Cross-posted from Charles Pierce's blog at Esquire:
Any doubts about whether or not there's a presidential campaign a-brewin' on behalf of Scott Walker, the google-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to supervise its Midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, and any doubts about whether he's fearful that his career may be turned to pulp by a hail of writs, were all allayed yesterday. Walker decided that he would play to da crazees in The Base by asking his pet legislature to repeal Wisconsin's commitments to the Common Core standards in education. Wisconsin, it should be noted, has already invested $25 million to implement the standards that Walker now wants to blow up. Fiscal responsibility!
Anyway, this has caught even some Republicans in Wisconsin by surprise, although why anything Walker does at this point surprises anyone is beyond me.
However, the governor's surprise move prompted the state superintendent and a leading lawmaker on education issues - who is a member of the governor's own party - to suggest political motivations. "It may work well for the political end of things, but it's sending messages to our kids that our system is chaotic, and it's not," state Superintendent Tony Evers said late Thursday. "The idea that they'd just be able to replace the standards at the beginning of the legislative session is absurd," said Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake), the chair of the Assembly's Education Committee. "We're in an election season. People desperate to be re-elected will say anything."There are any number of good reasons to be dubious about Common Core, but this decision fairly reeks of pure politics. Walker is trolling for votes, not from the people who question Common Core's reliance on standardized testing, but from the people who think that Common Core is a multinational plot to indoctrinate their children in the ways of Kenyan one-worldism. Or something. There are a lot of these people who vote Republican in Iowa, and in New Hampshire, and in Wisconsin. To run for president, he's got to get re-elected this fall. This is a two-fer here.