We get a lot of email newsletter updates from Colorado legislators in both parties. Most of them are mundane and loaded with canned rhetoric about the legislative session, in between event announcements and other routine constituent communications. We've talked this year about, for example, false statements made in legislative communications about gun safety bills, but controversy in these newsletters can safely be considered the exception, not the rule.
Having said that, the exceptions to this rule are generally highly notable. Back in 2006, a GOP legislator named Jim Welker made headlines for his immoderate newsletters, forwarding an article that claimed "President Bush is not to blame for the rampant immorality of blacks" following Hurricane Katrina among other offensive opinions. Welker's embarrassing episode led to tighter standards among Republicans, at least for a few years, for watching what they say in printed public communications.
Enter freshman Sen. Vicki Marble, who Friday evening may have sent the most unhinged rant we've seen from a Colorado legislator since Sen. Dave Schultheis' infamous remarks about hoping babies get AIDS–and not in a forwarded article either. These are her own words:
It seems Democrats will do anything to control the way our children learn, live, and even how they act in intimate relationships. [Pols emphasis] I would like to reference SB13-260 concerning the financing of public schools. This 27-page Bill includes the “Obama Pre-School Equip” program for four-year olds. It increases pre-school enrollment at a cost of $11.7 million and establishes reporting requirements for private pre-school providers. School districts do not approve of this and feel their programs are adequate for pre-school needs. This Bill contradicts Article IX, Section 2 (2012) of the Colorado Constitution which says the state "shall provide a system of free public schools throughout the state, wherein all residents of the state, between the ages of six and twenty-one years, may be educated gratuitously.”
Democrats are now referring to our children as property of “whole communities.” Last week, Melissa Harris-Perry, a touted professor at Tulane University endorsed the concept of human ownership.
Harris-Perry stated stated that as a society, “we have to break through our [America’s] kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it is everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.” She then argued that the problem is, “we haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our [government’s] children.” To have a “collective notion” of ownership over our children is the very reason Democrats have dictated our parental rights through their party-line passage of perverse bills of this sort this Legislative Session.
Democrats have arrogantly assumed the role of demanding that they know best by controlling every aspect of our children’s lives. Have we as parents been devalued to the point that our government sees us purely as breeders in the process of raising our children? [Pols emphasis]
Hitler once said, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” He also said, “This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will, itself, take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.” Under Communism our children, our property, and what we produce belongs to the state.
Under Communism our children, our property, and what we produce belongs to the state…
Democrats believe that the government is the solution. Republicans believe that the government can never be the sole solution in a republic. Our children are not government property…
First of all, anytime you are considering quoting Adolf Hitler to make a point…don't. Seriously. If you think you need a few Hitler quotes to make your argument pop, you should reassess your argument in general.
Now, we don't want to spend too much time on this promo spot from MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry Sen. Marble is referring to, except to say that it's actually a fairly benign It Takes a Village-style platitude, and the insertion of "government" in brackets in Sen. Marble's version is wholly inferred–the word "government" doesn't even appear once in this ad. And of course, this MSNBC host, who we hadn't actually heard of prior to this newsletter, has no role in, or we assume even knowledge of, legislation being debated in Colorado.
But we really don't think Sen. Marble is concerned about the details.
Folks, this is a bill to increase preschool education funding. Not a bill to "control the way our children learn, live, and even how they act in intimate relationships." Not an endorsement of any "concept of human ownership." It does not mean that parents have been "devalued to the point that our government sees us purely as breeders." Marble clearly missed the point of the "community ownership" metaphor, and her breathless ability to misunderstand this fairly simple point is troubling at best.
The only way to look at this bill and see what Sen. Marble sees is to be crazy. And it should go without saying that this kind of rhetoric will not help the Republican Party as a whole appeal to voters who are not crazy.