Archive for November, 2013
It isn’t surprising that the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM, put together a deceitful collection of myths about the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA.
Saying that Minnesota has the lowest rates in the nation doesn’t mean that insurance premiums didn’t go up with the ACA. It simply means they’re the cheapest premiums in the nation. It’s quite possible to have health insurance premiums go up. In fact, it’s inevitable because the required minimum benefits drive health insurance premiums up. That they’re the cheapest in the nation just means that other states’ health insurance premiums just went up more than Minnesota’s.
I read tons of articles a day and I don’t recall any conservative accuse Gov. Dayton of lying about people who like their plans could keep their plans. I’ve heard tons of people from across the political spectrum accuse President Obama of lying about keeping the policies people liked.
ABM is right, though, that Gov. Dayton told people who had their health insurance canceled that he wouldn’t let those insurance companies sell the old policies that people liked.
This sentence simply isn’t credible:
I know you’re going to say that 140,000 Minnesotans got cancellation notices, Aunt Phyllis, but the truth is it’s illegal in Minnesota to cancel health coverage.
I’d love hearing the explanation for that, especially since the ACA requires companies to cancel insurance that doesn’t meet the ACA’s minimum required coverages. If ABM isn’t lying, then it means that Minnesota health insurance companies aren’t complying with the ACA. In other words, ABM is accusing Minnesota health insurance companies of breaking federal law.
Thanks to Gov. Dayton’s ‘leadership’, MnSure is a national laughingstock. It’s the only website I’ve seen that gets weekends and holidays off. We’re the only state with Paul Bunyan ads and Mickey Mouse service.
While it’s true that MnSure is working better than HealthCare.gov, that isn’t exactly a high bar to clear. It simply means it’s outperforming a total political and policy disaster.
Technorati: Mark Dayton, Health Insurance Exchanges, MnSure, HealthCare.gov, Strawman Arguments, Non Sequiturs, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Affordable Care Act, Insurance Cancellations, President Obama, Broken Promises, Democrats
It’s political light years away from the next presidential election season but it isn’t too early to start drafting potential GOP presidential candidates. Atop my list is Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor. Marc Thiessen’s article sums up Gov. Walkers qualifications perfectly:
During the 2012 recall fight in Wisconsin, a group of protesters dressed as zombies disrupted Gov. Scott Walker’s speech at a ceremony for kids participating in the Special Olympics. Walker just ignored the protesters. Afterwards, talk radio host Charlie Sykes told Walker he should have “gone Chris Christie on them.” But Walker wanted to keep the focus on the Special Olympics athletes, saying “it was their day.”
The incident is revealing. Walker and Christie, the New Jersey governor, are friends, and they have both found a way to win in purple states that have not voted for a Republican president in a quarter-century. But they each did it in very different ways.
Christie is moderate in policy, but immoderate in temperament.
Walker is moderate in temperament, but immoderate in policy.
Activists are drawn to Christie’s gruff exterior because they want a fighter. There’s no questioning whether Gov. Christie is a fighter. Still, for all his combativeness, many of his policies are what I’d expect of a New England Republican. That makes Gov. Christie significantly less appealing than Gov. Walker:
Walker is a tea party hero thanks to his courageous stand against the public-sector unions in Wisconsin. Cruz may have “faux filibustered” Obamacare, but Walker faced down 100,000 protesters outside the Capitol in Madison and won. He not only passed his reforms despite unbelievable odds, he became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. He’s both a fighter and a winner, a compelling combination for the conservative base.
Moreover, Walker’s appeal to the right goes beyond collective bargaining. As governor, he passed a raft of other conservative reforms that went virtually unnoticed because of the collective-bargaining fight. He signed legislation enacting voter identification requirements, permitting the concealed carry of firearms, defunding Planned Parenthood, prohibiting any health exchange operating in Wisconsin from covering abortion, reducing taxes, expanding school choice and reforming entitlements. Walker is an across-the-board, unflinching, full-spectrum conservative.
But Walker also has a proven ability to win the votes of moderates and reform-minded independents. While Walker is often portrayed as a “divisive” figure, exit polls in the June 2012 gubernatorial recall election showed that about one in six Walker voters also planned to vote for Barack Obama in the November presidential election. And, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “those confounding Obama-Walker voters of 2012…[are] still with us.” Two separate 2013 polls of Wisconsin voters, the paper reported, show that “11% approve of both politicians.”
Put differently, Christie is the bully who supports many liberal policies like gun control and global warming. Gov. Walker has a mental toughness that can’t be questioned. He stared down the thugs in Wisconsin and won the fight for important reforms. Everyone knows about the collective bargaining rights fight. Few noticed that he got other reforms passed, too.
Most importantly, I won’t have to worry whether Gov. Walker will abandon conservatism’s core principles. He won’t. He’ll pick great judges. He’ll feature a positive pro-growth agenda. He’ll be an unapologetic conservative with a lengthy history of conservative accomplishments.
George Will noted another appealing part of Gov. Walker’s in this column:
To fight the recall, during which opponents disrupted Walker’s appearance at a Special Olympics event and squeezed Super Glue into the locks of a school he was to visit, Walker raised more than $30?million, assembling a nationwide network of conservative donors that could come in handy if he is reelected next year.
It’s great that Gov. Walker is a proven fundraiser. He’d need it if he runs against Hillary in 2016. More importantly, though, he understands the value of a strong organization.
In other words, Gov. Walker a) is an unapologetic conservative, b) has a lengthy list of conservative accomplishments, c) can rally the conservative base while still appealing to independents and d) is a prolific fundraiser. That’s quite the trifecta heading into 2016.
If you want to read an article that’s filled with political vindictiveness and terrible writing, I’d recommend this article from the AP’s Laurie Kellman. Here’s Ms. Kellman’s opening
A month after emerging from a government shutdown at the top of their game, many Democrats in Congress newly worried about the party’s re-election prospects are for the first time distancing themselves from President Barack Obama after the disastrous rollout of his health care overhaul.
For people keeping score at home, that opening sentence is 45 words long. Run-on sentences of that length don’t help people focus their attention. English instructors frequently recommend that writers keep sentences to 18 words or less. Here’s how that paragraph would’ve looked had I written it:
After winning the government shutdown, congressional Democrats are worried about their re-election prospects. Now Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.
Thank God for ‘professional’ writers. Seriously, what person would be interested in the rest of the article after Ms. Kellman’s opening? It gets worse because Ms. Kellman transitions from unprofessional writer to professional political hack:
Cummings, the White House’s biggest defender in a Republican-controlled committee whose agenda is waging war against the administration over the attack in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, a gun-tracking operation and now health care, said he still thinks Obama is operating with integrity.
Chairman Issa’s agenda thus far has been to highlight this administration’s dishonesty and incompetence. When President Obama and Secretary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ frequent impassioned pleas for more security, they ignored him. As a direct result of their passivity, Ambassador Stevens and 3 other American patriots were executed in Benghazi.
That isn’t “waging war against the administration.” That’s investigating a tragic incident that didn’t need to happen. Investigating the IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations isn’t “waging war against the administration.” It’s investigating the abuse of power that’s happened all too frequently with this imperial administration. It’s a legitimate investigation because abuses of power of this scope can’t be tolerated. Period.
Let’s not be naive. There are political consequences for these foolish decisions. Congress is questioning President Obama’s integrity because he isn’t a man of integrity. The American people have noticed. As a result, President Obama’s approval ratings have dropped dramatically.
Hillary Clinton’s integrity hasn’t dropped…yet. She left Washington, DC before Greg Hicks’ riveting testimony about what happened that night in Benghazi. There will be a political price to be paid for her passivity and terrible decisionmaking. How high of a price she’ll pay isn’t knowable at this time. Suffice it to say it might be a steep price.
Republican members of Chairman Issa’s committee haven’t editorialized. They’ve asked professional, probing questions. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Their job is to investigate, not to be the administration’s stenographers.
If President Obama’s administration hadn’t made this many major mistakes, Chairman Issa’s committee wouldn’t have been justified in investigating this many things. Because they made this many egregious mistakes, Chairman Issa was obligated to investigate.
If that constitutes an attack in Ms. Kellman’s mind, then it’s safe to say she’s a stenographer, not a reporter.
This post on the Hill’s health care blog is laughable in terms of the Democrats’ strategy:
The White House and congressional leadership are urging Democratic lawmakers to highlight ObamaCare success stories in an effort to take the offensive on the healthcare rollout after two months of backpedaling, according to two memos obtained by The Hill.
The memos, one from the Democrats’ messaging arm and one from the White House, advise members on how to establish the narrative that the Affordable Care Act is already working.
“There are actions Democrats can take to address the Republican attacks and go on offense,” reads the memo from the Democratic Policy and Communications Center (DPCC). The memo outlines a compilation of “messaging ideas to highlight the benefits of the ACA and generate positive press and social media coverage.”
The Democratic Caucus is being told that the most effective strategy is to highlight the stories of consumers who obtained coverage despite having pre-existing conditions, of those who no longer have to worry about the financial threat of lifetime caps, and of young adults who have been able to stay on their parent’s coverage.
“Their stories will provide us with the ammunition we need to rebut Republican claims that the law isn’t working,” the DPCC says.
I’m wondering whether Republicans have infiltrated the DPCC. Seriously, highlighting things that people like won’t cut it. Republicans have agreed for years that people shouldn’t get denied coverage because a person has a pre-existing condition. Had there been an up-or-down vote on that issue alone, it would’ve passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. After that, it’s difficult to picture what’s popular in the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA.
For every story of a person getting insurance for the first time, there will 5 stories of people who have life-threatening diseases who lost the insurance that was getting them the treatment they needed.
A couple weeks ago, Democrats’ favorite refrain was that Republicans shouldn’t “throw the baby out with the bath water.” They didn’t explain what they meant but it sounded reasonable. I’ve done their thinking for them. Obviously, babies represent the things people like; bath water represents things to be gotten rid of.
I think it’s reasonable to think that ensuring people with pre-existing conditions can get insurance represents the ‘baby’ in this metaphor. The only other provision worth keeping is young people being able to stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26. After that, it’s tough thinking of another provision worth keeping.
As for things that should be thrown out, the list is substantially bigger. Let’s start with dumping the employer and individual mandates, the 21-tax salute thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance exchanges, the websites, whether state- or fed-run and the higher premiums and higher deductibles.
If we got rid of that second list, there’d be much rejoicing on Main Street and with small businesses. How do Democrats go on offense with these realities?
Technorati: Employer Mandate, Individual Mandate, Health Insurance Exchanges, Pre-existing Conditions, Insurance Premiums, Insurance Deductibles, Democratic Policy and Communications Center, Democratic Leadership, Election 2014
Democrats have demagogued TEA Party forever, characterizing them as far-outside-the-mainstream. Thanks to the TEA Party movement, a new generation of potential conservative superstars is rising up that will change the face of the GOP. One of those potential conservative superstars is Erika Harold. Reading Ms. Harold’s Issues Page is a breath of fresh air. On taxes and regulation:
In an effort to stem the rise of burdensome regulations, I will support efforts to narrow the scope of the powers delegated to administrative agencies. Additionally, I will support tax reform policies aimed at simplifying the tax code.
On the Constitution:
One of the hallmarks of our democratic system of governance is the respect for individual liberties and the understanding that these enshrined freedoms serve as proper limits on governmental power. Accordingly, I will oppose efforts to abridge the rights enumerated in our Constitution. Drawing upon my experience as a lawyer advising faith-based institutions, I will champion the First Amendment rights to the free exercise of religion and the freedom of association. I also will support the law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment right to bear arms and will oppose efforts to encroach upon that right.
Sign me up. I’m a fan. In addition to being a Constitution-loving lawyer who loves low taxes and sensible levels of regulation, Ms. Harold once was crowned Miss America in the fall of 2002. In June, Ms. Harold announced that she’s “mounting a Republican primary challenge to Rep. Rodney Davis in Illinois.”
Another potential rising star for the GOP is Mia Love. Conservatives are sure to love Ms. Love’s education agenda:
As a mother with three children enrolled in public schools, education is extremely important to me. We need a strong educational system that will allow America to continue in its role as the world’s premier leader in scientific research and technological development. American families want better quality education, lower education costs, and more local control over decisions related to education. In recent years the U.S. Department of Education has expanded the federal role in education to unprecedented levels to the detriment of our children and college students. Utah – not the federal government – knows what is best for Utah’s student. I trust Utah teachers and Utah parents over Washington bureaucrats.
These are my proposals to address the problems surrounding education:
- Return control of schools to local levels
- Support Utah’s teachers by opposing one-size-fits-all federal programs that take flexibility away from innovative teachers
- Eliminate the disparity between Department of Education bureaucrats’ salaries and local teachers’ salaries
- Bring down the cost of college tuition by allowing schools to compete for students and not allowing a federal government takeover of higher education
- Support the right of parents, local school districts, and the state of Utah to develop curriculum and set testing standards
Another potential rising conservative star is Katrina Pierson.
Ms. Pierson isn’t afraid to identify herself as a TEA Party conservative:
Katrina Pierson is a candidate for the United States Congress in the 32nd District in Texas.
She is best known across Texas and the nation as a passionate advocate for freedom. For five years, she has served as a Steering Committee member for the Dallas Tea Party. She is also the Founder of the Garland Tea Party and a member of the Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee. Her primary goal as an activist has been to provide citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to protect and advance liberty.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that Ms. Pierson is a passionate, articulate opponent of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare:
There is perhaps no single government program that poses a greater threat to our life, liberty and prosperity than the “Affordable Care Act,” generally referred to as “ObamaCare.” The more the American people learn about ObamaCare, the less they like it—and with good reason. According to the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare is expected to cost our economy upwards of 800,000 jobs. A recent survey of business executives revealed that 71 percent said that ObamaCare is making it harder to hire workers. Every day brings new stories about companies laying off workers or cutting back hours. ObamaCare is the very last thing our struggling economy needs.
If you’re noticing a theme here, it’s that these ladies are a) unapologetic conservatives, b) TEA Party activists and c) minorities. The last I looked at Republicans in Washington, DC, they needed more people who fit these characteristics. Hopefully, that’ll change next November. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if all three of these ladies are sworn in in January, 2015.
Yesterday, HHS announced that another part of the Affordable Care Act is getting delayed:
The White House is delaying the launch of its online small-business exchange by one year, a Health and Human Services (HHS) official confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday.
The delay is another setback for the troubled enrollment process of President Obama’s signature healthcare law.
Companies with fewer than 50 employees were slated to begin buying coverage through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), an online ObamaCare exchange, this month. The exchange’s delay means small businesses will instead have to seek out coverage through an agent or broker.
The ACA’s tax increases started on time. Anything that included a penalty has been implemented on time, with the exception of big corporations and big labor.
The health care law, President Obama’s latest name for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a dead man walking. Democrats are panicking bigtime. If President Obama hadn’t held his ‘mea culpa press conference’ 2 weeks ago, Democrats might’ve already abandoned him for all intents and purposes. He headed off a full-fledged stampede with that press conference. Temporarily.
HealthCare.gov is a disaster. State-run exchanges aren’t working well either. Millions of people have gotten cancellation notices saying that the health insurance they liked will expire at midnight New Year’s Eve. The new policies come with higher premiums, higher deductibles and tinier networks of coverage.
In other words, the new policies replacing the policies they’d originally bought are substandard policies. (So much for President Obama’s promise that the new policies would be better and cheaper.)
The healthcare law allows small businesses to either offer a single plan to all of their workers or pick a certain benefit level and let workers choose among plans at that level. The HHS delayed the latter option earlier this year, saying it’s too complicated for insurers to implement right away. Workers will still not be able to choose from an employer-approved benefit level of plans during the one-year delay.
It finally dawned on the administration that administering health insurance is complicated. What a revelation. It isn’t surprising that the Obama administration has looked like the latest iteration of the Keystone Cops.
If anything is clear, it’s that St. Cloud State is facing a budget crisis. Nowhere is that more apparent than in this article:
Three years ago, St. Cloud State University students voted to raise the fees they pay in order to prop up the athletic department budget, including a boost that saved the football program. In December, students will be asked to renew that fee, which expires June 30 and provides about $500,000 of the athletic budget.
I don’t doubt that people are asking how this is proof of a budget crisis. Prior to three years ago, athletic programs were funded through the general fund budget.
It isn’t coincidence that three years ago marked the start of the contract between SCSU and the Wedum Foundation. That’s lost over $3,000,000 since then. Three years ago is also when enrollment started dropping. FY2010 was SCSU’s peak enrollment year. President Potter’s budget on nonessential things collided with a significant drop in tuition revenue.
Since SCSU’s peak FYE enrollment year, FYE enrollment has dropped by almost 20%.
The vote will happen by email from 8 a.m. Dec. 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 4. The St. Cloud State student government put two questions on the ballot for the student fees. The first asks if the student fee should “remain constant.” The second asks if the athletic department should be required to ask students to renew the fee in 2018. If students vote no on the second question, the fee will be permanent. If Question 1 fails, or if less than 8 percent of the student body votes, the student government could put the question on the ballot again in the spring.
Three years ago, athletes dominated the voting. The referendum passed overwhelmingly. This time, the vote is invalidated if only a tiny percentage of students vote. This time, a high turnout by athletes won’t be enough. This time, they’ll need support from other students, too.
If the December vote goes against the fee, the university would have to use its decision-making process to determine how to respond. The university is in the process of filling a $2.9 million budget deficit for 2013-14 and is expecting to confront one again in 2014-15. That makes a potential shortfall in the athletic program more challenging, Potter said. “There is no obvious source of funds,” Potter said.
One obvious source of funds is the contract President Potter signed with the City of St. Cloud for 3 police officers. That’s $240,000 a year that didn’t need to be spent. President Potter could also contact the Wedum Foundation and tell them that they’re opting out of their contract if Wedum doesn’t renegotiate the contract.
SCSU has lost $1,000,000 a year the first three years of the contract. If Wedum isn’t willing to renegotiate the contract, President Potter should make clear that SCSU is opting out of the contract ASAP. If that doesn’t get the Foundation’s attention, then the Foundation isn’t paying attention. I’m betting they’re paying attention.
What this crisis is about is a) the University’s enrollment is suffering and b) President Potter is spending too much money on nonessential items. SCSU paying for police officers isn’t essential. Spending money on upscale apartments for students isn’t essential either.
Enrollments are down at most MnSCU universities. They vary in seriousness from Mankato to SCSU. According to this article, Moorhead University’s enrollment is off pretty dramatically:
Enrollment at the school has declined by about 11 percent in the past four years, prompting the projected budget deficit. The school is targeting faculty for reductions to match the decline. “There’s just a very direct connection between how many students we have and how many faculty we need,” Blackhurst said.
Thanks to this article, we know that things at Minnesota State University- Moorhead are in turmoil:
If you’re planning to attend either Minnesota State University Moorhead or the University of the District of Columbia, best get in your Romeo and Juliet now—and while you’re at it, you should probably learn the formulas for velocity and momentum, and study up on the Spanish-American War. Because soon, these regional public universities may have no departments of English, physics, or history—nor a host of other programs often associated with “college,” including political science (MSUM), philosophy (MSUM), computer science (MSUM), and even economics (UDC).
If you think things are in tough shape in Moorhead, they are. They just aren’t in as tough of shape as at St. Cloud State. If Silence Dogood’s statistics are accurate, which they have consistently been, FYE enrollment at SCSU will be down almost 20% since FY2010. (That’s the 2009-2010 school year.)
That’s just the enrollment numbers. I wish enrollment was St. Cloud State’s only problem. It isn’t. St. Cloud State has lost north of $3,000,000 on their lease with the Wedum Foundation over the last 3 years. With enrollment declining dramatically, a sharp drop in dorm occupancy has happened. The peak occupancy was 96% in FY2010. This year, it’s at 78% with an asterisk. The asterisk comes from not knowing if that 78% is based on the total number of rooms on campus or if it’s based on the total number of available dorm rooms. If they subtracted the number of rooms getting renovated, that 78% figure might be artificially high.
What isn’t known is how much revenue has come in from renting dorm rooms. That’s the only statistic that matters to budgets and their impact on departmental staffing.
Earlier this fall, the school planned to offer early retirement incentives to 35 people. Only 19 faculty members and two staff members indicated they would accept early retirement. Those retirements combined with vacancies the school hasn’t filled will reduce the deficit by about $2.5 million, Blackhurst said.
A second round of retirement incentives targeted toward departments that need additional reductions will be offered. “We’d rather have those reductions be voluntary,” she said. Blackhurst said the list of departments prioritized for reductions is not final.
It’s apparent that Moorhead is in more financial trouble than St. Cloud State. Still, it isn’t a stretch to think that St. Cloud State could be in as dire of straits as Moorhead within 2 years.
There’s no disputing whether Moorhead is in difficult financial and academic straits. It’s definitely in dire straits. Likewise, there’s no question that St. Cloud State is heading in that direction.
Technorati: University of Minnesota-Moorhead, Retrenchment, Budget Cuts, History Department, Political Science Department, St. Cloud State, Declining Enrollment, Tuition Revenue, Financial Mismanagement
Elizabeth Wydra’s article exposes some flawed constitutional law thinking:
From the nation’s founding until today, the Constitution’s protection of religious liberty has been seen as a personal right, inextricably linked to the human capacity to express devotion to a God and act on the basis of reason and conscience.
Here’s the text of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Where in the First Amendment does it say that “the free exercise” of religion is limited to individuals? Further, aren’t corporations groups of people? Corporations aren’t buildings. Corporations are groups of people.
Does the Fourth Amendment only protect individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures? God help us if it does.
Business corporations, quite properly, have never shared in this fundamental constitutional tradition for the obvious reason that a business corporation lacks the basic human capacities — reason, dignity and conscience — at the core of the right to free exercise of religion. Obviously not “persons” in the usual sense of the word, these corporations are also not religious organizations, which have historically received some constitutional protection and are, in fact, given exemptions from the contraception mandate.
That’s wrongheaded thinking, too. Because corporations are collections of people, those people have “the basic human capacities” of “reason, dignity and conscience.” Further, what says that only churches and religious institutions have “constitutional protections”? Finally, do people lose their First Amendment protections when they join corporations?
Politicians that underestimate the size of what might be called ‘Common Core mom’ vote do so at their peril. There’s a large and growing demographic that will have an impact on congressional and legislative races next year. People who dismiss this growing demographic will be making a major mistake. Joy Pullmann’s article highlights the growing opposition to Common Core and politicians disdain for activists who are pushing back against Common Core elitists.
Common Core lists what several committees convened within two DC-based nonprofits decided K-12 children need to learn in math and English. Although federal influence over testing and curriculum is illegal, the Obama administration has funded two other nonprofits it oversees to make national tests that will measure whether children have learned what these committees wanted. These currently unfinished tests will replace state tests in more than 40 states in 2014-15. In most states, test results influence teacher pay, personnel hiring and firing, school funding, state control over school districts, curriculum, whether students pass their grade or graduate, college acceptance, and more. Basically, Common Core touches everything in U.S. education except bus routes.
The pushback against Common Core has already started:
Common Core opponents include, as entire institutions or representatives from them, the American Principles Project, Americans for Prosperity, the Badass Teachers Association, the Brookings Institution, the Cato Institute, Class Size Matters, Eagle Forum, FreedomWorks, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the Goldwater Institute, the Heartland Institute (where I work), the Heritage Foundation, Hillsdale College, the Hoover Institution, Notre Dame University, the National Association of Scholars, the Pioneer Institute, Stanford University, United Opt-Out, and leaders from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to a coalition of Catholic university scholars and teachers union darling Diane Ravitch. These organizations’ flavors range from constitutionalist to libertarian to liberal. The people making the noise are regular moms, dads, and grandparents, but they’re backed up by organizations with intellectual chops.
The pushback against the pushback has also started:
As a sampling of the disregard politicians have bestowed on thousands of ordinary people agitating against Common Core as it rolls out into schools in advance of the tests, consider the following.
Before one of these hearings in October, Ohio House Education Chairman Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster) told reporters Common Core critics “don’t make sense.” He also called opposition a “conspiracy theory.” In Wisconsin the same month, state Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine) told a packed audience their hearings were “crazy” and “a show,” and asked, “What are we doing here?” When Michigan’s legislature reinstated Common Core funding after several hearings, State Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw County) said, “[W]e’ve marginalized, quite frankly, the anti-crowd into a very minute number.” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) has called opponents a “distract[ing]” “fringe movement.”
Those statements drip with elitist I-know-what’s-best’ contempt for “regular moms, dads and grandparents.” That type of elitist attitude almost automatically leads to a revolt:
Thousands of New York parents and teachers have attended public forums to protest Common Core this fall. At the first of 16 state-sponsored townhalls on the topic, state education Commissioner John King was booed after talking over parents repeatedly and giving the large, angry audience 20 minutes to ask questions after a two-hour presentation. After the meeting, King declared the forum was “co-opted by special interests whose stated goal is to ‘dominate’ the questions and manipulate the forum.” So he canceled the rest. After calls for his resignation, King announced new, invite-only forums.
If you think the health care town halls in August, 2009 were spirited, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The people in these audiences are from a much wider political spectrum, meaning they’re drawing from a significantly bigger pool of activists than the TEA Party ever did.
Further, though elitists like Jeb Bush and Arne Duncan think poorly of Common Core opposition activists, that doesn’t mean these Common Core moms votes don’t count just as much as these elitists’ votes count for. It’s worth noting that these activists will show up on Election Night 2014. Every elitist comment from Commissioner King, Gov. Bush or Secretary Duncan just activates these voters more.
In presidential election years, elitists can get away with their snobbishness to a certain extent. In mid-term elections, elitists can’t get away with their snobbishness because blue collar workers make up a bigger percentage of the voters showing up.
Follow this link to find out why Common Core needs to be abolished from schools nationwide.