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Grumpy Grampa Kline to remake GOP image

by The Big E on February 18, 2013 · 2 comments

Brace yourselves for the GET OFF MY LAWN rebranding

As everyone knows, the Republican Party (aka the Party Of No, aka The Tea Party, aka Party of Legitimate Rape, aka The Birthers, aka the Climate Change Deniers, aka the Ignorance Caucus) has image problems.

So who better to call upon than the grumpy, out-of-touch Rep. John Kline (R-MN). Kline is going to help improve the GOP’s image on education.

Seriously … don’t laugh.

Rep. John Kline will land in the national spotlight this month as he leads a congressional hearing on school violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that left 26 people dead in Connecticut.

It’s the first hint of the pivotal role Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, will play in the Republican Party’s effort to redefine itself after the electoral losses of 2012.

Since the start of President Obama’s second term, influential Republicans have been crafting an education- and jobs-centered agenda they hope will help win over a broader base of Americans.

Besides school safety, Kline also will lead the GOP push on issues party leaders hope will make them more relevant to minority and middle-class voters: private-school vouchers for children from lower-income families, college affordability and workforce training tailored to in-demand jobs.

Kline knows as much about education as I know about astrophysics. But the former Marine knows what his donors want him to say. Yes, that’s the for-profit colleges and the banks that rip off far too many people seeking higher education.

As for image, Kline’s staff calls the cops any time a Democrat shows up his offices. In other words, he’s the prototypical Get Off My Lawn Republican.

The staffers he hires are notoriously rude. Campaign Manager Mike Osskopp went to a DFL event and yelled racist insults at DFLers as they arrived.

Minnesota Central February 18, 2013 at 8:44 am

Since the start of President Obama’s second term, influential Republicans have been crafting an education- and jobs-centered agenda they hope will help win over a broader base of Americans.

Besides school safety, Kline also will lead the GOP push on issues party leaders hope will make them more relevant to minority and middle-class voters: private-school vouchers for children from lower-income families, college affordability and workforce training tailored to in-demand jobs.

Actually, since January 2011, Chairman Kline has been tasked with reforming No Child Left Behind and Workforce Improvement legislation.  His 5-part NCLB reform never got a vote by the full House … nor did his Workforce Improvement Act.  You may recall that in President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address, he called for Congress to pass a Workforce Improvement Act complaining about duplication of programs.  If you listened to Chairman Kline, he complained about 47 duplicate programs.  If you listened to candidate Romney, he complained about 47 duplicate programs. We had an election … the term ended with Chairman Kline failing to get Majority Leader Cantor to schedule a vote. Fast forward to a new term … and first out of the gate is Majority Leader Cantor giving a speech entitled Making Life Work in which he complains about 47 duplicate programs.
When will they stop using these programs for speeches … President Obama recommended that they could be cut down yet the disfunctional House Republicans refused to act … because they are playing politics.
In Cantor’s Making Life Work speech, he echoed Romney’s plan for charter schools and dollars-to-the-student rather than dollars-to-the-school concept … this is nothing new and nothing good in my opinion.

Regarding the School Safety issue, based on the questions Chairman Kline has asked to the Cabinet Secretaries, he seems to be more interested in the dollars for the programs, and effectiveness of existing programs, than with addressing school safety issues.  

Chairman Kline seems to be operating this by ignoring the Democrats on the Committee by going directly to the White House … he even wants the White House to tell him their plans for Stafford Loans (which you may recall, Chairman Kline reluctantly granted a one year extenstion last year when faced with Romney saying that student loans should continue).

This is the time for the DFL to advertise Chairman Kline’s views … get the letters to newspapers … get the teachers and parents to weigh in.  
Thus, we should all agree that this is the time for the DFL to push on issues party leaders hope will make them more relevant to middle-class voters.

OK, seriously, can anyone tell me the last time that Chairman Kline was seen inside a Minnesota classroom … that was not a For-Profit school ?
I wrote a blog questioning if he had been in one since Secretary Duncan visited a elementary school in Lakeville (01/21/2011) … afterward, I noticed that Chairman Kline updated his kline.house.gov website to include a picture of him talking to students from an Eagan-based Catholic school  … the only thing that Chairman Kline failed to mention was that the students came to Washington … he did not go to Eagan !

Mac Hall February 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm

FYI : As Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, John Kline will begin hearings on the issue of school safety on Wednesday, February 27.

In the past, Mr. Kline has stressed that he preferred states and school districts to decide school safety issues rather than Washington (see his refusal to hold hearings on Keeping Students Safe Act last term) but Monday, when asked by Minnesota reporters, he offered a personal opinion on the question of teachers carrying guns in classrooms.

“I think I would rather have an armed teacher than a gunman going wild,” he said.

Gosh, I guess that may be the reason why Organizing For Action is running online ad campaign constituents to urge him to back a more robust background check system for gun sales. OFA officials said that although the ads are focused on background checks, the group will hold future activities to rally support for the other planks of Obama’s gun control proposal, which include an assault weapons ban and limits on high-capacity magazines.

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