The Tea Party’s Campaign For Mass Stupidity Promoted By Fox News

The Tea Party movement has never been confused with Mensa, the high IQ society. In fact, there have been numerous studies that rank Tea Partiers at the bottom of the intellectual scale, particularly those recently elected to congress. As a group they dismiss the findings of science on matters as diverse as climate change and evolution. And they are skeptical of academics and Ivy Leaguers whom they regard as out-of-touch elitists.

So it is in keeping with their aversion to education that they are now leading the fight against a set of teaching principles developed to insure that K-12 students are prepared to enter college. And predictably, Fox News is only too happy to advance their crusade for national ignorance.

Fox News - ObamaCore
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The target of the Teabaggers’ ire is a program called “Common Core State Standards,” a bipartisan project endorsed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Notice that both organizations are state-based reflecting the focus on local development and implementation.

Nevertheless, right-wingers are enraged by baseless allegations that this is just another federal boot on the throats of sovereign statehood. Not only is there no evidence to support such charges, the facts explicitly reject them. This is easily discovered with a little research, something these Teabaggers would be able to do if they were better educated. The web site for Common Core clearly rebuts their imaginary fears on a page debunking the myths:

Myth: These Standards amount to a national curriculum for our schools.
Fact: The Standards are not a curriculum. They are a clear set of shared goals and expectations for what knowledge and skills will help our students succeed. Local teachers, principals, superintendents and others will decide how the standards are to be met. Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms.

On another page of questions and answers about the program, concerns about its management and paranoia related to records are put to rest:

Q: Does the federal government play a role in standards implementation?
A: The federal government had no role in the development of the Common Core State Standards and will not have a role in their implementation. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort that is not part of No Child Left Behind and adoption of the standards is in no way mandatory.

Q: Are there data collection requirements associated with the Common Core State Standards?
A: There are no data collection requirements of states adopting the CCSS. Standards define expectations for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. Implementing the CCSS does not require data collection. The means of assessing students and the data that results from those assessments are up to the discretion of each state and are separate and unique from the CCSS.

Well then, that should settle the matter. And if you think it does, then you don’t know how severely delusional these conservative conspiracy freaks are. Glenn Beck has called this the most important story in history. He has resolved to keep his children from attending college in order to avoid being “marked” by the system that he says is “scary.” He sermonized at length about it on his video blog, warning his disciples that…

“We have, I think, about twelve months to get Common Core out of our system. Our goal should be by the time school starts in the fall of 2014, it’s completely dead. That’s my goal.”

But it isn’t just conspiracy theory peddlers like Beck (and Alex Jones, and Michelle Malkin) who are panicking over the terrifying prospect of our children getting smarter. Nine U.S. senators, including Chuck Grassley, James Inhofe, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz, composed a strongly worded letter in opposition to Common Core. And the Republican National Committee has taken an official stance (pdf) against it.

Hoping to ignite another fake controversy, Fox News is joining ranks of the anti-education brigades. They dubbed Common Core “ObamaCore” in an attempt to generate the instant animus that their audience has for the President. Ironically, the practice of attaching the Obama prefix to various legislation has actually resulted in Obama getting extra credit for programs that have considerable popularity. Confirmation of the bipartisan support for Common Core is the enthusiastic backing of GOP governors including Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee. The plan has already been adopted in 45 states, with only the wingnut utopias of Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia, lagging behind.

In a peculiar bit of hypocrisy, Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal published an editorial in support of Common Core that was co-authored by Joel Klein, a former New York City schools chancellor who now runs Murdoch’s education subsidiary, Amplify. Suffice to say that their motives may not be purely altruistic. Amplify is an education technology provider that stands to profit from government academic programs.

The coordinated effort to suppress education has received the help of the Koch brothers-funded FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, the ultra-rightist Eagle Forum, the pseudo-libertarian Heritage Foundation, the repugnant John Birch Society, the racists at Stormfront, and now Fox News is tying together all the loose ends. And why wouldn’t they. Their own legacy for advancing ignorance is well documented.

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12 thoughts on “The Tea Party’s Campaign For Mass Stupidity Promoted By Fox News

  1. Since their not-so-bright audience is dying off, fox has to ensure they’ll have viewers later down the road. I’m sure they see this as a worth while endeavor.

    • As the younger, liberal generation get older and wiser Fox will have plenty of viewers forevermore.

  2. “ensure” – not “insure”

  3. Oh Bigtoe… they are NOT dying off… they are still breeding like rabbits. Know what a southern redneck is? The future of the GOP.

    • The GOP has, in fact, relegated themselves to become a regional party; predominantly the southeast region. I’m originally from there and know what trips their triggers. (The southeast isn’t known for its’ sterling educational programs.) But they won’t get elected to national office by remaining a regional party. Fox knows this but they have the only game these people want and so they can market to them because they are gullible enough to believe whatever fox tells them to believe.

      I believe as the societal norms and demographics of the country changes, fox will have to as well or they will simply fade away.

  4. Funny you write about another “fake” controversy when we got our latest yesterday with the NSA stuff – you must be getting pretty frustrated with Barak Obama and his messing up your progressive messaging – getting hard to push the progressive lie to trust government as it is “good” for everyone. It explains the hate so clearly laced throughout this article – you’re getting frustrated that it just isn’t sticking and you’re not making your progress toward a nice collective state where we all have full faith in the government like you. Maybe you should try to convince us limited government types why we should trust it. of course that would be easier if it just would stop doing what’s it’s been doing with the IRS, NSA and whatever other secret stuff it’s doing against the people. You’re losing the argument without even trying – too bad, maybe you should re-evaluate your beliefs.

    • The NSA thing isn’t new, the dragnet has been publicly known since at least 2006 and we’ve been doing it probably since the 70′s. The president isn’t making anything hard, none of these pseudo outrages are real. None of em. Looking into them and learning about them debunks them all, just like mark did here. These are all fox news fulfilling their purpose of existence. Trump up anything that could even be epicly twisted to be in the same league as a scandal and call it obamagate. Defend the right and attack the left any way they can.

      The progressive lie? Progressives want to use government to make life better by adressing society’s problems and to help further the perfection of the union. All we wanna do is clean up the mess left over by a deregulated free market, while also trying to make sure people have the right to healthcare and food. Where’s the lie? Is it in taxes? Is it in selective issues like gun control? Or is the lie you see based in ‘I got mine so fuck off!’? All we wanna do is solve problems caused by voodoo economics and leaving the free market to take stupid damaging risks that fuck everybody but them when it, forseeably, hits the fan. The conservative mantra, greed and apathy toward your fellow American. The way you use the word progressive tells me you’re an avid Glenn beck fan. Don’t talk to mark about hatred buddy, yours is disguised as individualism wrapped up in ‘Why should I care?’ and ‘They do it to themselves so it’s not my problem.’ you hate us cause you think all we want is to take all your money and give it to crackheads. Right? Every time you post anything here it only reinforces the disrespect I have for your side. It doesn’t come from thin air, it grows because of the shit you say man. Who’s responsible for what, between you and me Steve, is an impassible divide? Yours is based on distrust of mine, and mine is based on the belief that yours will just manipulate the system to benefit themselves over actually making this country a better place to live. Are we both wrong? Or am I right and you and all yours have your heads too far up your asses to see that you’re being used by the richest to help keep them rich?

      No matter, your purpose here is to troll and nothing else. You’re just here to shit on liberalism and mark without any attempt at rational or intelligent discussion. I vote you get banned seeing as you’re just here to be a nuisance. I’m surprised mark didn’t ban you back when you, or one of you, called mark a terrorist. I’ll defend my views to anybody, and I do as you can attest, even against mark occasionally. But you aren’t even here for that. You’re here cause you think newscorpse is your toilet. Then again, I’m just desdinova. What do I know?

      • “The progressive lie? Progressives want to use government to make life better by adressing society’s problems and to help further the perfection of the union.”
        Boy, have you drunk too much of the Kool-aid. How many programs set up by either political party have done anything to help the people in this country? Naming one is not an option that will answer that question. There are far to many programs set up by the government that benefit a small portion of the population. The government, by nature, has only one purpose and that is to Rule and Control. Rule and Control is not what leads to prosperity or freedom, it leads to despair and slavery. The Conservative viewpoint is all about equal opportunity. The Progressive viewpoint is all about equal outcome. Well, I hate to tell you this, but as misery for all is an equal outcome, I hope you get what you want if that is what you want. Our Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” You have the right to pursue happiness, you are not guaranteed happiness. You do have a right to food, because the “Right to Life” allows for it. But you do not have the right to take from another to support yourself. If you are unable to provide food for yourself because you have no way to pay for it, you have at least two options, grown your own or ask for charity. You do not have a right to charity. As to health care, once again, there are options, stop engaging in activities that are known to be harmful. There is no way to eliminate all possible health issues, but you can eliminate most. Your other option is, once again, to ask for charity. Too many people in this country think they should receive something because someone else has it. That selfishness has to end. Just because your neighbor eats steak every night for dinner does not give you the right to have steak every night if you cannot afford it. Each producer deserves to be compensated for their time, effort and energy. Each person providing a service deserves the same. Those producers, and those providing a service, have to pay for the goods they desire, why should everyone else not have to undergo the same treatment. If you do not like your situation, change it. Stop whining and crying “NOT FAIR”. There are many opportunities out there for those who search for them. But expecting the opportunity to come knocking at your door and inviting itself into your life is something for which I would not want to try to hold my breath. The sad part is that too many people blow off opportunity when it does knock.

  5. Desdinova

    If “Progressives” “want to use the government to make life better”, where does the Founder’s vision of a government of “limited and enumerated powers” fit in? And how is your concentrating political power at the top (with the bureaucracies that are required) compare to the social democracies of Europe, or the Communism of the Soviet Union (or contemporary China), or Fascist Italy? Is the only difference that THEIR visions were “flawed” and yours aren’t?

    • Ron Berti- Do you not know who won the argument the founders were having? The Federalists won the argument and our country was founded with a strong, centralized Federal government and subordinate states. The evidence is all around you in the way that government works. Who has the last say? Not the states is it? The argument you advance was lost by 1800, and made absolutely clear in 1865 and for a decade and a half afterwards during reconstruction. History is not something that gets cherry picked, it must be understood in its entirety.

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