to the discourse on education?You'll note in the screen shot provided that her right wing friend, "Senator Lampoon," doesn't even bat an eye, or in any way attempt to back away from "Liz's" ridiculous, insane suggestion.
Nope, this kind of nihilism is simply par for the course now in
IT'S NOT JUST EDUCATION OVER WHICH THESE TEABAGGERS HAVE GONE COMPLETELY NIHILISTIC!!
Enter State Senator Jane Cunningham, who may or may not be some sort of teahadist right wing muppet, from St. Louis County, Missouri. This insane person sponsored a bill in the Missouri State Senate, referred to as SB 222:
SB 222 – This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed. Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ.Well gosharoonies, it kinda sounds like State Senator Muppet is proposing that Missouri eliminate all child labor laws! But that couldn't possibly be-WAIT HOLY SHIT!
SHE IS PROPOSING TO ELIMINATE ALL CHILD LABOR LAWS!!!
Good news, Timmy! You don't have to go to school today, because today you'll be making dresses at Uncle Billy's Garment Factory!!I don't know what's more frightening about these nihilistic proposals . . . the initial Jesus Fucking Christ shock of "Are these people for real?-" or the creeping nausea and disgust that comes with the understanding that "Yes, they are for real."
Oh but I'm not being fair. Some crazy lady on a small, out of the way chat-room and one virtually anonymous State Senator from Missouri does not a "trend" make.
But wait, there's more!
ThinkProgressUh, yeah, Senator Insaniac. I guess you're right, I guess I would agree that suggesting that laws against child labor are unconstitutional is "a little bit harsh. . . " ummm . . . except for that "little bit" part. That's the part with which I might take issue, as saying that federal laws against child labor are unconstitutional isn't "a little bit harsh," it's completely fucking insane.
. . . . In that case, the Supreme Court acknowledged something very interesting — that, as reprehensible as child labor is, and as much as it ought to be abandoned — that’s something that has to be done by state legislators, not by Members of Congress. [...]
This may sound harsh, but it was designed to be that way. It was designed to be a little bit harsh.
So if Senator Mike Lee - (Teabagger, UT) says that the Feds shouldn't be messing around with child labor laws, and State Legislators like Senator Jane Cunningham - (Batshit Nuts, MO) want to repeal STATE child labor laws . . . ummm . . . . who exactly should be responsible for ensuring that children aren't working as slave laborers for pennies a day? After all, these are the very people who have made it a fairly mainstream RepubliCon opinion that the minimum wage should be abolished! But lemme guess, Senators Lee and Cunningham aren't exactly running to sign up their children for a non-minimum wage job. I would be willing to bet that's something they had more in mind for other people's kids.
But it doesn't even stop there!
Meet Maniac Judson Philips. This maniac is the President of the Tea Party Nation, one of the largest organizations in the disparate web of crazy known as the Tea Party. It was the Tea Party Nation that recently organized the National Tea Party Convention and paid Sarah Palin $100,000.00 to speak. I ain't shitting you, this Maniac, Judson Phillips, recently came out in favor of returning to the days when only landowners could vote:
"The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who got the right to vote. It wasn’t you were just a citizen and you automatically got to vote. Some of their restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of them was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community."Talk about tearing down one of the bedrock principles of democracy! This is weird for me because I had always been told that even if you're not rich, you still get to participate in a democracy, which is what makes is a democracy and not a plutocracy or oligarchy.
But this really is just a taste of the Right Wing train of nihilism.
Some nihilist nutbags in South Dakota got together and decided to propose mandatory gun ownership.
John Yoo, of all the torture-approving assholes, recently opined in the National Review regarding the Teahadist movement to repeal the 17th amendment, which provided for the direct election of Senators:
There’s a lot of truth to the argument that the enactment of the 17th Amendment undermined federalism. State legislatures have a greater institutional incentive to protect federalism than do the people of a state. The people of a state may want to expand federal program spending in order to get their share of tax revenues, even at the expense of greater national power over issues reserved to the states.It's a convoluted argument of which I can make no sense . . . kinda like legalizing torture.
Senators Diaper Dave Vitter (R-LA) and Prodigal Rand Paul (R-KY), apparently to show that they really do hate the Mexicans, have proposed ending birthright citizenship, a very old and uniquely American legal tradition that was enacted in the 14th Amendment back in 1868. Apparently for Paul, coming out against the Civil Rights act just wasn't going far enough.
IMPORTANT POINT: Can you imagine any of this craziness making it into mainstream political discourse just five years ago?
These people don't just want to go back to the 1950's, they want to go back to the 1850's if not the 1550's! Shit like this makes the union-busting efforts of Governor Scott Walker - WI, Mitch Daniels - IN, John Kasich - OH, and Chris Christie - NJ, look like pleasant jaunts through the Rightwingistan Park.
In their nihilistic drive to destroy anything and everything that might counter their ideology, the
And this is why political dorks like me pay attention to this stuff, so that hopefully, we can keep ourselves and those around us informed what exactly these insane fucking know-nothing right wing jagbags have in store for America, if they get their way.