More McLeroy Malarkey, Part 1

Yesterday we explored the latest strange twist in Texas State Board of Education member Don McLeroy’s ongoing crusade against the National Academy of Sciences — this time in bizarre, hand-scribbled memos he wrote to social studies curriculum writers who met in Austin last week. Well, McLeroy’s  curriculum advice wasn’t restricted to his well-documented problems with modern science. Oh, no. It seems the good dentist is equally suspicious of mainstream historians.

You know you are in for a wild ride when you read McLeroy’s very first admonition to the members of the “US History” curriculum writing team:

McLeroy-Barton“Pay close attention to Expert Reviewers especially David Bartons [sic].”

First of all, I suppose it’s too much to ask for our state board members to know how to spell the names of their experts correctly… but never mind.

Barton’s utter lack of credentials, unabashed partisan political agenda and problems with basic historical facts have been well-documented on this blog (and elsewhere). What is interesting to note here is that Barton didn’t even bother to show up at the writing team meetings last week! All six of the board-appointed experts were invited to attend these sessions and assist the writing teams, but two of them were no-shows: Barton and Rev. Peter Marshall, the two far-right ideologues. Both men found time to come to Austin last month to grandstand and make big public speeches in front of the board and media. But when it comes to the hard work of actually writing the curriculum standards, I guess these two can’t be bothered. (This is yet another reason for appointing qualified academics who are actually invested in crafting sound curriculum standards.)

Moving along to “US History Since Reconstruction,” where McLeroy goes to bat for Joseph McCarthy, the infamous anti-communist crusader noted for his campaign in the 1950s to smear large numbers of people as communists and Soviet spies who had infiltrated the federal government and other important U.S. institutions. McLeroy tells the curriculum writers to:

McLeroy-McCarthy“Read the latest on McCarthy — He was basically vindicated”

Before you hyperventilate about this one, consider the simple, common-sense beauty of the one-word response a member of the social studies team wrote in the margin next to McLeroy’s comment: “Really?”

There has apparently been an attempt to rehabilitate McCarthy in recent years, most notably taken up by right-wing attack dog Ann Coulter in her book Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. Coulter’s version of McCarthy has even been rejected by serious voices on the right. But this subtle reference to Ann Coulter is in keeping with McLeroy’s taste in experts, isn’t it?

More to come tomorrow in Part 2. Stay tuned.

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18 Comments

  1. trog69
    Posted November 14, 2009 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Oh yes, let’s smash all those evil unions! Those commie sinkholes! ( Oh, what’s this? My word, it’s yet another monthly union pension check, with my name on it! Woohoo! I bet things were a bit different when over 30% of the pop. in the US had these to look forward to. )

    McCarthy; Ginormous American hero, or Superduperman?

  2. Debbie W
    Posted November 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    McCarthy was RIGHT…. You are a fool with blinders on if you can’t see that that? The Venona Papers PROVE he was right and hey all you blind out there, just go to the communist party usa website. They LOVE Obama… they love the unions… what idiots we have indoctrinated that most can’t see the truth when it is right before their eyes….

  3. Cytocop
    Posted October 25, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m not Charles, but yes, I thought Land would flip-flop this fast. In fact, I figured he’d flip-flop overnight. I never assumed his so-called “apology” was sincere. It was anything but.

  4. trog69
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Charles, when you first heard about Land apologizing, did you think he’d flip flop this fast? I figgered about a month would pass.

    I dunno if you told you before, but thanks for pointing out “Mainstream Baptist”. Yet another sign that there are still plenty of reasoned adults, we just don’t hear about them due to the white noise of extremism.

  5. Charles
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    While we are on the subject of malarkey, you will all recall the recent TFN post about Southern Baptist leader Dr. Richard Land’s statement comparing Obama health care reform to the Nazis and Dr. Joseph Mengele. He then apologized (supposedly) and now this:

    http://mainstreambaptist.blogspot.com/

    The mystery and deception deepen. What do y’all make of this?

  6. Posted October 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Nitrous oxide abuse is a workplace hazard for dental office workers. Do any of the following symptoms sound familiar?
    •Disorientation (both spatial and time-based)
    •Fixated vision
    •Throbbing or pulsating auditory hallucinations
    •Similarly pulsating visual hallucinations
    •Increased pain threshold
    •Deeper mental connections
    •Lowered vocal pitch (opposite of helium)

  7. Cytocop
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    And the Right claims to be against government regulation and invasion of privacy.

  8. George
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Their argument is that the Venona Papers show that McCarthy was correct in his identification of many Communists in the US government. Fine. even a blind pig finds an acorn every now and then. He still ruined many careers (and lives)needlessly in his various escapades. Funny– the right claims to be AGAINST revisionist history.

  9. Country Tom
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Yet, these shrill voices of dysinformation and irrationality are being heard!!

  10. Cytocop
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to see a graphologist’s analysis of his handwriting.

  11. Cytocop
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone done a drug screen on Don lately?

  12. George
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Coulter is not a historian, either. Please read William Manchester’s splendid discussion of McCarthy in The Glory and the Dream.

  13. trog69 aka City Tom
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    My apologies, reasoned Texans, but this is delicious. Sure, he’s a distasteful little bald headed troll, but he really has no problem with wearing his stupidity on his sleeve, does he?

  14. Country Tom
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I did my homework. David Barton is a Oral Roberts graduate in religious education not a historian. He purchased his credentials from an online diploma mill. He is an embarrassment to this State. He is noy qualified for anything othe than biblle thumping in skidrow.

  15. Charles
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    “Read the latest on McCarthy — He was basically vindicated”

    Vindicated by whom? The John Birch Society? Ann Coulter? Oh please!!!! You might as well bring in the adherents of Atlantis and Mu, gods from outer space, astrologers, quartz crystal diviners, witch doctors, and voodoo dolls. Fruitc-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-kes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. PHarvey
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Mr. McLeroy, have you no sense of decency, sir? Does he have a poster of McCarthy on his ceiling? I won’t ask what for.

  17. SilverQueen
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    McCarthy? Vindicated? By whom? The 17-Century Inquisitors?

  18. PHarvey
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    McLeroy is not living in reality. This man is deluded. Get the butterfly nets.

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