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Borowitz writes: "The G.O.P., which has benefited from the support of so-called 'low-information voters' in recent years, accused Obama of cynically trying to make people smarter as a way of chipping away at the Republican base."

Students rally for free college in New York City. (photo: PopularResistance.org)
Students rally for free college in New York City. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)


Republicans Expose Obama’s College Plan as Plot to Make People Smarter

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

09 January 15

 

The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

resident Obama’s plan to offer Americans two years of college for free has come under fire from congressional Republicans, who are calling it a blatant plot to make Americans smarter.

The G.O.P., which has benefited from the support of so-called “low-information voters” in recent years, accused Obama of cynically trying to make people smarter as a way of chipping away at the Republican base.

“You take low-information voters and give them information, and pretty soon they’re Democrats,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said.

House Speaker John Boehner said that “forcing knowledge into people” was “flagrantly un-American,” adding, “We make this promise to the American people: if you like your brains, you can keep your brains.”


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+96 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2015-01-09 22:45
What? And upset the Republican slogan, "keep 'm poor and stupid and we'll keep all the money." That slogan has been around for hundreds of years.
 
 
+20 # jamesnimmo 2015-01-10 10:30
This is similar to the sexist proverb about keeping women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. GOPers are so pitiful.
 
 
+11 # DaveHOz 2015-01-10 17:10
I think the official GOP slogan is more succinct -- Something about one being born every minute...

And P.T. Barnum *was* a Republican. Just sayin'.
 
 
+9 # Nominae 2015-01-10 19:06
Quoting DaveHOz:
... P.T. Barnum *was* a Republican. Just sayin'.


Yeah .... on that topic of education, sly innuendo regarding a man (Barnum), who was born in 1810, being a "Republican" may demonstrate lack of understanding of what it meant to BE a Republican during that time period.

The first Republican President (also a product of the 1800s) was Abraham Lincoln.

In those days, it was the Democrats who were the racist, fascist, proud-to-be-stu pid uneducated boneheads.

The two parties would later (20th Century) *literally* reverse their traditional and historical roles in this country.
 
 
+7 # lfeuille 2015-01-11 17:51
Quoting NOMINAE:
Quoting DaveHOz:
... P.T. Barnum *was* a Republican. Just sayin'.


Yeah .... on that topic of education, sly innuendo regarding a man (Barnum), who was born in 1810, being a "Republican" may demonstrate lack of understanding of what it meant to BE a Republican during that time period.

The first Republican President (also a product of the 1800s) was Abraham Lincoln.

In those days, it was the Democrats who were the racist, fascist, proud-to-be-stupid uneducated boneheads.

The two parties would later (20th Century) *literally* reverse their traditional and historical roles in this country.


Well, both parties were actually pretty racists, but the Republicans didn't believe that just because whites were superior that gave them the right to own blacks. What is considered progressive depends on the times.
 
 
+2 # Nominae 2015-01-11 20:59
Quoting lfeuille:
Quoting NOMINAE:
Quoting DaveHOz:
... P.T. Barnum *was* a Republican. Just sayin'.


Yeah .... on that topic of education, sly innuendo regarding a man (Barnum), who was born in 1810, being a "Republican" may demonstrate lack of understanding of what it meant to BE a Republican during that time period.

The first Republican President (also a product of the 1800s) was Abraham Lincoln.

In those days, it was the Democrats who were the racist, fascist, proud-to-be-stupid uneducated boneheads.

The two parties would later (20th Century) *literally* reverse their traditional and historical roles in this country.


Well, both parties were actually pretty racists, but the Republicans didn't believe that just because whites were superior that gave them the right to own blacks. What is considered progressive depends on the times.


Absolutely accurate - thank you.
 
 
+74 # unitedwestand 2015-01-10 00:21
Two years of college free, as it should be. Educated students aren't just good for the individual, they improve the brains of the country. So glad President Obama knows that.

I was able to afford a degree here in California as it was almost free, until Reagan the Putrid increased student fees, where it affected me the last two semesters, but then it got worse for students. I'm so very grateful that I was able to get the education I did, but I wouldn't have if I had to take out loans.

Kudos to President Obama for this decision. Hope it doesn't get swamped with RW elephant dung.
 
 
0 # DaveHOz 2015-01-10 17:15
At least, even after Reagan, community college in CA was fairly affordable, even for low-income people... Until Pete Wilson came along....

And unfortunately, Jerry Brown hasn't lifted a finger to improve things in that regard.
 
 
-102 # cordleycoit 2015-01-10 04:56
We are a trusting people aren't we? Trusting Obama to educate us is like trusting the cat to watch after mice, Or his banker buddies to watch your money. Think about home schooling your self before trusting the government to educate you..
 
 
-32 # Skyelav 2015-01-10 08:56
No the issue isn't what you can or will do for yourself the issue is what is the responsibility of government. It's something we have constant tugs of war about. Personally I don't like this education plan. I would rather see money spent in the brain developing years. By the time you get to college it's difficult to re train habits and grow neurons.
 
 
+30 # tclose 2015-01-10 09:54
OMG. The government, aka Obama, is educating us! What a socialist idea is that. I had never thought of it that way. Thanks for making me realize how brainwashed I have been after all those years in public school.

p.s. Are you serious cordley, or is your comment intended as satire?
 
 
+17 # reiverpacific 2015-01-10 12:44
Quoting cordleycoit:
We are a trusting people aren't we? Trusting Obama to educate us is like trusting the cat to watch after mice, Or his banker buddies to watch your money. Think about home schooling your self before trusting the government to educate you..


Great idea, then they can become anti-social, out of touch, puzzled citizens (which would be fine with the TeaThugs).
I've met and known quite a few home-schooled people of all ages in my perambulations around the US and they have been, without exception, the most fucked-up individuals of any demographic I've had the fortune to be acquainted with, the majority of who've been the spawn of Survivalists with basements loaded up to the ceiling with canned good and bristling with high-powered weapons.
In fact, you're most likely to meet such poor souls at gun shows.
Dream on THAT!
 
 
+13 # NAVYVET 2015-01-10 17:26
Well, everyone should home school themselves. I (a paleface redhead) was disgusted in 9th grade in 1949-50 that I was getting absolutely no information on Africa or African Americans, so I got the school and town librarians to send for interlibrary loans & buy new books. I ended up learning a Bantu language, translating Sesotho poems (just for me), and learning African Studies/African art, music, literature, etc. It's been a lifelong joy & I've given multimedia programs to churches & civic groups. I'll be 79 in March.
BUT UNLESS I'D HAD THE GREAT JOHN DEWEY PUBLIC SCHOOLING IN MY CHICAGO GRADE SCHOOL, the 3 Rs Plus the 4th R-how to "reason" or think for myself-I wouldn't have realized at age 13 that there was a dirty U.S. boycott on black accomplishments . Most of my African Studies books have come from Africa or Britain.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2015-01-12 09:50
Hmmmm......it's a shame you didn't look up women's accomplishments . That's never taught either.
 
 
+2 # janla 2015-01-12 20:06
Quoting cordleycoit:
We are a trusting people aren't we? Trusting Obama to educate us is like trusting the cat to watch after mice, Or his banker buddies to watch your money. Think about home schooling your self before trusting the government to educate you..

Home schooling - the ignorant teaching the ignorant? Seriously?
 
 
-73 # cordleycoit 2015-01-10 04:56
We are a trusting people aren't we? Trusting Obama to educate us is like trusting the cat to watch after mice, Or his banker buddies to watch your money. Think about home schooling your self before trusting the government to educate you..
 
 
+50 # Bruce Gruber 2015-01-10 07:08
cordleycoit:

By your inquiry, disconnectednes s and recommendation you demonstrate the dangers of self-education. Your disdain for the President is obvious. The personalization of the implementation of public policy in the occupant of the White House is shallow and obtuse. The complete misunderstandin g of the process of government, representation, and citizen participation suggests that 'defensive' individualism has separated you from society as a whole and placed you in the echo chamber of Faux Newsiness.
Education is the MOST LOCAL of all aspects of public service and support. Home schooling represents a lack of confidence in - and alienation from - your friends and neighbors wt the local level ... school board members, administrators, teachers, and volunteers.

Unfortunately, the views you express served as the foundation for book burning during the Dark Ages ... but then that is probably not part of the history taught at your Home Skool.

(sarcasm intended)
 
 
+21 # tclose 2015-01-10 10:07
Thanks, Bruce for your eloquent championing of public education policy. Your putdown of cordleycoit was firm, gentle, and incisive.

The mindset of Mr. Coit is exactly what Andy is referring to when he quotes Speaker Boehner, "If you like your brains, you can keep your brains".
 
 
+22 # jon 2015-01-10 12:44
"cordleycoit"

A victim of the politics of fear and hate

The irony is that John Boehner went to college at a land grant school for next to no cost. Yet, he and guys like Mr. Coit, don't know history.

Mr. Obama is not trying to educate us. He is trying to restore an educational system that all Americans took for granted as part of the collective wealth of being an American citizen, before Ronald Reagan.
 
 
+6 # Mmjjbb 2015-01-10 05:38
As usual, the devil's in the details. Most of it is pretty standard stuff--Students must maintain a GPA, make progress, etc; colleges must offer transferable coursework or occupational training programs with high graduation rates "and lead to in-demand degrees and certificates". Here's the catch, though: "Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes." And we all know what that means.
 
 
-11 # Nominae 2015-01-10 19:24
Quoting Mmjjbb:
Here's the catch, though: "Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes." And we all know what that means.


We most certainly *do* know what that means. Government sponsored, government approved, and government *enforced* INDOCTRINATION - *not* education in any real or imagined sense of the word.

How can I be so "cynical"? Simply look at exactly that same pattern having been successfully implemented in our public schools, El-Hi, since 1980.

NOWHERE is critical thinking (the entire *point* of any education worthy of the name)to be found any longer, anywhere in public El-Hi (it's all about regurgitating Government approved answers on a Government approved test).

Worse, critical thinking is *also* anathema on many publicly funded College Campuses today.

Now that same "standard" is to be applied to publicly funded Junior Colleges ? Juicy.

Anyone who thinks that less education, and more indoctrination is a DEAL, is simply in dire need of more education.

INDOCTRINATION is *not* "education", even when the indoctrination *IS* free.

Look up the phrase "lemmings to the sea" for an educational insight on this proposal.
 
 
+2 # Mmjjbb 2015-01-10 05:41
http://dianeravitch.net/2015/01/09/dissent-from-obama-plan-to-make-community-college-free/
 
 
-26 # Mmjjbb 2015-01-10 05:44
Arne Duncan and his education reforms have destroyed public education and now they are after community colleges!! These reforms have also reduced parental rights with the changes Mr Duncan made to the FERPA regulations!! ENOUGH!!
 
 
-15 # RMDC 2015-01-10 08:31
good point, mmjjbb -- this is what I worry about too. Arne Duncan is a very poor educator. In fact, he's a mis-educator. but he won't be around for long.
 
 
+33 # Skyelav 2015-01-10 09:00
Oh really ? How so? I thought Reagan singlehandedly ruined the brillant California school system before he turned his hand on the national schools. Then his followers, ending with the dumbest of all, George W. finished the job. Now teachers are teaching tests and are demoralized with unions all but busted and curriculae in shambles. Really??? Obama???
 
 
+14 # Skyelav 2015-01-10 09:03
Obama is just following what has been started by these plutocrat-frien dly republicans. Duncan is a dumbo for promoting charter schools and the American public hasn't even noticed their taxpayer dollars going to educate the privileged.
 
 
+4 # Nominae 2015-01-10 19:47
Quoting Skyelav:
Oh really ? How so? I thought Reagan singlehandedly ruined the brillant California school system before he turned his hand on the national schools. Then his followers, ending with the dumbest of all, George W. finished the job. Now teachers are teaching tests and are demoralized with unions all but busted and curriculae in shambles. Really??? Obama???


You are quite correct. It was neither Reagan nor Obama. Both men were/are simply figureheads to place before the public to maintain the Corporate Takeover of the Global Economy *launched* circa 1980, and solidly maintained by Wall-Street-Ope ratives like Obama to this day.

Quote from Obama "Jamie Dimon is my favorite banker." How does a President say things like that out loud in public and still have those who do not hear ?

People whining about nobody politicians shows how effective this "Perception Management" - Regan Admin. phrase) has become in this country.

As long a people are blaming ephemeral and temporary politicians, they are not "pulling back the curtain" to discover the Corporate Cats pulling the strings on the "Emperor" in secret.

It is, in fact, becoming so successful that Corporations no longer see the need to operate behind the curtain. When they instruct the Supreme Court to declare the buying of elections LEGAL in this country, they do not seem to be too worried about any effective "blow-back" from *any* sector anymore, do they ?

Mission Accomplished.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2015-01-12 09:58
Sorry Mmjjbb.....but the American educational system wasn't too hot BEFORE Arne Duncan.
When I came to the States in 1956 I was close to 2 years ahead of the students in my class.
 
 
0 # janla 2015-01-12 20:13
Quoting Mmjjbb:
Arne Duncan and his education reforms have destroyed public education and now they are after community colleges!! These reforms have also reduced parental rights with the changes Mr Duncan made to the FERPA regulations!! ENOUGH!!

The constant cutting of education budgets and funding to support them are the problem with public education today - these attacks prevent educators from doing their best which then leads to more and more criticism about public education which then leads to more and more calls for privatization of education - and we know where that is going to take us.
 
 
+31 # rhgreen 2015-01-10 06:44
Gad, I had expected that no-one would attack Obama and take Borowitz's satire seriously, on this one. But I was wrong. We have no shortage of dingbats. Mind you, the states should be doing this - but it is in the American tradition that when the states use "states rights" to do nothing and to obstruct when things need to be done, the federal government can prod them. It's been done before, re. interstate highways and health care for example. One of the funnier bits re. health care is Mitt Romney proposing a plan at the state level (as Governor of Massachusetts) and then throwing an ideological fit (for his right-wing Republican base) when Obama proposes the same plan at the federal level. I wasn't going to vote for him anyway but that one made him look especially silly, I thought.
 
 
+19 # Bruce Gruber 2015-01-10 07:17
"no-one" is ALWAYS ready to attack Obama. It's hard to figure whether the President is denigrated because he is half black or half white. The intensity and personalization ginned up by the 'gigglers' at Fox News and the right wing echo chamber are both designed to keep cause and effect simplified for the resentful and un-trusting 'home schooled'. They know everything they NEED to know because 'somebody' tells them so. Curiosity and inquiry are the enemies of certainty and blame.
 
 
+6 # Skyelav 2015-01-10 09:04
Why is it the great unwashed don't even notice the foxes in their own personal henhouses?
 
 
+12 # ericlipps 2015-01-10 08:06
Quote:
House Speaker John Boehner said that “forcing knowledge into people” was “flagrantly un-American,” adding, “We make this promise to the American people: if you like your brains, you can keep your brains.”
"Just don't think with 'em."
 
 
+13 # RMDC 2015-01-10 08:35
Andy is right. What politician in his/her right mind would want a "smarter" population. The US regime has worked tirelessly and spent trillions of dollars dumbing down the American population. This does not even include corporate advertising. Why would they start something intended to make people smarter. It just cannot be true. My bet is that free community college will be just another job-training subsidy for corporations. It will be a "school to work" program. That is something Arne Duncan can understand. He does not know that education is fundamental to humanity. All people need to understand their position as human beings in history, philosophy, and culture. That is what education should do. A job comes second or third.
 
 
+19 # cwbystache 2015-01-10 08:41
You take "high-informati on" voters and give them even more information, and pretty soon they're Greens.
 
 
+10 # fredboy 2015-01-10 09:30
The education plan directly conflicts with the plan Repugs revealed on 9/11--to limit our rights, our thoughts, and our choices.

Hey NYD: Ever consider launching a full criminal investigation of the event, the most horrific mass murder in your city's--and our nation's--histo ry? None was ever launched. Wonder why?
 
 
+10 # leftcoast 2015-01-10 10:07
cordleycoit - home schooling - the bastion of the fundamentalist right.
What's more, how dare you presume to be a teacher?!
 
 
+2 # Vardoz 2015-01-10 10:20
I hate Obama for supporting the TPP and making sure we no longer have the right to due process but free community college would be wonderful.
 
 
+1 # jzacksmd 2015-01-11 13:55
Folks, it's not necessary to feel paranoid about this; Andy Borowitz is a humorist and did this piece simply for its laugh power, so relax and allow your mind to go off the path for a moment.
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2015-01-11 18:07
Quoting jzacksmd:
Folks, it's not necessary to feel paranoid about this; Andy Borowitz is a humorist and did this piece simply for its laugh power, so relax and allow your mind to go off the path for a moment.


Yeah, but he is talking about a real issue. Education policy for K-12 has taken a wrong turn lately. It started under Bush, but has continued under Obama. High stakes testing is causing to many schools to "teach to the test". Schools in low income areas are losing aid when the can't reach arbitrary improvement goals. They need more money, not less. Poverty which leads to all kinds of social problems which in turn make learning much more difficult, is not taken into account, never mind constructively addressed. Local communities are losing control to corporate education ventures, which promise to improve learning, but it is at the expense of constant free market propaganda and so far has not been very successful at raising test scores. I don't know how these policies would translate to community colleges, but it does raise a concern.
 
 
-2 # Nominae 2015-01-11 21:40
Quoting lfeuille:
...... Education policy for K-12 has taken a wrong turn lately.... High stakes testing is causing to many schools to "teach to the test". Schools in low income areas are losing aid ... Local communities are losing control to corporate education ventures...


Wonderfully rendered indeed. Many readers will have no idea of what you are talking about, and they will literally vote for *anything* that they think is "free", because it "sounds good".

As Chris Hedges observes, power structures adept in the use of propaganda can literally convince the masses to *demand* their *own* enslavement. And I would add - "especially if you tell them that it will be *free*".

Yes. The concern here is precisely what you describe above.

LESS education, MORE INDOCTRINATION,
and "all for *free*".

In other words, the taxpayers will very likely now be paying for the (Corporate) Government-Craf ted dumbing-down of the Education System under the pretense of education at the J.C. level - exactly the way taxpayers *now do* for K-12, as you so cogently detail above.

Privatization of Education, yes, but hardly "all for the kids". Publicly funded Indoctrination Centers is a more accurate description of what we now pay for and "enjoy" in K-12.

Why would turning over Community Control of our local Junior Colleges to the *same* (Corporate)Gove rnment Complex that has *just* successfully gutted K-12 Education represent an improvement ?
 
 
+3 # JJS 2015-01-12 18:19
It's biblical! The GOP just wants us to be happy:

Ecclesiastes 1:18

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
 

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