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Romney + education = the worst

by Dan Burns on October 5, 2012 · 25 comments

I saw something yesterday:  ”If (Willard) Mitt Romney’s talking, he’s lying.”  That’s what you call “spot-on.”  27 whoppers in 38 minutes, during the debate.  Here, I’m just noting some material about education, which has not been widely reported, presumably because a lot of his other crap was so egregious.

The facts of Romney’s own record, his words on the campaign trail, and the budget his running mate produced that Romney called “marvelous” are very clear on the direction education funding would go in a Romney presidency.

Namely, down.  Based on his past record, as opposed to what he said Wednesday, teachers and college grant money getting creamed would likely only be the most prominent elements of the carnage.  And what funding there is, will be increasingly oriented to voucherized, corporate crap.  All voters, especially those with kids in school, deserve the facts on this.

give2attain October 5, 2012 at 10:38 pm

So I take it you want children to be required to attend their community school no matter how bad it or it’s student body is?  No freedom of school choice for the poor kids, just for the wealthy kids?  That doesn’t sound like you.

As for whoppers, it seems both sides were exagerating, though Mitt seemed to be doing slightly more.

Bill Prendergast October 6, 2012 at 2:42 am

Romney spoke for about 38 minutes; during that 38 minutes he promulgated 27 different “myths.”

I admire the fact that even you are able to recognize that Romney was relying on BS to ingratiate himself with the voters. (Seriously.) But I don’t understand why any voter who knows that Romney is lying to us about core issues, about the facts, even about his own beliefs–would continue to support him.

I can only assume that such people are more interested in winning the election than in the future of our country. That’s not patriotism. We’ve seen what happens to America when the White House is run on the basis of lies about our common reality.

give2attain October 6, 2012 at 6:19 am

Obama lies or exagerates.  Romney lies or exagerates.  Yet some people only notice one of them doing it.  

I can only assume that such people are more interested in winning the election than in the future of our country. That’s not patriotism. We’ve seen what happens to America when the White House is run on the basis of lies about our common reality.

Very interesting.  I’ll check out the link when I get a minute.  Now will you look at links that show how Obama misstated reality?

Bill Prendergast October 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

Romney is lying about what is in his own program, about what he’s actually said he was proposing. (You must remember that it was a conservative Republican (not liberals in the press or Democrats) who pointed out that Romney is a “Etch-a-Sketch” politician–constantly shifting ‘principled’ positions to tell audiences whatever he thinks they want to hear at that moment. That’s deeply dishonest, it’s also what conservatives claim to hate about politicians

Romney’s also lying about facts–not just exaggerating, lying. We know that, because many of the false statements he made during the debate had been discredited by the mainstream press and non-partisan policy groups prior to the debate. Yet he made those false statements mainstays of his argument, knowing them to be false. That’s not not just exaggeration; that’s lying.

Yes, I have read fact checks of Obama debate statements (I read them when I was preparing to post the list of identified Romney lies I posted here the other day.) A misstatement of a fact is not the same as a “lie”–a statement made with the intent to deceive. Obama made some statements that turned out not to be true–but nothing like Romney’s performance of 27 false statements in 38 minutes!

And as I’ve just explained to you, Romney has no valid explanation for presenting “false statements he has made, already known to be false”–unless he owns up to the fact that he’s still trying to deceive Americans with those false statements.

However much you will insist: it’s simply not true that “Obama is as much at fault as Romney,” with regard to integrity in the first debate. That belief, violates the facts.

give2attain October 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

There are very few “facts” in this situation.  There is a lot of trying to perceive intent, a lot of hypothesizing over what consequence of each proposed change will bring, a lot of word smithing around the full story to play on the Voter’s emotions, etc.

The reality is that each of us has our view of what happened, and it is very real to us. I can’t wait for the remaining debates !!!

give2attain October 6, 2012 at 7:51 am

Sorry about the sources, but I couldn’t find any Liberal sources that were fact checking the President’s statements.

Alec October 6, 2012 at 6:17 am

We have experimented for 20 years of the once noble hypothesis of unfettered and barely regulated school choice, universal choice, and charters.

This hypothesis is described as a silver bullet for the achievement gap.

After 20 years, the gap is still too large, and racial isolation has gotten even worse!!

The silver bullet clearly and unarguably missed its mark and hit an innocent bystander to boot.

The solution is make sure every kid has a good school in their neighborhood. There is no silver bullet. No instant gratification. Just a lot of hard work and hard choices ahead.

give2attain October 6, 2012 at 6:28 am

Until you are willing to truly go after these 2 factors, the problem will not be resolved.  May be best to let as many kids with responsible parents escape the problem.  Below is a proposal I made in jest, yet it has some merit.

By the way school choice has been weak at best. Pretty much only those with money could move homes or schools.  By the way, I am a big Harlem Children’s Zone fan.  Unfortunately the model will never work in a Public system with Unions mandating work rules, steps/lanes, grievances, etc.

give2attain October 6, 2012 at 10:04 am

If you get a chance, read the book “Whatever It Takes”.  It was pretty good and discusses some of the challenges that the Harlem Children’s Zone faced.

One was that they started by using space in a NYC Public School.  Unfortunately they soon chose to move because the the environment and non-related staff were making change difficult. And Canada was working with the Head of the NYC city schools at this time, so School Mgmt wasn’t the problem.

By the way, the HCZ Pipeline concept requires strong Parent education and Early Childhood Education. So as I said, it may never work in the politicized, unionized, penny pinching, politically correct world of Public Ed.

Alec October 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm

In fact, Whatever It Takes was the book study for our entire school. Sadly, I think the one we read was probably the polar opposite of e one you are talking about.

Maybe we could do a book exchange?

While your at it, could you provide a couple sources correlating tenure laws with student achievement? Personally I have never encountered such a correlation, but I must have missed something because it seems to be the focal point getting in the way of Rhee-form. At least there are twenty three states without strong unions where all these modern Rhee forms have turned things around! Right?

give2attain October 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm
Alec October 7, 2012 at 6:11 am

As soon as I have 15.80 more to buy I’ll get free shipping and order it:-)

Still waiting for your evidence correlating due process protections and its negative relationship to student learning.

Bill Prendergast October 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I’ll explain to you why that’s wrong and bad for the overwhelming number of the people in the country–but I have to stop and say that I admire you for your candor in citing that as a valid operating political principle among supporters of the right. Most Republicans and conservatives will never admit that they operate on the principles that you just cited, right there. (Most of them refuse to admit it, except when they’re among other Republican leaders and activists.)

Here’s the problems:
1) You wrote: “The reality is that each of us has our view of what happened, and it is very real to us.” That is true as far as it goes. But it also true that one of us may be very wrong about about the reality that he perceives. You may be a passenger in a car and perceive something ahead as a “brick wall,” and the driver may look at the same thing and perceive “a tunnel, through which he can drive the car.” For practical purposes, there is an objective reality which will determine which of you is right about that perception and this is one of the zillions of cases in which it really will matter which one of you has the story “right.”

This applies to political choices–elections, lawsmaking, policy making, political ideologies, decisions about war and peace. It is why putting people who believe “perception is reality” into political authority so often leads to disastrous consequences for a nation (or any enterprise.) We’ve seen that, in our lifetimes, because we’ve seen conservative governance of the USA during the Bush years. During those years, we saw the executive, the legislature and the courts dominated by a generation of Republican politicians, activists and pundits using that principle to manipulate voters. The Republican Party and the right still operate on that principle: “If we can convince the public we are not driving them into a brick wall: we win, and “us, winning power” is more important than ducking the brick wall.

The “brick walls” remain, the conservatives keep hitting them (Iraq, the response to Katrina, the economic meltdown, the fact of deficit spending without taxation to cover it.)
But the fact is that deceiving the public via “perception is reality” strategy has led to Republican triumphs at the polls. In fact, the strategy has been the basis of the conservative movement for more than fifty years. It’s probably necessary to the survival of conservatism.

Operating on the basis of “perception is reality, so our job is to change the public perception in order to win power”–works, if the real object of politics is “to win power.” Operating on the basis of facts (as determined by non-partisan experts, as determined by scientists, as determined by actual numbers) delegitimizes belief in conservatism. To remain a conservative, one has to ignore or reject facts, and this is not a problem for about thirty per cent of the electorate. You win, with that demographic and sometimes also with the uncommitted voters necessary to control the country.

But “winning power” is the goal of a cynic, not a patriot. If you win power and drive the rest of us into a brick wall, you may do fine. (George Bush and Dick Cheney are not any deader or poorer because they drove us into brick walls time and time again. They’re fine. The rest of us: are still in recovery.) For a patriot (a person who truly loves his country and its people,) facts are a first concern. If you find it necessary to lie about objective facts and reality in order to win power–you shouldn’t be in government. People whose daily operating strategy is deceiving the public about objective realities–cripple their country.

This isn’t Boy Scout moralizing. We’ve experienced the severe and awful consequences that come from being governed by people who believe: “if we control what people perceive, we can win power–objective reality doesn’t matter.” It does. It dismays conservative rank-and-file that Republican politicians (like Bush and Romney and a host of other GOP) adopt big government, “liberal” policies after they’re elected. They do that, because they secretly believe that conservative ideology and principles are a carnard (the alleged principles are just another “perception that they sell as if it were reality.”)

Conservative politicians don’t adopt liberalism in office because they are secretly “liberals at heart.” They adopt those methods (deficit spending to create jobs, big government programs to regulate sales of prescription drugs, state-mandated health insurance, etc) because they’re cynics with a real contempt for conservative voters and ideology. They adopt liberal methods because they are interested in obtaining and keeping power for themselves and their allies. They know that adhering to small government conservatism would lead to the societal disasters and loss of power.

They know that liberalism works, and conservative ideology doesn’t. They know that the liberal state is a necessary operating principle for America, and has been since the days of the Depression. (The problem is: when conservative politicians get control of the liberal state–they’re terrible at running it, in part because they believe that perception is more important than reality.)

Conservatives can’t get elected if they campaign on home truths about the need for the liberal state. The conservative voters would toss them out, and replace them with candidates who continue to lie to them about reality. (You tossed Gerson out of the movement because he was speaking the truth as he saw it.) Conservative voters will fall for the lies about truly conservative reform–over and over again.

Nearly all the conservative voters believe that the cynics telling them conservative lies are speaking the truth. They would be horrified by your admission–horrified if they came to understand (as you do) that the leaders of the right view “controlling the perception” as more important than “acknowledging and dealing with facts.” (Imagine the fate of a conservative candidate who acknowledged publicly what you acknowledge here: “Perception is reality. If the facts contradict the perception I need to win office–I reject the facts.”)

Romney went before the voters and made 27 different false statements in the space of 38 minutes. He knew many of the statements to be false when he made them–but continued to make them anyway. That’s lying, lying about critical matters. That indicates that he’s a deeply dishonest man, out to deceive the American people. He won’t discuss important specifics of his agenda; he contradicts himself on the parts of the agenda he will discuss, depending on who he’s talking to. All of that indicates dishonesty, too.
When he thought the cameras were off, he expressed contempt for 47% of Americans. He won’t even let the public see all his personal tax returns, indicating a pathetic lack of integrity and accountability.

Electing such a man promises catastrophe. There’s no way that a person who loves his country could support a deeply and openly dishonest man for the Presidency. Unless, as you claim, perception “is” reality.

It isn’t. Brick walls are real–even if you refuse to perceive them.  

give2attain October 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I started Give2Attain to pass a Robbinsdale area school referendum, and stuck with it because the LEFT & RIGHT’s perceptions of reality seem so out there that I thought I would continually challenge both sides with different thoughts.  The goal is to help individuals from both sides to challenge their own beliefs and rational.  I really don’t care if they change their position as long as they just stop and really think about it.

I would argue the the Conservative bloggers are saying almost the exact thing about the DFL and it’s follower as you said about the GOP etal.  Here is some food for thought.

Bill Prendergast October 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I would argue the the Conservative bloggers are saying almost the exact thing about the DFL and it’s followers as you said about the GOP et al.

Your comment about what conservative voters say about “the DFL and its followers” is not a relevant response to anything I wrote. What the left and right say about each other isn’t relevant to what you and I were discussing: “whether perception is reality.”

The reality: Conservative voters vote for conservatives and get liberals (Reagan with his unlimited deficit spending, Bush, Bachmann requests for earmarks.) Conservative voters support them, almost without fail. Compared to that reality–why do claims made by conservative bloggers about the left matter?

Again, you’re valuing the false perception marketed by conservative bloggers “as if” it was just as valid as an accurate perception of how liberal and conservative candidates behave in office. The notion that liberals are “misled” by liberal politicians is false: when liberals vote for liberals, they get liberals. When conservatives vote for conservatives, they are misled…they find that the people they voted for are liberals when it comes to supposedly “bedrock” conservative principles about small government.

give2attain October 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Then it does not matter who wins, since the Politicians are all apparently Liberal.  Does that make sense to you? What will we comment on from now on?

By the way, Warren Meyer agrees with you in this article.  It is way down at the bottom.

“The political incentives are for these lines to always go up, which is why the spending line has gone up almost irrespective of the party in charge for 60 years.

The founders of this nation understood this effect.  They never trusted politicians to limit their own power, so they did if for them, via the Constitution.  We need to do the same thing, finding a way to cap the size and power of government in a way politicians can’t just overturn in some midnight vote.”

So my readers helped me create continuum regarding where each “group” of people would like to see government spending as a percent of GDP.  Whether they are right or wrong, they see things very differently.  It seems their perceptions are very different. (it must be the Conservative that are wrong…)

Now if I want to cap spending and revenue at 20% of some “avg GDP” estimate.  Who should I vote for?

Bill Prendergast October 7, 2012 at 1:00 am

really matter who you vote for–because you’re not going find a candidate who can actually deliver on a promise like that. An elected government will not hold itself to that promise, if it means throwing tens of millions of Americans out of work. A lot of self-styled conservatives in Congress won’t observe the limits, if they think that the resulting unemployment in their districts will get them tossed out.

Good luck rewriting the Constitution to impose the limitations conservatives would like to see. All kinds of conservatives have been promising to put through amendments like that for decades. Even when conservatives had effective control of the federal government–it didn’t happen; Bush and the GOP congress spent like drunken sailors.

Then it does not matter who wins, since the Politicians are all apparently Liberal.  Does that make sense to you? What will we comment on from now on?

A childish and deliberate misinterpretation of what I wrote. I explained to reasons why it makes a difference who we vote for (at great length.) To attribute that view to me (that it makes no difference who wins) you have to ignore everything I wrote about the dangers and consequences of electing leaders with a chronic and programmatic dependence on lies.

Every day, the right challenges the idea that nation’s politics and political discourse should be based on reality.
That fact suggests that conservatives believe that they couldn’t even win their bases without lying about reality.

And the track record of supposedly conservative politicians indicates another belief: that they won’t retain power if they actually implement serious conservative reform of the nation.

A political worldview dependent on lies, one that regularly jettisons its own stated principles when in power–is sick. We’ve seen the results of handing power to such people. We’ve seen them drive the country into brick walls–time and time again.

Bill Prendergast October 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm

your candor in this thread that I’ve found admirable. See below for my answer.

give2attain October 7, 2012 at 3:03 am

Your premise is based on one key assumption that I think is wrong. Therefore this discussion will unlikely make progress.  You apparently believe that the Conservatives are “lying”. (ie being intentionally misleading for personal gain)  Where as I disagree with this blatant US / THEM view.

“A political worldview dependent on lies, one that regularly jettisons its own stated principles when in power–is sick.”

If the world was black and white, Conservative and Liberal, Capitalist and Socialistic, etc, you would likely be correct.  However it isn’t as I tried to show via the continuum and the Snopes link.

Mitt is likely more Liberal than some of his more Conservative supporters, however he is likely significantly much more Conservative than Obama. Now does that make him Liberal or Conservative?  I am so confused…

give2attain October 7, 2012 at 3:06 am

I am going to link up to this and see if my readers have any clarifying perceptions.  Talk later

Bill Prendergast October 7, 2012 at 5:17 am

That’s your answer, and you would find many conservatives making that same observation about him during an entire decade prior to his nomination.

…this discussion will unlikely make progress.

I agree with you again. But our disagreement is not so much about the premise you cited (that’s not my view, exactly.)  It’s about another premise: I believe “reality is reality,” and you believe that “perception is reality.”

You apparently believe that the Conservatives are “lying”. (ie being intentionally misleading for personal gain)

Not quite. There are sincere conservatives who believe sincerely in the conservative worldview (whatever it may be at the moment.) They’re misled and they refuse to learn from history and the performance record of their chosen leaders and heroes in office. But there are many conservatives who are sincere believers who would balk at deliberately spreading lies.

But the burden of keeping integrity is on those sincere conservatives. If one of those conservatives learns that Romney’s deliberately falsifying the record in a presidential debate, or that Limbaugh regularly falsifies facts on his broadcasts, or that Bachmann’s regularly caught spreading lies and crackpot theories…

…well, a conservative who continues to support those candidacies and careers has lost their claim to sincerity and credibility, since he’s choosing to stick with leaders who make careers out of telling lies about issues that affect us all.

So yes, I know there are sincere conservatives; if you believe nothing but the lies offered in conservative propaganda and ignore any factual information that discredits conservatism–you can be and remain a sincere conservative believer. It’s like giving up a part of your brain to remain in a twilight world constructed for you by people who are manipulate you–but you can be sincere in your belief in that twilight world where “perception becomes reality, regardless of fact.”

Having acknowledged that sincere conservatives exist: it’s beyond doubt that the conservative movement is shot through with liars, led by liars and perpetuated by people who choose to spread lies. Liars regularly reach icon status in the conservative media and movement, and that is deliberate–apparently necessary to sustain serious support for the ideology.

Mitt Romney is just the latest example of a liar receiving the applause of movement conservatism. Because he’s an Etch-a-Sketch politician who says whatever he thinks people want to hear: no one can say what policies Romney will actually adopt and fight for if he’s elected. Two exceptions: he will continue to practice leadership via lies, and he will lower the tax burden on the wealthiest Americans by continuing to shift it on to working American families. I think you can trust him to attempt those.

I gotta say one more thing about what you wrote just then. You realize, of course, that your case for a nuanced view (the world isn’t black and white, Conservative or Liberal, Capitalist or Socialistic) would be anathema to most conservatives–even many sincere ones. Conservatives–particularly tens of millions of conservative evangelicals–would dismiss that kind of thinking of “no black or white” as “moral relativism.” (By the way: both “black” and “white” exist.)

Other conservatives would also reject your proposal a nuanced view of “Conservative and Liberal.” They regularly argue that America should be conservative, because liberalism’s “the sickness”–a political evil in and of itself that will ultimately send us all into serfdom. And socialism? No nuanced view of that: conservatives view it as an abyss, even as they continue to benefit from redistribution of wealth.

give2attain October 7, 2012 at 8:27 am

I am going to get mine at the library. hopefully…

Remember, we want causation.  Don’t think I’ll have time to research it now.  But I will add it to my list of research projects.  It is an interesting premise.

Do you have any conclusive proof that Unions help Student achievement?

give2attain October 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

I can’t speak for all Conservatives, but my Conservative friends and readers see a need for Government expense and safety nets.  Just not as many as you may feel are required.

I have posted some comments and a link to this discussion on G2A.  It will be interesting to see what they think.  Thank you for giving me a lot to think about.

Bill Prendergast October 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm

it out. I don’t get to spell my views on conservatism out in detail very much, because I write for an audience that already believes conservatism is “bad.”

And I’m sorry, I won’t read your blog or follow along there. It’s not personal, it’s a matter of use of time. I read news off the wires, and stories from various professional media and conservative and liberal opinion sites throughout the day. As for blogs, I limit myself to three–this one, the Kos, and MPR’s daily news blog (Capitol Roundup.)

Those are the things I really need to read, every day–in addition to books and print journals, etc. And sometimes I’ll read links to third party journals sent in to support statements made in the comment thread.

But I don’t follow links to reader blogs promoted by readers here in the thread; readers can say what they think and why they think it–in the thread. In fact, I’m not sure about your use of the comment thread here to promote your own blog. That kind of promotion is the exception, here and in the blogs I do read.

But good luck with it

give2attain October 8, 2012 at 4:06 am

My readership is pretty solid and stable.  I cross link because it is efficient.  We have already discussed the topic before, so there is no need for me to retype my view or concept.

Just like I cross linked to this post on G2A so my readers could get both sides of our discussion, not just my summary.

To bad you are choosing to not check it out, I would have appreciated your thoughts on the continuum.

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