teacher leave them kids alone!Hello, fellow taxpayers! You will be ecstatic to know that Mitt Romney has thought very carefully about the Wisconsin recall election, and drawn some conclusions about what you, the taxpayer, want and how it coincidentally is exactly the same as what he wants!  Basically, the recall means that you, the taxpayer, are content to live in a lawless post-capitalist dystopia, free from the burdens of education and ready to turn over the processes of law and order to surveillance cameras and domestic drones, both of which can be used to fight fires, which is a great value! So Romney surrogate John Sununu went on the TeeVee and explained that there was “wisdom” in Romney’s comments about teachers being simply old-hat, fellows, because we will actually BENEFIT from larger class sizes and less police officers, because of the population and also something about technology.

Via ThinkProgress (video at link):

SUNUNU: Let me respond as a taxpayer, not as a representative of the Romney campaign. There are municipalities, there are states where there is flight of population. And as the population goes down, you need fewer teachers. As technology contributes to community security and dealing with issues that firefighters have to deal with, you would hope that you can, as a taxpayer, see the benefits of the efficiency and personnel that you get out of that.

Translation: some states are just so horrible that people are leaving in droves. Sununu can’t say which ones or where, or why people are leaving, but they exist, mark his words! And as people leave, we can just fire teachers instead of letting the kids that are left over benefit from the kinds of small class sizes you get at places like Cranbrook. Cranbrook, in case you don’t know, is where Mitt Romney took time off of harassing gay students, playing pranks on the disabled, and impersonating police officers to “explore the creative outlets of painting and printmaking, weaving and pottery, poetry and language” when he was in grade school, and enjoy “college-level classes in math, science, English, history and foreign language” in classes of around 16 students and under the supervision of four specially trained full-time college admissions counselors when he went on to high school. You don’t want something like that for YOUR kids, do you? NO. You DON’T. You are poor, so you don’t care about such upper-class fripperies.

SUNUNU: If there’s fewer kids in the classrooms, the taxpayers really do want to hear there will be fewer teachers. […] You have a lot of places where that is happening. You have a very mobile country now where things are changing. You have cities in this country in which the school population peaked 10, 15 years ago. And, yet the number of teachers that may have maintained has not changed. I think this is a real issue. And people ought to stop jumping on it as a gaffe and understand there’s wisdom in the comment.

Who among you HASN’T been outraged, just outraged, upon discovering that there was a low student-teacher ratio at your local public school? Show of hands. None, huh. Well good because as we recently learned,  class size doesn’t matter.


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  • Fewer teachers, fewer police means more criminals and more jobs for people as corrections officers! Win-Win-Win!

    • Efficiencies abound! Ex-cops will know all the best criminal tricks, so they'll be able to burgle/murder/run for Senate most effectively. Meanwhile, roving bands of de-careered teachers (think Road Warrior without the accents) will spur demand for home surveillance systems, replacement teevees and silverware.

      How did we get along for so many years without Romneynomics?

      • AbandonHope

        It's not Romney's Amercia until the Second Amendment allows me to electrocute would-be robbers with a live doorknob, for Freedom.

        • Oooh, I could make a killing in home security just short-circuiting doorbells! What a great idea I just stole had!

          • AbandonHope

            Wait, your thieves ring the doorbell? Man, you live in a polite neighborhood.

            "Pardon me sir, but I have noticed you have acquired an overabundance of material possessions. Allow me to relieve you of the burden of your electronics, jewelry, and physical currency post-haste."

          • redarmybarbie
      • "I've seen his kind before, Ed. Addicted to chalk. Can't get enough of it. Even snorts the dust off the blackboard at the coffee shop. We'd better put out an APB on him."

      • BerkeleyBear

        So we can have our very own Zeta cartel, only made up of former SWAT and narcotics officers only from all over the country rather than just the Special Forces? Sweet – I was getting tired of Mexico having all the awesome shoot em ups and beheadings.

    • Dashboard Buddha

      And don't forget the big bonus…fewer people who can vote against the system that made their lives a living hell in the first place. Permanent Republican Majority FTW!

      • HistoriBarb

        Karl Rove just got an erection.

        • Dashboard Buddha

          And coincidentally, I just lost one…forever.

        • tessiee

          No! NO!! BAD KITTEH!

  • Wait, there was a four-to-one ratio at Cranbrook?

    And they still turned out blithering idiots like Mitt?

    Maybe Sunoco (sp?) has a point!

    • Terry

      I'm not sure that I'd blame Cranbrook for how Romney turned out. Genetics and his home environment certainly played a major role. A school can only work with what is presented to them.

      • FNMA

        Tell you what, let's switch Mitt with Eddie Murphy and see how things work out. I'd even be willing to bet you a dollar on it.

        • BaldarTFlagass

          Do I get to see young Jamie Lee Curtis's boobs again?

          • Look, the budget's big enough. You think we have money for that kind of CGI?

      • Yes, I can imagine Romney had a deprived childhood…

        Genetics. Well, his dad seemed to be pretty bright.

        • HistoriBarb

          His dad was one of those hard-working immigrants.

    • He blithers, but he is most definitely not an idiot.

  • Romney/Drooling Idiot '12!

    • AbandonHope

      Sorry, the same person can't run for president and vice president at the same time.

  • metamarcisf

    Note to Romney: Class size may not matter but dick size is a game-changer.

  • SorosBot

    But see, unlike say executives at vulture financial firms, teachers are actually useful members of society.

    • chicken_thief

      That just can't be. Teachers don't have money in off shore accounts. Teachers don't have elevators for their cars. Teachers aren't hard working stay at home and let the help clean the house and raise your kids moms.

      Executives, like heads of drug cartels, are just better because money. And Jesus.

    • That's why we must get rid of them!

    • Doktor Zoom

      Useful how? You mean by indoctrinating innocent children in the government schools, filling their heads with lies about the age of the earth and the origins of the US Constitution?

      Let me ask you this, Mr. Smart Guy: How many teachers have ever tanked an entire classroom and still gotten a $30 million bonus, huh?

  • NorthStarSpanx

    Sununu, wowza, that's some serious spin – I'm sure you'll get whiplash with that and lord help you when your aid calls for an ambulance.

    • redarmybarbie

      "We are sorry, you have been placed on hold. Your call is very important to us; please stay on the line."

  • prommie

    Imagine that, all these cities where all the people moved away, but the school system just plumb forgot and so they are paying teachers to go lecture to all the empty classrooms. Sure, thats what the problem is, silly old administrators just forgetting to lay off teachers when the schools close. This is a real thing, sure it is. Its not that Mittens wants to fire all the teachers even in growing districts and establish a new system of theocratic patronage in which the schoolin' function of the government will be doled out to the Baptists and the Cahtolics and the Mormons and the Bush Family Cronies Who Has Been Involved In Private Education Shit Forever. Its not that.

    • Schmannnity

      See, the teacher union goons enforce such strict work rules that teachers cannot be fired, even when the school district disbands.

      • prommie

        Union thugs just cold jackin up all your towns and shit. Damn thug union teachers driving around in diamond-encrusted Escalades, running over people and just driving on, its tyranny is what it is, just like them French Aristocrats running down the peasants in the streets and driving on. Its time for the people to throw off the yoke of union thug teacher oppression!

        • "Teachers With Attitudes" launched both Ice Cube AND Dr. Dre!!

        • tessiee

          Also, atheists are closed minded and hateful, like those people who punished that one guy with the telescope.

          [actual argument that a bible nut posted to an atheist group; I swear you can't make that shit up]

    • BerkeleyBear

      And it isn't like schools are being forced to stop having summer sessions because they can't pay the teachers, even though school lunch and breakfast programs are the only secure source of food for lots of poor kids. Oh, that's exactly what's fucking happening and these heartless motherfuckers don't care? Well, shiiiiiiiiiit.

  • Schmannnity

    Having sent five sons to the crowded classrooms of Belmont Hill, (teacher/student ration 6/1, thanks Mitt for thinking of the average person.

  • prommie

    Jesus fuck, what the hell has happened to me? Damned if I aint done went and done it again.

    • Doktor Zoom

      It's not clear if this is "Prommie" speaking, or the imagined voice of Mittens. I'm assuming it's Prommie, since Mitt seems incapable of the deep self-awareness that might initiate such an exclamation.

      • prommie

        When in doubt, assume it to be the result of some brain dysfunction or chemical imbalance. Thats always a safe bet. I suspect its the drugs what done it.

        • Doktor Zoom

          Excuse me, sir…is this your beautiful house? And is this your beautiful wife?

          • prommie

            The worse problem is that every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time, plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines.

  • Barb

    Why bother to educate our children at all? We can just loan them $10,000.00 and they can start their own company.

    • Business plan

      1) Smoke doob

      2) Have sex

      3) ????

      4) Profit!

    • Vecchiojohn

      I'll bet you $10,000 that will work out just fine.

    • Barb, Barb, Barb…

      The appropriate "borrow from parents" amount is $20K in MittWorld. $10K is just bettin' money.

      I know – so many memes, so little time.

      • Barb

        I bet you $10,000 my parents didn't have that kind of money to lend.

        • redarmybarbie

          I bet you $10,000 I'm about to start weeping hysterically in the next 5 minutes…

  • BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Everything is the libruls fault anyhow. China would NEVER had been able to become the manufacturing giant that it is today if the stupid libruls hadn't insisted on such luxuries as a 40 hour work week and no child labor. Oh, and all that child labor meant we didn't need to pay for schools to begin with. It's called ON THE JOB TRAINING!

    • Fukui-sanRadioBarb

      On-the-job training? There should be a fed benefit for companies who practise that.

  • chascates

    The only other people more useless than teachers are police, fireman, and the EMS squads. NANNY STATE! Just issue everyone (on getting their GED or marriage license) a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a gun, and a bible.

    • justkillmenow

      You forgot OSHA, and food inspectors.

      • Boojum

        So sell barf bags. And coffins. Profit!!!

    • Vecchiojohn

      Buy your own guns and bibles, you socialist.

    • Guppy

      I thought getting married and/or knocked up was a requirement for getting a red state high school diploma to begin with.

  • TheGyrus

    Also, if we don't fire all the teachers, we will be saddling our children with the debt that it takes to pay them, and saddling future generations with debt is immoral unless said debt is somehow involved in paying for war and/or tax cuts.

  • crybabyboehner

    I guess his daddy didn't beat him right.

  • Goonemeritus

    Don’t tell me about post-capitalist dystopia’s as a New Yorker I am going to have to by two soda’s at a time just to get my daily requirement of corn sweetener.

    • prommie

      Ah, the good old days!

  • freakishlywrong

    These fuckwits DO realize that teachers, firemen, et al, buy shit and pay taxes, right?

    • AbandonHope

      I, for one, know that my mother is living high on the hog, making only about 15 percent less as an elementary school teacher of thirty years (with a master's degree) than I do as an engineer of about ten (with only a bachelor's). Her getting up to deliver papers at 2:00am every morning when I was a kid to bring in extra money so we could eat more than hot dogs and mac-and-cheese must have been some sort of fever dream I had.

    • BerkeleyBear

      But don't you see? That's not real money, because the Feds supported the salaries in the first place. Unlike titans of Wall Street, who have to go out and clear land in super dangerous places to start money ranches, then tend the herds of bills night and day to protect them from pests and animals, hand raising baby hundreds, lovingly caring for them until the moment they bring down the hammer on its Benjamin Franklin and butcher it to buy derivatives.

      As if teachers ever worked so hard. Next you'll be claiming that Wall Street and the investment class work in an environment that has been created and subsidized by the Federal government pretty much since the country was founded and that they wouldn't last two seconds in a truly unregulated free system.

  • chascates

    Lowering the age to enlist in the military to 14 would lead to lower class sizes too. And get rid of those pesky child labor laws! Once student loans become extinct these 'worker bees' won't have to worry about higher education and get right to work, avoiding petty crime and thinking about a better life.

    • We could marry this to the clean coal movement and have those pesky little third graders crawl around looking for veins that grown men can't see

      • James Michael Curley

        If you are really careful you can use an artery.

    • mavenmaven

      The American dream, a life working for Wal-mart.

      • tessiee

        And shopping at Walmart, the cycle of poo life.

  • freakishlywrong

    I remember a couple thousand posts ago, I predicted another fun Summer of Hate. It appears as though I'm correct. We've moved from demonizing gays back on to the "public sector". I predict the "illegals" are in for it next, and we'll get to Muslins right before the election.

    • AbandonHope

      They really ought to improve their efficiency there, and just demonize gay Muslim liberal public sector workers.

      • James Michael Curley

        All six of them.

    • damn you freakish, last night i was going to post about worst bamz summers tours, but it was too late so i saved it. now i am REALLY too late.

      so which was worse:

      1. 2009: death panels
      2. 2010: bagger mania and woodstock for people who were old enough to be at woodstock only they weren't cool enough to be at woodstock?
      3. 2011: debt debacle and global financial russian roulette?
      4. 2012: romney is winning in a landslide except not really on earth

  • What this country really needs is less Mitt.

    • redarmybarbie

      Not to be confused with the Clap.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Oh, of course, John. Because keeping 'em poor and stupid is a surefire way to guarantee lifelong success.

  • Fire is nature's way of burning things.
    You can look it up!

  • SoBeach

    They might as well come right out and say it: We have all the money and we don't want to pay for public health, safety, or education any more. It's not like Bubba Wingnut is going to stop voting for them.

    • tessiee

      It's like some evil Bizarro World version of Bulworth.

  • mavenmaven

    Sounds like the intro to a remake of Robocop, only this time, its not crime they will be fighting.

  • OneYieldRegular

    There is wisdom in Romney's comment. Aldous Huxley had this great idea about "sleep-teaching" kids by playing recorded instructions to them while they were sleeping – thus, no need for teachers. It's in some book he wrote or something. Oh, and some other science fiction-y writer who died last week apparently wrote some wisdom about firefighters.

  • not that Radio

    Hey — I'm a taxpayer, just like John Sununu! And although I was raised by a nurse and a teacher, I now realize that these are the least two important jobs in America. Topsy-Turvy!

    EDIT: This is John Sununu the Elder, I take it? Or that smarmy douche former Sen John Sununu? Either way, fuck him.

  • chicken_thief

    Sununu's entire premise is based on the possibility that when the exodus from various cities happened, the only group of people to not join in were the teachers. Who are what – too fucking dumb to move to where the people are? Unable to get jobs in localities other than where they currently are?

    Ya, John, all the teachers are sitting around the break room hoping that someday the rest of the citizenry will return to their hometown. Gimme a break….

  • randcoolcatdaddy

    "…some states are just so horrible that people are leaving in droves."

    I'd like to leave the state I live in, but there's that little problem of a job and money.

    Perhaps I should write Mr. Romeny to see if he would like to sponsor a refugee from North Carolina for only pocket change every month.

    • tessiee

      Can't you just hop a bus to Chapel HIll or Asheville?

      • randcoolcatdaddy

        Not if I want to get married.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    The "dickhead" gene runs strong in the Sununu family.

  • Eve8Apples

    Who needs teachers when Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists will bring all the education you need to your front door for free.

  • SheriffJoeBiden

    At the risk of being voted down for being not funny/contrary, I've read in a few different places I consider credible that class size, within reasonable bounds, is actually not a very important factor at all in predicting educational attainment. Much more important is teacher quality. My take on this is that it's better to get one good teacher for 30 students by paying a good salary than two poor teachers for two classes of 15 who earn less. Yet there are clear economic incentives for teacher's unions to prefer the latter scenario. And if you're viewing teacher hiring as economic stimulus, rather than educational policy, then maybe you, too prefer the latter scenario. All I'm saying is that we should hue to the facts, rather than circling the wagons around groups we're predisposed by our politics to like.

    • Guppy

      Except the GOP is pushing for the compromise between the two: one poor teacher for 30.

      As for teacher quality in general, in a capitalist society you get the teachers you pay for.

      • SheriffJoeBiden

        Agree. I'll vote for the Democrat every time if I want education to be a priority. My point is, we don't have to fall in line behind slogans like "small class size" just because we're on the team that is supposed to support teachers.

    • Tundra Grifter


      I've read my share of information about the quality of public education, and the primary determinent factor appears to be the wealth of the community. Rich folks have been public schools than poor folks.

      It's not only paying teachers well. It also comes down to parental support – financial and time contributions (easier for two-parent households with one parent working outside the home).

      Additionally, of course, wealthy families have more time to spend with their children at home on school work.

      I just don't buy "blame the unions." It takes two parties to sign an agreement. If auto company management signed deals that turned out to be too expensive, they shouldn't have signed them. Same for school districts (which tend to be run by volunteer school boards – perhaps we should have paid professionals in charge?).

      • SheriffJoeBiden

        We're reading the same sources, and I agree. I don't want to give the impression that I'm saying "blame the unions." I don't. Unions try to ensure that teachers get compensated well enough to make teaching an attractive profession, among other things. Pointing out a group's economic incentives isn't tantamount to blaming them. If I have to assign the lion's share of the blame, I'd assign it in equal parts to politicians who talk a good game about how they want to fix our failing schools yet won't provide the funds to do so, and the voters who let them get away with it.

    • Fukui-sanRadioBarb

      I've seen the same. Larger classes with good teachers can do well. I've also seen very good results from small classes with good teachers. Class, let's all write down our anecdotal evidence.

      However, teachers' unions are important because the fist of capitalism behooves skules to hire at the lowest pay grade possible. The teachers have to be acceptable to whichever regulation the skule has to follow.

      Public school, teachers' unions and so on are right, and private bullshit is wrong.

      Having said that, I'm libble McLibster, but I'd send my theoretical children to private school if I could afford it. Which I can't. And the theoreticals don't exist.

      It's because education is being eroded. Which, I think, is part of the plan. Dunning-Kruger. Dumb shits don't know what they don't know, therefore vote Republican.

  • Tundra Grifter

    "As technology contributes to community security and dealing with issues that firefighters have to deal with, you would hope that you can, as a taxpayer, see the benefits of the efficiency and personnel that you get out of that."

    Sheer uh "Am i uh An Idiot?" uh InSannity still mocks Mr. Obama for pointing out people lose jobs to technology such as kiosks and ATM machines.

    • tessiee

      "As technology contributes to community security and dealing with issues that firefighters have to deal with"

      That's their hot shit solution? Lay off the police and firefighters, and have people pay out of pocket for bars on the windows and fire extinguishers?

  • SayItWithWookies

    Infrastructure — that and financial regulations are just like training wheels. Now that we've got the hang of being a society, we just don't need them anymore, so we take them off and we're really free — just like the kid riding his bike towards the end of the driveway and heading out into the street for the first time.

    It's one thing to live in interesting times, per the Chinese curse, because of circumstances beyond one's control. But it's a whole nother damned thing to make the times a lot more interesting than they ever needed to be.

  • PubOption

    So, East St. Louis with its potholed streets, falling-down buildings, traffic lights turned off because the city cant pay the electricity bills, is a vision of the future of the USA? I've got about ten years to go until I retire, plenty of time to work out which country to retire to.

    • tessiee

      You think you're going to retire?
      You think any of us are going to retire?
      Dude[ette], you slay me!

  • anniegetyerfun

    Wait, really? There's a place in the US where teachers haven't been laid off in droves? He's just making that shit up, right?

  • redarmybarbie

    Just a thought,

    Do the Romneybott's firewalls protect it against Stuxnet?

  • I don't know if anyone else caught it since it doesn't appear to have been mentioned — but thank you Kris for including that link near the end to our own wonkette-in-chief emeritus Ana Marie! [around 2:44 mark]

  • Tommmcattt

    Why stop there? We should just sleep-teach these kids! They do it all the time on Venture Brothers. We don't need teachers at all! That goes double for the union!

    …and if you don't think that unions are what this is about, think about it again.

  • Oblios_Cap

    So… if people are leaving some states in droves, where are they going? Won't they need more teachers there?

  • Abernathy

    Larger classes and fewer teachers means more kids for all the Mittens, Jrs., to "enjoy pranks with" and fewer adults to intervene. What's the problem?

  • Callyson

    As technology contributes to community security and dealing with issues that firefighters have to deal with

    Robots are fighting fires now?

    Only R2D2 can prevent forest fires…

  • glamourdammerung

    And now Romney is complaining about how "absurd" it is that he was taken in context for saying this foolishness, continuing the Palin tradition of claiming taking a candidate's statements in full context as somehow being "smears".

  • Bonghits4Jesus

    Only vulture capitalists' jobs are worth saving, everyone else is just carrion.

  • Clearly, it was Mitten's PR people who gave LeBron that "5, 6, 7 championships" line at the infamous rally in Miami.

  • BarackMyWorld

    I can't comment on this because my head just exploded.

  • tessiee

    Before she became a right-wing loon, Florence King had some interesting ideas. This quote, I think, is a good summary of how people like Romney feel about teachers:
    "it is adults who make money, have money, spend money; children represent liabilities … Anyone who chooses to make his living from children is simply deficient in common sense and no different from the person who buys a hole in the ground and calls it a gold mine. *Moreover, since children are paupers by definition, the combination of children and teachers amounts to a conspiracy of the have-nots.* … "They're nothing but servants."" [emphasis mine]

  • Kakkeltje

    Sununu??? Maybe some teachers wanted him to write his name in cursive when he was little and he is still bitter about it.

  • ttommyunger

    Sununu: proof that the dingleberry doesn't fall far from the asshole.

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