Yeehaw, it’s time to review and revitalize Texas’ high school history books. Newt Gingrich, football and Jesus–one, or two, chapters each?

Gee, do you think the flood of right-wing radio has any effect upon the discourse in America?

History’s first draft: Newt Gingrich but no liberals
Textbooks being written for Texas students appear to lean to the right

AUSTIN — Texas high school students would learn about such significant individuals and milestones of conservative politics as Newt Gingrich and the rise of the Moral Majority — but nothing about liberals — under the first draft of new standards for public school history textbooks…

The standards, which the board will decide next spring, will influence new history, civics and geography textbooks.

The first draft for proposed standards in United States History Studies Since Reconstruction says students should be expected “to identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority.”…

Whether students will also be exposed to liberal examples from the ebb and flow of American politics is hard to predict. Conservatives form the largest bloc on the 15-member State Board of Education, whose partisan makeup is 10 Republicans and five Democrats.

David Bradley, R-Beaumont, one of the conservative leaders, figures the current draft will pass a preliminary vote along party lines “once the napalm and smoke clear the room.”…

Another board conservative, Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, thinks students should study both sides to “see what the differences are and be able to define those differences.”

He would add James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, conservative talk show host Sean Hannity and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to the list of conservatives. Others have proposed adding talk show host Rush Limbaugh and the National Rifle Association.


Texas turns high school prankster again.

This is definitely the victory of right-wing radio. Its fingerprints are all over the inclusion of ‘Newt Gingrich’ in the debate.

The guy is almost completely without any lasting successes in his political career, yet right-wing radio has championed him as an historic, stalwart intellectual on its scene. I don’t know of a single person that can remember anything he’s ever really done.

Conservatives will point to the Republican victories in 1994, and the Contract with America. Both of those were more an outgrowth of President Clinton’s learning on the job, I’d say. After reversals in the House in 1996, did anybody take Gingrich very seriously as a national figure again?

The momentum of the Republican Revolution stalled in late 1995 and early 1996 during a budget standoff between Congressional Republicans and Democratic President Bill Clinton. Speaker Gingrich and the new Republican majority wanted to slow the rate of government spending. Gingrich allowed previously approved appropriations to expire on schedule, thus allowing parts of the Federal government to shut down for lack of funds. However, Gingrich inflicted a blow to his public image by seeming to suggest that the Republican hard-line stance over the budget was in part due to his feeling “snubbed” by the President during a flight to and from Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral in Israel.

Clinton was easily re-elected in 1996. Gingrich continued on as Speaker of the House, but not for long.

Republicans lost 5 seats in the House in the 1998 midterm elections — the worst performance in 64 years for a party that didn’t hold the presidency. Polls showed that Gingrich and the Republican Party’s attempt to remove President Clinton from office was widely unpopular among Americans.

Gingrich suffered much of the blame for the election loss. Facing another rebellion in the Republican caucus, he announced on November 6 that he would not only stand down as Speaker, but would leave the House as well.

A total of 4 years, career over. His successor, Denny Hastert, lasted twice as long. Tip O’Neill went a decade. But Texas believes Newt deserves to be in United States History high school textbooks?

A Speaker of the House who failed almost totally in opposition to arguably the most successful Democratic President in the last 50 years? A Speaker who left no real lasting legislative or philosophical imprint on America? A guy who is such a marginal, stupid celebrity pundit that he advocates shooting North Korean missiles with magical lasers?

Yeah, let’s put that guy in the history books. Texas is sooooo smart.

Share