It’s sometimes hard to know whether candidates for the State Board of Education (SBOE) in Texas really believe the crazy things they say. Today, for example, the Texas Tribune quotes Eric Mahroum of Fort Worth explaining one of the reasons why he’s running for the District 11 seat on the SBOE:
“You have CSCOPE teaching our children that communism is okay, that the 9/11 terrorists were freedom fighters. That does not need to be in the curriculum.”
Oh, for crying out loud. Mahroum — who is challenging incumbent Pat Hardy of Fort Worth in the May 27 Republican runoff — is basing his campaign on a discredited political witch hunt hatched by wackaloons who see communists and radical Muslims hiding behind every tree (or school door)? Yeah, apparently so.
For two years political extremists, politicians (and here) and for-profit political consultants (hmmm…) have been screaming that the CSCOPE curriculum management system is filled with anti-American, anti-Christian, pro-Islamic and pro-Marxist lessons. More than 800 school districts across the state have used CSCOPE, which includes lessons written by current and retired Texas teachers (all well-known Marxist Islamic radicals, of course). Superintendents in those districts have publicly condemned the witch hunt and the implication that local school districts can’t be trusted to decide for themselves what materials are appropriate in their own classrooms.
An SBOE-sponsored review of CSCOPE, released in February, found that those wild charges about political and religious bias were baseless. But that hasn’t stopped fanatics from repeating the same lies and distortions in their witch hunt. And Mahroum, who has the support of many of those anti-CSCOPE fanatics, seems to think beating that dead horse is good politics.
Of course, he might be right in this case. Runoff elections are notorious for attracting mostly true-believers and fire-breathers to the polls. And they don’t like that Hardy has defended the right of local school districts to make their own decisions about CSCOPE. (Imagine that — a Republican who really does support local control has to defend herself in a GOP election.)
People who voted in the March Republican Primary or didn’t vote in any primary are eligible to cast ballots in the GOP runoff. The winner will face Democrat Nancy Bean in the November general election.