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November 28, 2023 12:26 PM UTC

Ignoring Election Results, Republicans Repeat Book Ban Demands

  • by: Colorado Pols
There are two more pages like this of books that Republicans want banned in Colorado Springs.

Republicans in Colorado have had trouble winning elections for a long time now. There are a lot of reasons for these failures, but perhaps none as persistently problematic as Republican refusals to actually listen to what voters are telling them. 

To be fair, this isn’t just a problem for Republicans in Colorado. Nationwide, for example, Republicans keep trying to restrict abortion rights despite the fact that voters keep telling them to pound sand. Earlier this month, Ohio voters widely supported protecting abortion rights in the state constitution. Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, seven states have voted on various measures related to abortion rights; in all seven of those states, including beet-red enclaves such as Kansas, voters have made it very clear that they support abortion rights. Nevertheless, Republicans such as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-ifle), keep talking about how great it is that Roe was overturned and how important it is to pass some sort of national abortion ban.

As 9News reports, a group of right-wing Republicans are yammering about another pet cause, demanding the enforcement of book bans in Colorado Springs — despite the fact that Colorado voters made it very clear in 2023 that they want school board members to stop with the culture war nonsense and get back to basics:

Republican leaders are calling for a prosecutor to enforce obscenity laws to remove hundreds of books from schools in the Colorado Springs area.

The conservative advocacy group Take Back District 20 called the inclusion of the books in school libraries “clear criminal activity.”

While attempts to ban books are ongoing in several Colorado school districts, the call for a criminal investigation and possible charges marks a turn in the culture war issue championed by Republicans.

You read that correctly. Republicans are calling for a freaking criminal investigation so that they can get a bunch of books banned that mention scary topics like “sex” or “LGBTQ individuals.” CLICK HERE to read the full petition, which includes a detailed list of all the spooky stories that make right-wing Republicans very sad.

One of the scarier books on the Republican ban list, because it mentions (GASP!) masturbation!!!

This particular effort began in April of this year, when the Colorado Springs School District 20 started pulling certain books from school libraries after a few parents complained; the District quickly reversed that decision, as the Colorado Springs Gazette reported in late July:

Academy School District 20 won’t again stray from its book reconsideration policy in the future, a district spokesperson said following inconsistent book removals that critics argue favored Christian values over minority voices.

Just as classes were letting out for the summer, administrators broke from written policy and quickly removed several allegedly “obscene” books that detailed the experiences of sexual abuse victims. A subsequent request to remove the Bible for similar concerns was left unanswered for more than a month.

The move presumed school leaders’ individual discretion superseded policy. That will not be the case moving forward, D-20 spokesperson Allison Cortez said. Future book complaints will be required to follow the process laid out in district policy.

Nobody has the pulse of Colorado schools quite like “Professor” Heidi Ganahl.

This renewed effort to ban books in Colorado Springs has the support of many of the right-wing kooks you might expect. Back to 9News:

The petition delivered to Republican 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen was signed by Republican State Representatives Scott Bottoms and Ken DeGraaf, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, and Pastor Jeff Anderson, who leads Faith Outreach for Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs).

The petition was also endorsed by multiple conservative organizations, including the El Paso County chapter of Moms for Liberty, the Colorado Parent Advocacy Network (CPAN), the El Paso County Republican Party, along with several local churches. [Pols emphasis]

“We ask for appropriate action as required by law for the necessary, exigent protection of Minors against absurd, destructive ideologies that radical factions would wish to impose on the entire Community,” the petition read, in part.

Some of our finest scholars have signed on to this petition, among them:

  • State Rep. Scott Bottoms, who keeps saying that the 2024 election will be cancelled after the U.S. government intentionally starts a new pandemic;
  • State Rep. Ken DeGraaf, who used his first opportunity to speak during the recent special legislation session — which was about property taxes — in order to promote his very scientific theory that Climate Change is a hoax, excess carbon dioxide is cool, and the real climate problem is [checks notes] water vapor;
  • And, of course, failed 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, who still very much believes that Colorado schools are overrun by furries.

The petition also includes this amazeballs letter of support from State Rep. Rose Pugliese — the Assistant Minority Leader in the House — readily acknowledging that she supports this book banning goal even though SHE HASN’T EVEN READ ANY OF THE BOOKS ON THE LIST:

Pugliese’s letter — again, which is supposed to be in SUPPORT of the book ban demand — has a very strong “I don’t know what we’re yelling about!” vibe to it.

Anyhoo, this brings us back to the 2023 election cycle in Colorado. As The Colorado Sun reported recently, election results from school board races across the state pretty clearly demonstrated that voters think this sort of thing is ridiculous:

A Colorado Sun analysis of candidates supported by the Colorado Education Association versus those responding to a conservative voter guide indicates the candidates backed by teachers prevailed more often than those supporting conservative issues. Union-backed candidates scored victories in 72% of their contests.

Voters clearly want school boards to turn their attention back to “the more central” issues in education, including student safety and student achievement, since they rebuffed many candidates backed by conservative groups that have played into culture wars and harped on parent rights, said Jonathan Collins, assistant professor of political science, public policy and education at Brown University.

“A relatively systematic rejection of candidates backed by those groups in different states says that, OK, well we want to get back to the basics when it comes to education,” Collins said. [Pols emphasis]

Well, sure, but have these voters actually read any of the scary books that Republicans want banned?

And if so…could they perhaps do a book report so that these Republicans can understand what they are yelling about now?


One thought on “Ignoring Election Results, Republicans Repeat Book Ban Demands

  1. Speaking selfishly and politically – sure, go ahead and take that massively unpopular position and keep losing actual political power in Colorado. But I feel bad for the poor kids and school staff who will bear the brunt of the decidedly anti-American pursuit of censorship. Hoping for a merry band of bad-ass librarians who will resist the idiocracy, though I also hope they can somehow keep their jobs.

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