“If you believe any of the s…t” you read here you are a freaking moron.”
That’s the disclaimer you’ll see at BrokenWorldNews, which is one of the ubiquitous satire sites populating the internet offering linkbait stories to catch the rubes unawares.
So when BrokenWorldNews runs a story about how Common Core is turning students gay, it ought to be fairly easy work for a reader to realize this is something you need to take with a grain of salt and a huge dose of humor.
What you don’t do is reference the story as a serious example of why Common Core is a bad idea. Not if you want to be taken seriously.
Unfortunately, that’s precisely what the Tea Party of Louisiana did when it posted a press release castigating Sen. David Vitter for supporting Common Core on its website this morning.
The Tea Party of Louisiana (TPoL) wishes to express its shock and outrage at Senator David Vitter’s recent statements in support of “Common Core State Standards”. TPoL has always thought of Senator Vitter as a friend of Liberty, but his statements in support of Common Core are not what we’d have expected from someone who is a defender of Louisiana’s children and a champion of Freedom and less government. Sadly, Senator Vitter’s remarks sound more like the rhetoric we’d expect from a D.C. elitist who doesn’t believe that we average citizens are capable of making our own decisions, running our own lives, and raising our own children. This leaves us at TPoL at a loss to understand Senator Vitter’s inexplicable change of heart, especially given that in his announcement for Governor of Louisiana, this past January, Senator Vitter assailed Common Core as being an instrument of “big government”, stating that he was running for governor to, among other things, “……to protect our Citizens from heavy-handed, big government policies like “Common Core”, and all the rest”. That was Senator Vitter’s position just over six short months ago, and now he throws a “John Kerry” at us: “he was against Common Core before he was for it”. Really? Where did that come from? What changed, Senator? Why the “flip-flop”?
The Breitbart organization stated that Senator Vitter’s remarks “suggest a lack of awareness of the issues surrounding Common Core”. We agree, and want to point out that the two talking-points Senator Vitter touched on in his statement diametrically contradict each other, and smack of Washington insider “double speak”. Senator Vitter said (paraphrasing) that “he is for the Common Core standards”, but is also for “local control of curriculum”.
Unfortunately, Senator Vitter can’t “eat his cake and have it, too”; he has to choose one position or the other: either he supports the big government, nationalized curriculum imposed via Common Core, or he supports local control of education. Which is it, Senator?
We can only hope that Breitbart is right, and that Senator Vitter’s position on Common Core indicates his ignorance on the subject, because his new-found support of Common Core, coupled with Senator Vitter’s recent “trial balloon” about the possibility of expanding Medicaid in Louisiana leave us at TPoL scratching our heads, and, frankly, wondering if Senator Vitter is really the true conservative we always thought he was.
We hope that Senator Vitter’s recent position statements do not indicate that he’s decided to cater to “big money” interests at the expense of the average Louisiana citizen. Supporting Common Core may net him a financial windfall from certain large campaign contributors, but it is also certain to cost him tens of thousands of crucial votes in the next governor’s race.
Hoping that Senator Vitter really IS the man we’ve always thought him to be, The Tea Party of Louisiana urgently calls on him to rethink his position on Common Core and immediately, and publicly, reverse his ill-advised support of this threat to the future of our children and vow to STOP Common Core in Louisiana. We need real solutions for improving education, solutions like universal vouchers, solutions that put parents squarely in charge of their children’s education, not another outmoded and doomed-to-fail, big government “boon-doggle” like Common Core. Are you listening, Senator Vitter?
All of which is defensible as a matter of politics and policy. But just under it came this…
And it gets worse. Because the Times-Picayune picked up on TPOL’s press release, salivating as one might imagine the paper would be to find an intraparty squabble on the Right to report on, and caught up with TPOL spokesman Bob Reid, who said this…
Reid said that the group know the article is “labeled satire,” but posted it to “bring attention of the Common Core issue to those who maybe aren’t paying attention.” He said his group has lots of serious information about Common Core on is website.
Ahhh, no. If you know it’s a satirical piece you don’t use it to prove a serious point. And when it’s brought to your attention that you just got burned using a satirical piece as a serious reference then you scrub that from your website, deny everything and hope people forget about it.
What you don’t do is to say you knew that all along. That’s the most damaging thing of all, because it suggests you think people who may be listening to you are rubes who will believe anything you tell them.
And you don’t have to be a rube to have problems with Common Core. There are lots of references out there from reputable sources disagreeing with Common Core. To get fooled into referencing a satirical site which is basically a knockoff of the Onion because it has a headline that gets folks’ blood pumping does a lot of damage to your argument.
It’s a win for the pro-Common Core people when you do that.
Four years ago the Tea Party of Louisiana was packing halls for public meetings to discuss the issues of the day, and it had a real perspective which warranted influence among the political class. That’s gone now, and it’s not going to come back if this is the best TPOL can do.