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Paul Ryan Panders To Religious Right On School Prayer

Mitt Romney isn’t the only candidate on the right who seems to be slipping into culture warrior mode. Over the weekend, Paul Ryan did the same thing when he suggested, contrary to a boat load of Supreme Court precedent, that the issue of prayer in public school should be left to the states:

PROVO, Utah — Prayer in public schools was prohibited by the United States Supreme Court in 1962, but Representative Paul D. Ryan said on Wednesday that he believed that states should have the right to decide whether it should be allowed.

“That’s a constitutional issue of the states,” Mr. Ryan told a campaign volunteer during a visit to a Romney for President call center in Orem.

The volunteer, Jenny Free, 40, said she was a mother of nine children and asked Mr. Ryan if “we could give back to the states the right to decide if you want prayer or pledge in the schools.”

Mr. Ryan called the decision to say a prayer or recite the Pledge of Allegiance a “moral responsibility of parents.”

“Exactly,” Ms. Free responded, according to footage shot by a television reporter for NBC News, “so I am hoping to try and push that.”

“You know, in Utah, I would think you would have a pretty good chance,” Mr. Ryan told her.

Ryan’s argument, is of course, complete nonsense. There is nothing in the law right now that prevents any student from engaging in silent prayer in public schools. Indeed, at many public schools throughout the country, you will find groups of students who engage in their own forms of group prayer outside of the classroom or other official school functions. As Jonathan Turley notes, however, that’s not what social conservatives want. it isn’t good enough for students to be able to pray on their own, or engage in such activities with other students outside official school hours. They want, essentially, the same type of prayer that was common in this country prior to the Supreme Court getting involved in this matter. They want prayer led by teachers in the classroom, a situation where even if it is “voluntary,” the students are a captive audience unable to opt out of attendance and, inevitable subjected to peer pressure and ostracism if they choose not to participate.  What Congressman Ryan doesn’t seem to be aware of, though, is that this type of prayer is explicitly forbidden by the First Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

In Engle v Vitale, in which the Supreme Court found that a New York State law mandating prayer in public schools to be Unconstitutional, the Court explained it perfectly some 50 years ago:

The Establishment Clause thus stands as an expression of principle on the part of the Founders of our Constitution that religion is too personal, too sacred, too holy, to permit its “unhallowed perversion” by a civil magistrate. Another purpose of the Establishment Clause rested upon an awareness of the historical fact that governmentally established religions and religious persecutions go hand in hand. The Founders knew that only a few years after the Book of Common Prayer became the only accepted form of religious services in the established Church of England, an Act of Uniformity was passed to compel all Englishmen to attend those services and to make it a criminal offense to conduct or attend religious gatherings of any other kind – a law which was consistently flouted by dissenting religious groups in England and which contributed to widespread persecutions of people like John Bunyan who persisted in holding “unlawful [religious] meetings . . . to the great disturbance and distraction of the good subjects of this kingdom . . . .” And they knew that similar persecutions had received the sanction of law in several of the colonies in this country soon after the establishment of official religions in those colonies. It was in large part to get completely away from this sort of systematic religious persecution that the Founders brought into being our Nation, our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights with its prohibition against any governmental establishment of religion. The New York laws officially prescribing the Regents’ prayer are inconsistent both with the purposes of the Establishment Clause and with the Establishment Clause itself.

Additionally, as Jonathan Turley notes, Ryan also gets the whole “moral responsibility” of parents argument wrong:

Ryan goes on to say that the decision to say a prayer is the “moral responsibility of parents.” However, a government sponsored prayer violates the very parental responsibility he claims to support. The decision not to say a prayer is also the responsibility of parents. A child should neither be pressured to pray nor pressured not to pray. Religious parents would scream bloody murder if their child was pressured not to pray, but these same parents have no qualms when pressuring other children to pray.

Turley is correct, of course. Forcing children to pray, either explicitly or through the fiction of “voluntary” teacher-led prayer in public schools, actually takes moral authority away from parents, and of course violates the rights of the students themselves. Aside from the legal issues that Ryan raises with his comments here, though, interests me more is the politics of why he would go there on the same day that Romney “went there” with the “God attack” against President Obama and the Democrats. Is it really possible that someone inside the GOP thinks its a good idea to go in this direction? You might argue that Ryan’s comments were sui generis and primarily a result of the state he was in and the fact that he was asked a specific question about school prayer. The problem with that theory for me is that Romney basically went down the same road as Romney on the same day. It’s hard to write that off as a mere coincidence.

As with the Romney comments, though, I have to question why the campaign is going there on this kind of an issue. For one thing, it detracts from what ought to be the sole message of the Republican campaign, the economy. For another, the only possible group of people that stuff like this appeals to are people who are going to vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket anyway. Some have argued that this is an example of the ticket’s need to shore up its base, but I don’t really buy that. If the Republican Convention proved anything, it proved that the Republican base is revved up and ready to go. Neither Paul Ryan nor Mitt Romney is going to have trouble getting that group of people out to rallies this fall, or to the polls in November. These, in other words, are not the voters that the Romney/Ryan campaign needs to be focusing on for the next nine weeks. Instead, they need to be focusing on independent voters in swing states who are unlikely to be persuaded very much by appeals to themes that only really appeal to people on the religious right. Is this a sign that the campaign is floundering just a bit in the wake of a convention season that appears to have been less than successful for the GOP? It certainly could be, but if it continues it could end up causing real harm to the ticket.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rafer Janders says:

    What Congressman Ryan doesn’t seem to be aware of, though, is that this type of prayer is explicitly forbidden by the First Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

    Oh, I’m sure he’s aware of it. But he doesn’t actually care about what the Constitution allows, and is perfectly willing to lie about it if it will gain him a supposed advantage.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  2. More on the God vote? It must come down to that thing we’ve heard, that the election is down to a few voters in a few districts. God districts.

    (I”m surprised that you are surprised that Romney’s “focus on the economy” fell flat. I’ve been saying it was an empty campaign from the start. It is an observation that the economy is growing “too slowly,” without any alternative.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. Fiona says:

    Must be Shore Up the Base week at the Romney campaign, since they can’t seem to be able to figure out how to attract swing voters other than hiding their tax plan and flip-flopping on what parts of Obamacare they’ll keep.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  4. Hoot Gibson says:

    When will they learn?

    Every time a GOPer wanders off into Culture War territory, it just sends leftwingers into a froth-at-the-mouth frenzy.

    Recently Ann Romney deftly turned away in-the-tank-for-Obama-press request for her to opine about Culture War issues like gay marriage, free birth control pills for 30 year old law school students and abortion. The result here was predictable. Leftwingers loves them some Culture War.

    As long as Romney/Ryan focus on the economy all will be well; wander off in the weeds of the Culture War and there be dragons.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 34

  5. gus says:

    those two will say anything for a vote, won’t they?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. gus says:

    @Hoot Gibson: does it matter to you that you just repeated a bunch of lies? or are you not smart enough to know you’re a liar?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  7. Ernieyeball says:

    I approve of prayer in the Public Schools as long as I get to write the prayer. I am not going to submit it to anyone for approval. I will write the prayer and those kids are going to say it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    In NASCAR they say if you ain’t cheatin’ then you ain’t tryin’. Well, in politics if you ain’t panderin’ then you ain’t tryin’. Both sports share a lot in common, including toxic fumes, bimbettes, vast quanities of alcohol, and the fact that if you ain’t first to finish, son, then you’re last.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. stonetools says:

    As with the Romney comments, though, I have to question why the campaign is going there on this kind of an issue.

    If you don’t know what to do, you do what you know. Republicans know culture war. Next up, partial birth abortions.

    For one thing, it detracts from what ought to be the sole message of the Republican campaign, the economy

    Message heard and rejected. At their convention, the Republicans offered up Bush 3.0 and the Ryan budget as their solution to the bad economy. The public responded by widening the Obama lead.They need a new economic message- and they have no idea what it could be.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  10. michael reynolds says:

    I think this means the Romney team is getting some very bad internal polls. This is a shore-up-the-base tactic, not a win-over-undecideds move. They shouldn’t have to be pandering to the crazies at this point, this is the move-to-the-center part of the election. This is the move of people who are very scared.

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  11. @stonetools:

    Message heard and rejected.

    An excellent summary!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. Hoot Gibson says:

    Hey gus, you leftwingers always say you’re all about “facts”. Show me how I “lied”.

    It would be helpful if you could use nonpartisan sources rather than TPM, mediamatters, HuffPo, thinkprogress, NYT, Moveon.org, Al Sharpton, Tingles Matthews, MSNBC, Obama campaign website etc.

    If you can “prove” I’ve lied, I’ll recant.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 26

  13. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I think this means the Romney team is getting some very bad internal polls. This is a shore-up-the-base tactic, not a win-over-undecideds move.

    I agree. At this stage in the game, everything is scripted. If they’re going this route, its because they think they need to. Possibly their thinking is that if they play to the base right now, they can concentrate on the undecided in the last month.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. Jr says:

    Desperate campaign is desperate…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Forcing children to pray, either explicitly or through the fiction of “voluntary” teacher-led prayer in public schools, actually takes moral authority away from parents, and of course violates the rights of the students themselves.

    Would the students rights be violated if the parent forces him or her to pray? What kind of rights do the student have here? Or would this not violate the students right as much as the parents right to force or not to force the student pray?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. sam says:

    @Hoot Gibson:

    As long as Romney/Ryan focus on the economy all will be well; wander off in the weeds of the Culture War and there be dragons.

    Well, cowboy, take that up with your guys as they’re the ones wandering off the reservation into dragonland. You’re not going to blame us for your stupid candidates, are you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  17. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    What’s interesting is that Doug and other conservatives don’t grasp that the economic message isn’t working , and why. The Power Line and National Review folks are genuinely flabbergasted at this. You mean the same old snake oil about self-financing tax cuts, and deregulation solves everything isn’t working THIS TIME?

    The biggest reason for that is the 2008 financial crisis , which demolished once and for all the idea of efficient self regulating markets. Most conservatives don’t have a coherent explanation of why the crisis happened and are trying to pretend that it didn’t happen.

    Another problem is You Tube. Its hard to blatantly lie and get away with it when people can summon up a clip of you saying the opposite a year ago.The media using You Tube and the internet swiftly dismantled Paul Ryan’s image of someone that was serious and honest about figures. In less than a month he went from Intellectual Ryan to Lyin’ Ryan.
    Norah O’ Donnell roasted him yesterday on sequestration and the defense cuts , and he pretty much had to just sit there with a sh#t eating grin and take it. I think that Paul Ryan is, if anything, even less credible than Mitt now.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  18. grumpy realist says:

    If they ever DO get “public prayer” back into the schools, I’d love to see a teenager of the pagan persuasion start dragging in a goat/sheep/bull/whatever into school for an invocation to Mithras….

    Teenagers being what they are, this could get quite amusing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I guarantee you . . . and no, I wouldn’t put him up to it . . . that my son would do exactly that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  20. Ron Beasley says:

    When what they need to do is pick up a few undecideds it seems rather foolish to be pandering to the voters that are going to vote for them anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Argon says:

    I’d bet 50 Quatloos that there will be an Anti-flag burning amendment proposed shortly… sigh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  22. al-Ameda says:

    Jonathan Turkey is dead on:

    However, a government sponsored prayer violates the very parental responsibility he claims to support. The decision not to say a prayer is also the responsibility of parents. A child should neither be pressured to pray nor pressured not to pray. Religious parents would scream bloody murder if their child was pressured not to pray, but these same parents have no qualms when pressuring other children to pray.

    it sure seems that the Romney-Ryan advisors have decided to give up on college-educated suburban voters outside the Sunbelt.

    It appears that Romney-Ryan believe that pandering to base conservative christians is essential in ginning up turnout. Romney was out there telling us that he cares deeply about “In God We Trust” on our currency, and Ryan is doubling down with prayer in school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  23. Neil Hudelson says:

    @grumpy realist:

    One of my favorite moments of high school was watching a goth goad a christian fundamentalist substitue teacher into getting on her knees and beseeching the Lord to save his soul. Tjat was a great biology class.

    Unrelatedly…

    Hoot is right. As a liberal i love me some culture wars. I love how culture wars remind all independents and moderates just hoe batsh!t crazy the republicans are. Keep it up. Never stop.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  24. Clanton says:

    I think the schools still say the Pledge to Allegiance every day, at least around here no one has complained about it and they said it the other day when I was in a classroom.
    “As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  25. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Mithras?! Pshhhht, he can’t hold a candle to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baaland Moloch!

    More to the point, the reason Christianists are terrified of true freedom of religion is that they have no State-sanctioned recourse to kill/banish/silence the unbelievers. In my opinion, most of them are tax-evading, self-congratulatory grifters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  26. Nal says:

    Turley did NOT write that blog post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. Rafer Janders says:

    For one thing, it detracts from what ought to be the sole message of the Republican campaign, the economy.

    Um, what exactly is their message on the economy? Other than, you know “economy bad”?

    I mean, I almost understand why they’ve been forced to retreat to this culture war field, when they don’t actually have anything to say on what should be their primary message.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  28. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “In NASCAR they say if you ain’t cheatin’ then you ain’t tryin’.”

    That’s funny. I’ve met a lot of NASCAR people, and I never heard anyone say anything like that. Just the opposite, in fact. Yet another topic the Tsar knows nothing about.

    Next up: Tsar tells us he’s been a NASCAR pit chief for seventeen years. As sure as the sun rises in the east.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  29. Catfish says:

    The schools have gone down ever since the Federal government and the courts came in and tried to take over. They have no business running our schools.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  30. @wr:

    It never hurts to do a quick google.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. @Catfish:

    I have no problem with local control of education, but if you got rid of the Federal spending you’d lose would be federal transfers from rich states to poor ones. That might lead to “poor states stay poor.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  32. ernieyeball says:

    @Catfish: The schools have been going to Hell in a Handbasket since 1954 when the United States Congress added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  33. jukeboxgrad says:

    hoot:

    If you can “prove” I’ve lied, I’ll recant.

    You said this:

    free birth control pills for 30 year old law school students

    Fluke’s testimony is here. She didn’t say contraception should be “free.” She said it should be covered by her student health plan. She pays for her student health plan, which means that things covered by her student health plan aren’t “free.” They are paid for by her premium.

    I’ll be waiting patiently for you to either “recant” or prove I’m wrong.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  34. Let's Be Free says:

    Yes, much better students should be captive to atheism and agnostic beliefs than to expose them to faith in a power higher than them. An atheistic society is so much better than a pluralistic society under God, with tolerance and ecumenial practice, right, sure. To the contrary, the religion exclusionists are destroying the moral underpinnings of a society that worked when religious expression was freely allowed. Have fun wearing blinders while blaming the ensuing breakdowns on all those people who have have trying to do the right thing in traditional effective ways. For myself raised as a Christian, I learned a lot about respect, tolerance and the benefits of pluralism when I attended classmate Bar Mitvahs, listened to benedictions offered by rabbis at school sponsored and public events, and performed a rousing chorus of “Hava Nagilia” in our fourth grade Christmas pageant. Now my kids have attended a public school where mentions of Christmas or any overt celebration or decoration in connection with the same was expressly forbidden. This is a downhill snowball you guys got going here. Enjoy it!!!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 29

  35. Ernieyeball says:

    @ L.B. Free

    To the contrary, the religion exclusionists are destroying the moral underpinnings of a society that worked when religious expression was freely allowed.

    This is an entirely baseless claim that can not be supported with facts.
    Religious expression IS freely allowed in the United States today.
    There are countless churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship across the land that citizens can FREELY attend IF THEY WANT TO.
    The Public Schools are a place for students to learn skills like critical thinking not your religious dogma.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/147887/americans-continue-believe-god.aspx

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  36. qtip says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    This is an entirely baseless claim that can not be supported with facts.

    …and you are using this to argue against someone who is religious?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  37. Dan says:

    If I remember correctly; Thomas Jefferson identified the Va. Statute for religious freedom as one of the three actions on his tombstone(not his presidency). I believe each ind. Should be allowed to express their personnel religious beliefs or the absence of same. Why are the republican candidates expressing these opinions. Maybe you can’t throw fastballs all game. You mix in a breaking ball. Maybe they are appealing to their base. Maybe someone asked Ryan about it. Maybe the guy believes it. He is opposed to any’s form of abortion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  38. anjin-san says:

    Now my kids have attended a public school where mentions of Christmas or any overt celebration or decoration in connection with the same was expressly forbidden.

    So celebrate Christmas at home, and let you kids focus on learning to read and write at school. I am kind of not seeing the problem here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  39. An Interested Party says:

    The schools have gone down ever since the Federal government and the courts came in and tried to take over. They have no business running our schools.

    Oh absolutely! That whole pesky Brown v Board of Education thing was such a disgrace…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    What facts or statistics would you cite to demonstrate that society has suffered some sort of moral collapse?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  41. al-Ameda says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    Yes, much better students should be captive to atheism and agnostic beliefs than to expose them to faith in a power higher than them.

    When I was a student in public school back in the 50s and 60s, there was no religious instruction, and no school prayer. I received religious instruction at my church (catechism) and prayer was a private matter for church services or a private meditation – not a matter of a teacher or a student leading a group in prayer.

    You seem to complaining about something that has no business being supported by public schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  42. T says:

    So why dont conservatives just send their kids to private religious schools?

    Oh right, they cant afford them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  43. bk says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    and performed a rousing chorus of “Hava Nagilia” in our fourth grade Christmas pageant.

    I’m calling shenanigans on that whopper.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  44. matt says:

    @john personna: Yeah Smokey Yunick was legendary for bending rules past the breaking point.

    .Another Yunick improvisation was getting around the regulations specifying a maximum size for the fuel tank, by using eleven foot (three meter) coils of 2-inch (5-centimeter) diameter tubing for the fuel line to add about 5 gallons (19 liters) to the car’s fuel capacity. Once, NASCAR officials came up with a list of nine items for Yunick to fix before the car would be allowed on the track. The suspicious NASCAR officials had removed the tank for inspection. Yunick started the car with no gas tank and said “Better make it ten,”[3] and drove it back to the pits. He used a basketball in the fuel tank which could be inflated when the car’s fuel capacity was checked and deflated for the race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Ernieyeball says:

    @qtip: I don’t know what I was thinking…Next time I’ll try this.
    YOU, SICK LITTLE MONKEY! YOU EEDIOT! YOU BLOATED SACK of PROTOPLASM!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. swbarnes2 says:

    Yet ANOTHER Republican pander to a bigotted base that Doug finds incomprehsible.

    Must be a day that ends in Y.

    Honestly Doug, where do you suggest people should be reading to understand why Republican politicians say what they say? Because you and Joyner are supposed to be intelligent, knowledgeable commentators, but you both are utterly baffled by the phenonenon every single time. Where else should we be reading? Who else are you reading to better understand the motivation behind Republican statements and policies, since you’ve been bewildered for months now?

    Do you really not anticipate writing a “Elected Republican says something awful/insulting/moronic/obviously false” every week for the next two months? Are you truly going to be surprised when you write that post next week, and the week after, and the week after that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  47. anjin-san says:

    I went to elementary school in the mid/late 60s, and I do have fond memories of Christmas pageants and parties. But I also remember they taught us that the indians were ignorant savages and we did them a favor by making them live on reservations. They taught us that Wonder Bread was the apex of nutrition (complete with a field trip to the Wonder Bread bakery in SF). They taught us we could trust our government, and that justice always triumphed in America.

    I think the mix is better now. Celebrate Christmas to your heart’s content – at home, at church, at the mall, whatever. Let’s have schools that are places of learning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  48. jukeboxgrad says:

    free:

    a society that worked when religious expression was freely allowed … I learned a lot about respect, tolerance and the benefits of pluralism when I … performed a rousing chorus of “Hava Nagilia” [sic] in our fourth grade Christmas pageant

    Your childhood was so thoroughly drenched in “pluralism” that aside from not learning the proper name of the song, you never learned what it was about. It has nothing to do with “religious expression.” The lyrics have no religious content whatsoever; it’s a folk song.

    If I sing “Danny Boy,” is that a form of “religious expression,” because most Irish are Catholics? Most Americans are Christians, so if I sing an American folk song like “Clementine,” then that’s also “religious expression,” right?

    One day when you actually learn something “about respect, tolerance and the benefits of pluralism” you’ll grasp that ‘culture’ and ‘religion’ are not synonyms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @anjin-san:

    Let’s have schools that are places of learning.

    HA! Anjin, you are such a card! Places of learning…. The only real purpose of schools is as a place to warehouse children during the working hours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. stonetools says:

    @swbarnes2:

    Yet ANOTHER Republican pander to a bigotted base that Doug finds incomprehsible.

    Must be a day that ends in Y.
    Honestly Doug, where do you suggest people should be reading to understand why Republican politicians say what they say? Because you and Joyner are supposed to be intelligent, knowledgeable commentators, but you both are utterly baffled by the phenonenon every single time. Where else should we be reading? Who else are you reading to better understand the motivation behind Republican statements and policies, since you’ve been bewildered for months now?

    This does seem ludicrous to me. Its as if Doug and James don’t accept, or want to accept, much the Republican Party has become the party of bigotry and Knowm-Nothingism They still hanker for a Republican Party where James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, William F Buckley, and Milton Friedman were the face of the party. That Republican Party is gone.
    What we have now is the Republican Party of magical tax cuts and nostalgia for an America that never was.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0