Buh-bye, Don McLeroy!

Texans can do things right, I tell you: they just booted Don McLeroy off the state board of education in the primary election. Yay!

It’s a step forward, although the rest of the board is still a muddled mix of creationist loons and cautious conservatives.


  1. vanharris says

    That’s one particularly dangerous superstitious eejit removed from a position where he could do tremendous harm.

  2. Zeno says

    Perhaps Texas life forms are evolving intelligence, a trait not much in evidence since the days of Ann Richards.

  3. https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmi0enWEr3aTvuG9Z9VYXrYemhjnDKbjKo says

    This just in:

    “McLeroy to take over leadership of Army of God.”

    Pass it on.

  4. nigelTheBold says

    <cackle style=”evil”>Bwaaaah-hahahahahahaha!</cackle>

    Ding-dong, the witch is dead!
    Which old witch?
    That Jesus-fucker Don McLeroy!

    Sorry. I just had a momentary slip of the ol’ mental gears. It felt for a second like I’d shifted into an alternate reality, one in which the citizens of the US were sane.

    Now if only everyone could stop talking about Palin, except for a few chastened ex-teabaggers on Fox saying, “Jeez, I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I just succumbed to her aura of idiocy. Sorry, America!”

  5. Larry says

    I wouldn’t be high-fivin’ yet. There still is a Texas-sized amount of Teh Stupid around that state. Like the hydra, you cut off a head, it grows another.

  6. austinfilm says

    #7: From the linked article: “[McLeroy’s] defeat is substantial blow to the conservatives, who have largely driven the recent rewrites of curriculum standards. Ratliff, son of former Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff, has made it clear that he will be a more moderate vote on the closely divided 15-member board.”

    So, you know, fingers crossed.

  7. prostock69 says

    There is a good chance we may be moving BACK to Texas (Mansfield/Arlington) area in a couple of years. I’m dreading it terribly. We lived there from 1998-2008 before moving to Ohio (where I’m from). I was a Christian when we lived in Texas. Now that I’m an Atheist, I don’t want to go back BECAUSE they are bat-shit crazy there. You don’t realize just how much when you are one of them. However, this is good news. Maybe by the time we do move back, they will have rid their school board of the loons.

  8. nigelTheBold says

    @prostock69 —

    You lived in Ohio before, and chose to move back? And you lived in Texas before, and are choosing to move back?

    I mean, good of you to escape Ohio (again). But back to Texas? (Exempting Austin, of course. I could move to Austin.)

    I moved to Ohio from Alaska. I really, really, really just want to move back home.

  9. Paul W. says

    The Republican nomination for Cynthia Dunbar’s old seat, for district 10, is up in the air between Marsha Farney, who got the most votes, and Brian Russell, Dunbar’s handpicked nutbar successor.

    (I’d thought Farney won by plurality, but no, there’ll be a runoff.)

    In Texas, you can cross party lines and vote in the other party’s primary. (You just can’t switch back until next year; you can vote any way you want in the general election.)

    District 10 includes Austin / Travis County north of the Colorado river. Locals should be ready to vote in the runoff. There’ll likely be very low turnout, so every vote could count.

    The plus side is that between them, Farney and Osborne trounced Russell, but split the vote. Hopefully in the runoff Farney will trounce him again. But turnout it is likely to be very low, and loons are likely to be VERY organized getting out hte kook vote, so non-kooks of all parties should be ready to show up for the Republican primary runoff and vote for Farney.

    (I *think* you can vote in the runoff without having voted in the regular primary… I’m not positive.)

  10. reboho.pip.verisignlabs.com says

    This seems to indicate that the McLeroy beat back the challenge. I specifically voted in the Republican primary to vote against him. Just as bad were the non-binding the ballot props on the Republican ballot. #4 was the “Public Acknowledgment of God” and #5 was the “Sonogram”. They will NOT change the law in any way. Only Republicans vote on these propositions, and they do not change the law.

    Proposition 4: The use of the word God, prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and property.

    I want to stress that this is a non-binding proposition. If it passes it will not become law, it will simply give the Republican Party an idea of what Republicans want elected officials to focus on.

    Here’s a link to Blue Dot Blues about the Republican Ballot props.

  11. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    ding-dong, the witch is dead;
    which old witch?
    the wicked witch;
    ding-dong the wicked witch is dead

  12. geds81 says

    But…but…without McLeroy who’s gonna stand up to those experts for the rest of us?

  13. MikeMa says

    Couldn’t have happened to a dumber rock of a guy. My guess is that the IQ of the board and the town McLeroy returns to both rose on his defeat.

  14. destlund says

    For all of you calling Texas stupid, I wish to remind you that Texas is only half stupid, roughly reflecting the nation as a whole. It’s a big place, and it happens to be the only big place with enough Xian fundies for the Right to beat down progressives (and you silly libertarians, too) by making Texas a nexus of national conservative power.

    The conservative agenda doesn’t play well in California or New York, so they make their power play by dominating Texas politics and using that dominance to inject their influence back into national politics. Unfortunately the pro-business, anti-citizen political climate (not to mention the actual climate) creates an ongoing diaspora of talented, intelligent people while maintaining a steady influx of hopeful, ignorant people. Business prospers, the state dawdles, the citizenry suffer.

  15. Chris says

    A good start, but unfortunately they didn’t kick out the ninny who kept appointing him chair.

  16. destlund says


    We won’t have a real opportunity to do so until November. And the fact that he won the primary bodes well for Bill White. Wingnuts vote in primaries, but they also drive moderates away. This will be a swing voter’s election, for sure.

  17. reboho.pip.verisignlabs.com says

    Thanks, Midwifetoad. I must have clicked on the Collin county link. Amazing to me that with all the technology in Collin county that he would have that much support. Unfortunately, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller lost her reelection bid to the board. So, lose a really crazy one and lose a sane one.

  18. Kokapelye says

    Writing from the belly of the beast, yesterday I was an election judge (alternate) in a precinct mere blocks from Grace Bible Church in College Station. Based on early voting, local media expected a large turnout. We were disappointed.

    At the precinct I worked, Republican voters outnumbered Democrats about 2 : 1. According to the senior judge, in previous primaries, R’s and Dems were about equal.

    I don’t know how many of these “Republicans” usually voted Democrat but were voting in the GOP primary in order to dump McLeroy —as I did. Only one explicitly stated she was, another hinted he was. Most of the voters hurried past the Democrats’ registration table as if to avoid catching liberal cooties. (Too late! Dems touched all the voting machines and the JVC operator was a Democrat most of the day.) A lot of the presumed Republicans had that hateful look on their faces, like the one the teabaggers were wearing to last summer’s health care “town meetings.”

    Voting in the opposing party’s primary in order to jigger the election is a fine, old Texas tradition. Yet, quite a few of the Dems I spoke with afterwards did not realize they could vote in the R’s primary without penalty. Given that Perry rolled over Hutchinson, and the R’s loony propositions all passed with sizable margins, I s’pose some undercover Dems could’ve only voted against McLeroy and left the rest of the ballot untouched.

    An interesting phenomena in the District 9 SBoE race was that McLeroy’s support was strongest in the larger counties (Brazos and Collin) and Ratliff’s was strongest in the smaller. I suspect that counties with larger populations can support mega-churches and the congregants of mega-churches tend to vote in blocs.

    It was a major disappointment that Hutchinson didn’t show better. We Dems were looking forward to a fratricidal run-off. Ah well, mebbe Medina will go rogue and run as an independent in November, siphoning off enough sufficient teabagger votes to permit a Bill White victory…. Who am I fooling‽ Texas Democrats are the Cubs of politics.

  19. Glen Davidson says

    At worst, we lost a great symbol of ignorance standing up against the educated and thinking segments of our society.

    Whatever Ratliff is, he’s no symbol of how stupidity needs to fight against evidence and thought.

    Or, sometimes bad things happen to bad people.

    Glen D

  20. Walton, Special Special Dumpling of Awesome says

    This is an example of why open primaries are a very, very, very good thing (and why they should be introduced here in the UK). If you live in an area dominated by one party, voting in a primary is often your only real chance to actually influence the outcome of elections. Over here, candidates are selected by local party committees, so the voters in safe seats don’t really get a say.

  21. AusTexAth says

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that McLeroy lost. I’m here in South Austin and I voted in the Republican primary to try and get Ken Mercer out (I am an actual RINO), unfortunately, he never attracted the same sort of attention that McLeroy did. I found out last night that he had won the primary, and that Perry wasn’t going into a run off.

    At least I have this one bit of good news to tide me over until the election proper.

    I think this puts the board into a sort of balance now, doesn’t it? The conservative-nut bloc doesn’t have a majority?

  22. Matt Penfold says

    This is an example of why open primaries are a very, very, very good thing (and why they should be introduced here in the UK). If you live in an area dominated by one party, voting in a primary is often your only real chance to actually influence the outcome of elections. Over here, candidates are selected by local party committees, so the voters in safe seats don’t really get a say.

    And how will the parties be able to pay for the running of the election ? Surely you do not expect the tax payer to pay ?

  23. Disturbingly Openminded says

    “I’m goin’ back to Dallas, Texas
    To see if anything could be worse than losin’ you”

    Austin Lounge Lizards

  24. Aquaria says

    Collin County is where middle-class white people ran when all the coloreds and Mess’;cans started getting so uppity and trying to go to school with their precious brats. And it’s just kept on being scared and certain that all the brown people are gonna rape their women, take all their stuff and kill them in their beds–and not in any particular order.

    The only thing that separates these crackers and bible humpers from their counterparts in, oh, Smith County or Cherokee County is that they somehow managed to have parents who could send them to college,They managed to learn things enough to pass tests, but retain nothing.

    If you have the stomach for immense stupidity proudly on display, Collin County is a wonderful opportunity to study one of the largest collection of educated idiots in the world. Just talk to one of them, and you’ll realize that a sixth grade is better developed mentally, socially, and emotionally.

  25. ckitching says

    So, has Fox News signed him as an education consultant yet? There’s no reason he can’t continue doing damage despite the fact he was voted out, is there?

  26. Ol'Greg says

    Amazing to me that with all the technology in Collin county that he would have that much support.

    Haha… Collin County. It is not amazing to me. I’m in Dallas County which covers Dallas Proper and some of the nearby southwest towns/cities. Collin County, is where a lot of my coworkers commute from because they want their kids to go to “good schools” which is prettymuch always a class loaded phrase around here. Do you like suburban sprawl, tract houses, mini-pools, flat land, no crosswalks, several miles between you and a grocery store, and walmarts in putty colored strip malls? Then you will love Frisco Tx in Collin County. In my experience, these are your neo-cons mostly, business types who will vote their nose off their face to spite it. They view themselves as traditionalists, and often kiss the butts of the religious right because they think that taking things back to idyllic “good ol’ days” will give them a bigger piece of the pie.

    They’re also often just a college degree away from disadvantaged white classes, agrarian and working class labor, and eager to keep immigrants from competing with their ilk. They usually want to give their kids the opportunities they didn’t have… at the expense of anyone else’s kids for that matter.

    A lot of people live there though because it’s one of the only areas where you can get 2000 sq ft or more for under 200k. You just can’t do that and live in Dallas proper.

  27. abb3w says

    On the downside, less-moderate Clayton replaced more-moderate Miller. (Clayton thinks cdesign proponentsism can find a real nice home over in social studies.) He sounds like he will remain in the Slightly Silly camp of key swing votes, although not in the Silly or Extremely Silly camps dominating from the GOP.

    Nonetheless, replacing the Extremely Silly McLeroy with the at-worst Slightly Silly (and probably even Sensible) Ratliff looks notably better.

    Plus, this is only the primaries. While a run-off will be needed to find out whether Russell or Farney will be the GOP-10 candidate, they’re both near Dunbar’s level in the Extremely Silly division. Jennings might win, but it’s an stiff fight. In the general election, Bell-Metereau will similarly have a serious uphill battles against Silly faction Mercer.

  28. ereador says

    Most of my family were born and raised in Texas (not me). My parents were college friends of Ann Richards. (My grandma gave LBJ dancing lessons when he was 12.) There is a very strong intellectual, liberal/progressive movement there, that gets covered up by all the wack and woo you hear in the media. The people I know there are standing up and doing the best they can in the face of the wannabe preacher-king types.

  29. James F says

    jcmartz #35

    Here is a rundown for the November elections following the primaries (see tfninsider.org for more info):

    District 1: Rene Nuñez (D-inc) vs. Charlie Garza (R)
    District 3: Michael Soto (D) vs. Tony Cunningham (R)
    District 4: Lawrence Allen, Jr. (D-inc) – no opponent
    District 5: Ken Mercer (R-inc) vs. Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D)
    District 9: Thomas Ratliff (R) – no opponent
    District 10: Marsha Farney (R) or Brian Russell (R) vs. Judy Jennings (D)
    District 12: George Clayton (R) – no opponent
    District 15: Bob Craig (R-inc) – no opponent

    (“no opponent” means, at minimum, no Rep or Dem opponent)

    Districts 1 and 3 should be a win and a rout, respectively, for the Democrats. Republicans are the majority in Districts 5 and 10.

    The next big race is the runoff election on April 13 between Marsha Farney and Brian Russell. Russell was hand-picked by far-right historical revisionist/creationist Cynthia Dunbar, who is not seeking re-election. While Farney is on the wishy-washy side about evolution (favors teaching it as the “prevalent theory”), she doesn’t appear to be part of the wingnut faction. My advice, start supporting Farney, then Bell-Metereau and Jennings.

  30. James F says

    #33 abb3w:

    “And this one is from Harpenden Southeast. A very interesting constituency this: in addition to the official Silly candidate there is an unofficial Very Silly candidate, in the slab of concrete, and he could well split the silly vote here at Harpenden Southeast!”

  31. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    District 9 is likely to be stuck with Ratliff, a religionist, but one of these twin-magisteria types. See his statement on evolution and creation.

    He has not gone full retard.

  32. Kokapelye says

    District 9 is likely to be stuck with Ratliff, a religionist, but one of these twin-magisteria types.

    Religionist or atheist, as long as they don’t force their beliefs on other people they’re OK by me.

    As for Collin County, it’s not just white flight from Dallas. It’s also other Americans who’ve moved in to enjoy Texas’ “bidness climate.”

  33. Aquaria says

    I’ll contact Bell-Mettereau to lend a hand, but wish me luck. I’m in the big voting area of SBOE district 5, the Anglo-dominated north side of San Antonio & Bexar Co> It’s the part of the county that’s the most paranoid. and the most conservative with the attendant “I got mine, fuck you” mentality that brings.

    The district also has a lot of overlap with Lamar Smith’s congressional district (the 21st), where there’s a lot of white flight and rednecks.

    It’s gonna be tough. The surest way for a candidate to win in this district is to put an (R) by his name.

  34. Usagichan says

    Walton @26

    Wouldn’t a better solution be to devise a system where every vote counted in electing the government – then you wouldn’t be stuck in a situation where your vote didn’t count (PR seems to fit the bill, but we don’t like that in the UK… how about multiple candidate constituencies – top three vote winners get elected?(I know, a sort of PR, but I think of it more as an ‘each-way’ bet on the Gee-gees)).

  35. tomdoc says

    So if someone made the comment “the Earth is flat” would people “respect” that point of view? Of course not. So how come when someone makes the equally absurd remark “the Earth is only 10,000 years old” we’re supposed to “respect” that point of view? I’m glad McLeroy lost but the other religous nut job Ken Mercer won easily and will probably win in November. Also, Perry easily defeated the more moderate Kay Bailey Hutchinson for governor and will also probably win in November.

  36. Ichthyic says

    District 9 is likely to be stuck with Ratliff, a religionist, but one of these twin-magisteria types.

    yeah, but who would want to run in a district full of Prawns anyway?


  37. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Prawns? Is this some kind of maritimish insult?

    *draws self up to full 5’8″, hitches pants, wipes nose*

    *stews for 5-10*

    Well… your district is full of prawns….fish man.

    *more candy*

  38. Kokapelye says

    Prawns in District 9? The last time we had any prawns voting in District 9 there were flocks of Quetzalcoatlus overhead.

  39. abb3w says

    James F: And this one is from Harpenden Southeast.

    I figured someone would catch that reference.