In the ultimate of irony of all ironies, MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace and two of her guests spent an entire segment of Thursday's Deadline: White House accusing Republicans of politicizing school boards across the nation. In the segment, Wallace openly panicked that Republicans will continue using what she described as “education wars” that were weaponized against Democrats in Virginia as a playbook in the 2022 Midterm Elections.
Wallace touted a Politico piece that reported on legislation that Republicans in Florida are supporting to “create new primary school board elections and allow party affiliations to appear on ballots.” She also speculated that Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis could use newly created school boards to ban mask mandates.
After those wildly speculative comments, she brought in MSNBCer turned Politico White House editor, Sam Stein to whine about how Republicans made school boards in America political, even alluding to the school board controversies in Virginia which made headlines earlier this summer.
Stein even repeated the lie that Critical Race Theory isn’t taught or applied in public K-12 schools, which has been debunked numerous times. Stein also stated his belief that the controversy over Critical Race Theory in schools “became galvanizing issues for Republicans”:
Critical Race Theory is not being taught in elementary schools, for instance, and yet this was something that got Republican and the grassroots really energized and jazzed so the natural manifestation of that is to then take that energy and apply it to these elections.
Continuing with his hypocritical fearmongering, Stein concluded that because Republicans had electoral success in Virginia, we’re going to see “school curriculums change. You're going to see laws around or policies around mask mandates change.”
He also predicted that the alleged politicization of school boards would make “things around inoculations, not just for Covid but for other things become flashpoint issues too so it’s again, it's the hyper politicization of things down to the granular level here.”
After those comments, it was MSNBC contributor Errin Haines’ turn. She started off by predicting that “parent’s rights” would be a so-called “buzzword” in 2022, she also alleged the ongoing classroom culture wars over Critical Race Theory is a “playbook that taps into (...) white suburban voters' fears, as a way to mobilize them to the polls.”
Haines then pointed to legislation in states like Tennesee, Arizona, Missouri, and Florida which would allow their school board candidates to list their party affiliation on the ballot. She also fearmongered over a bill in Oklahoma that allows parents to request schools remove certain offensive books, and if they don’t the school can be sued within 30 days from the request. What Haines failed to mention was that the books that parents are able to remove are sexually explicit books.
Wallace jumped in to ask in an exasperated voice to ask “why don’t the Democrats seize the mantle of being the party for parent’s rights?” Arguing that Democrats are better on educational issues than Republicans.
At the end of the segment, Stein reemerged to soothe MSNBC’s viewer’s fears by assuring them that he thinks “there's a likelihood that there is some overreach here on the Republican side of the aisle.”
It’s beyond hypocritical to claim that Republicans are the ones who are “politicizing” school boards in America, especially when the left were the ones who made the public school curriculum political in the first place. Democrats can’t insist on shoving propaganda like the 1619 Project down the throats of children, and not expect parents to fight back.
This segment of an MSNBC host and her leftist guests trying to gaslight America into believing Conservatives are the ones politicizing school boards was brought to you by Hyundai and Tylenol. Their information is linked so you can let them know about the biased news they fund.
To read the relevant transcript of this segment click “expand”:
Deadline: White House
NICOLE WALLACE: Republicans are eyeing a new front that could make the education wars of the 2021 elections that they politicized and campaigned on even more contentious and polarized by next year's midterm elections. Politico delves into the legislation they're pushing that could launch their party into more control of schools statewide. For example, with the coalition of conservative leaders calling for on-cycle school board elections as part of sweeping efforts to end Critical Race Theory in schools. While in Florida, where GOP lawmakers are pushing a measure to create new primary school board elections and allow party affiliations to appear on ballots. As Politico puts it, if Florida Republicans succeed in restoring partisan elections, it could break the last holdouts who regularly defy Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who has used every resource available to him to ban mask mandates in schools and is now promoting legislation to allow parents to sue if Critical Race Theory is taught in their children’s classrooms. We’re back with Sam Stein and Errin Haines. Sam this is some Politico reporting. Tell me more.
SAM STEIN (POLITICO WHITE HOUSE EDITOR): Well, I just think it's just emblematic of how everything has become hyper-politicized nowadays. You know, down to the local elections, school board elections. Obviously, what we saw over the summer in the lead-up to the Virginia Gubernatorial elections was that issues like Critical Race Theory, high school curriculum, local school board elections became flashpoints. They became galvanizing issues for Republicans. Now, some of it was not, you know, grounded in reality. Critical Race Theory is not being taught in elementary schools, for instance, and yet this was something that got Republican and the grassroots really energized and jazzed so the natural manifestation of that is to then take that energy and apply it to these elections. Now, what is the practical outcome of that? You're going to see, you know, school curriculums change. You're going to see laws around or policies around mask mandates change. You could see things around inoculations, not just for Covid but for other things become flashpoint issues too so it’s again, it's the hyper politicization of things down to the granular level here.
WALLACE: Errin, it's so disturbing. I mean, I wish I could have stopped Sam, but I didn't want to interrupt his brilliant flow there with it wasn't grounded in
STEIN: Thank you.
WALLACE: Reality. I mean, why can't we just stop there? Like, it was so successful, but it wasn't grounded in reality. That could sum up so much of the Republican sort of political ethos. The attack on the vaccines. We started the last hour with two new studies that show that there are no life-threatening risks to the Covid vaccines for children 5 to 11. Yet, 14% of children 5 to 11 have been vaccinated. One of the other issues in Virginia was remote school. If you want to keep kids in schools, you better not peddle disinformation about vaccinations. I mean, how do you unpack the lies and then get back on offense when, when the other side is so rooted in what Sam describes as nonreality.
ERRIN HAINES: Yeah, I mean, look, for the other side, this is their offense, and this is going to be their offense for the foreseeable future. Look, Nicole, I do not make political predictions but I'm going to make one right now, so get ready. Parent’s rights is going to be a buzzword for 2022. And you know, while it's important to note that classroom culture wars are really nothing new and have been part of a divisive yet effective kind of partisan playbook that taps into some, not all, white suburban voters' fears, as a way to mobilize them to the polls, parenting and parent’s rights is absolutely going to be politicized in 2022. So, you know, school boards have long been the domain of local education and school government reporters, but some of us are going to have to dust off those chops and those skills because this is really where the battle is going to be waged in the midterms. This is a heads-up to statehouse reporters because just as Sam was saying, this is gonna be one of the main social issues that lawmakers are gonna focus on in their upcoming sessions.
We're already seeing it as you alluded to at the top of this conversation. Tennessee’s allowing school board candidates to list their party affiliations on the ballot. Similar measures coming in places like Arizona, Missouri, and Florida. And I also just want to put school libraries on the radar for people because that is going to be an issue. It's not just about our schools and the classroom but really about anywhere that children could potentially learn about our country's fuller history and libraries have absolutely been a resource for countless children and their parents in helping to kind of fill in the gaps of what public education leaves out, which is why libraries are also now in the crosshairs.
There's a bill out of Oklahoma that I hope people have seen and I know that has been written about at MSNBC that allows parents who believe that their child's school is carrying a book that they don't like to submit a written request to remove that book, and once the school gets the request, they have 30 days to remove the book, and for every day that that book is not removed, there's a $10,000 fine for that school, and the parent can seek compensation for the attorney’s fees and court costs. I mean, you know, this is, this is something that Republicans are seeing as effective, that galvanizes their folks, but I think it's also why it's important to continue to have -- while we're having the conversation about parents rights, we need to be talking to all parents and not just the parents that Republicans are seeking to target about this message, because education is perennially an issue for voters but what that means varies on which– depending on which voters we're talking about.
WALLACE: Sam, why don't, why don’t the Democrats seize the mantle of being the party for parent’s rights, parent’s rights to know that they can go to their job, whether it's at home or in an office, because the schools will be open because masks are there to protect kids. Why don't Democrats say, I mean, the whole thing about books boggles my mind because only people without children fight about what books are in a library. Kids can go on the internet and find anything and you try blocking the content. Good luck. Kids know how to get around just about anything. You have to sit there with them and take the earphones out of the computer so you can hear what they’re looking at. I mean these are stupid debates. I'm not saying they're ineffective but they're stupid. Why don't Democrats grab parent’s rights and the advocacy for students? They have always almost traditionally had the advantage on education funding, on keeping kids in school, on before care, on aftercare, on lunches, you name it. Why cede the ground to the Republicans?
STEIN: It's a really complicated question. You know, part of this, I think, has to do with education policy and education political wars being upended by the pandemic. We were doing some retrospective reporting on the Mcauliffe campaign and one of the things that we found in one of their memos was that they were underwater on the issue of education well before Critical Race Theory became a buzzword on Fox News and they were underwater on education predominantly because there was a huge amount of frustration over the fact that schools had remained closed because of the pandemic. So, you know, that inherently put Democrats on the defensive, and I think some of it has continued to this day and age, even though 99% of schools are currently open. Democrats have been highly defensive about the idea that they would be painted as, you know, being you know, comfortable with school closures because of the pandemic. And that's just one subset of the education policy wars. The second thing is, you know, what happens when you get the issues like curriculum and deciding what books can or should not be in your school’s public li–in a school, or a public library. And on that, I, you know, I think -- or I have to think that, you know, there's gonna be a backlash to the current campaign to sort of demonize some of this literature, even in the end of that Virginia Gubernatorial debate, for instance, you saw an ad that was run by the Youngkin campaign that featured a mother talking about Critical Race Theory. It came out that that mom a couple–maybe a decade ago had pulled her son because she was worried about a Toni Morrison book. There was instantaneous backlash to that and I do think there's a likelihood that there is some overreach here on the Republican side of the aisle.
WALLACE: Understatement of the year. Overreach on the Republican slide of the aisle. Sam Stein, Errin Haines. A pleasure to see both of you. Thank you so much for making some time for us today.