What does it take to get rid of delusional public servants?

Let me qualify that: what does it take to give far right lunatics the boot in Texas? That’s a different ball game, I know.

Currently running for the Texas Board of Education is the infamous Mary Lou Bruner, who is way out there.

On her Facebook page, Ms. Bruner called Mr. Obama “Ahab the Arab,” and wrote that he “hates all white people and all wealthy people because to him wealthy means white.” Although she condemned the Ku Klux Klan in one posting, she wrote positively of its roots, writing that it started “as citizens trying to fight back against a corrupt government when there were corrupt officials or no officials at all to keep law and order in the rural areas.” Of Mr. Obama’s youth, she wrote: “I heard from a reliable source that Obama was also a male prostitute for a while when he lived in New York with his male ‘partner.’ How do you think he paid for his drugs?”

She’s got all kinds of wacky ideas.

On climate change, she wrote last June: “Climate change has nothing to do with weather or climate; it is all about system change from capitalism (free enterprise) to Socialism-Communism. The Climate Change HOAX was Karl Marx’s idea.”

On the Civil War, she wrote in 2014: “Slavery is not the Reason for the Civil War. by [sic] Mary Lou Bruner…. Historians waited until all of the people who were alive during the Civil War and the Restoration were dead of old age. THEN HISTORIANS WROTE THE HISTORY BOOKS TO TELL THE STORY THE WAY THEY WANTED IT TOLD.”

On the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, she wrote last November: “Many people believe the Democrat Party had JFK killed because the socialists and Communists in the party did not want a conservative president.”

Of course she’s a creationist.

When the flood waters subsided and rushed to the oceans there was no vegetation on the earth because the earth had been covered with water. It took a while for grass and trees to grow back and the big plant-eating dinosaurs needed lots of vegetation to live. The dinosaurs on the ark may have been babies and not able to reproduce. It might make sense to take the small dinosaurs onto the ark instead of the ones bigger than a bus. After the flood, the few remaining Behemoths and Leviathans may have become extinct because there was not enough vegetation on earth for them to survive to reproductive age. Most of the dinosaur fossils which scientists have found are permanently preserved in positions of great distress as if they were trying to keep their heads above water or above the mud.

She won 48% of the vote in her district in the Republican primary.

Any of those bizarre claims ought to have been sufficient to get her rejected by sensible voters; the long history and vast collection of infuriating stupidity ought to have been more than adequate to disqualify her.

But now, finally, a Texas Tea Party group has reconsidered their endorsement of Bruner. Was it the dinosaur story? Accusing Obama of being a drug addicted gay prostitute? The open hatred of “Middle Easterners”? No. It was this video of a speech she gave before a group of teachers, in which she misrepresented the number of teachers employed in a school district.

I guess I’ll take it, whatever it takes to discredit her in the eyes of Texas voters. But it’s just odd that it was this bit of casual ignorance, instead of her record of idiocy, that finally broke some of her support.


  1. says

    ” It took a while for grass and trees to grow back and the big plant-eating dinosaurs needed lots of vegetation to live. ”

    This is how elephants got extinct too.

    Oh, wait…

  2. marcoli says

    Yikes. What would it take to prevent the wackos from gaining public office? I would suggest the near impossible: Establish a robust and deep social support system where the the poor are given support, gun ownership is rigorously restricted, and medical care is affordable and subsidized. Criminals are kept in humane conditions and given means for rehabilitation, and the death penalty is abolished. Workers are given a living wage, and so forth and so on. An effect of this is that religiosity would steepen its decline since religiosity tends to flourish in societies that have poor social support systems. Over several generations our country would become far more secular, and strongly religious people would be seen as wackos and not gain public office. Basically we become like Switzerland.
    I have a dream.

  3. says

    Historians waited until all of the people who were alive during the Civil War and the Restoration were dead of old age.

    Those must have been alchemist-historians who all had the for real philosopher’s stone.

  4. Rich Woods says

    Most of the dinosaur fossils which scientists have found are permanently preserved in positions of great distress as if they were trying to keep their heads above water or above the mud.

    She must think all the surrounding mud and water immediately turns to stone the second an animal dies.

    No, what am I saying! Of course she doesn’t think that. She simply doesn’t think.

  5. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    ideally, every one voting would be fully aware of the candidates entire CV, not just the campaign sound-bites addressing current political issues. Kinda like the conventional job-interview where one must also present ones full CV for review.
    I know this is unrealistic. I prefer to think that these kinds of *attitudes* get into office due to the voters not being fully aware of the candidate’s background. How these office-holders can continue to spout such nonsense, with full media coverage, and get continually reelected is “inconceivable”.
    I know *attack ads* during a campaign try to inform voters of the opposition’s full background, including these off-topic attitudes; but that often backfires: making the voters think the ads are fabricated to make the opposition appear weird when not. So it must be best to vote for the one under most attack: “underdog being the best”, after all.
    {ugh: ranting, I better stop now}

  6. robro says

    Interesting that the school superintendents in the audience spoke up so quickly. They could have held their tongue, and then where would we be. And while Grassroots America–We the People are idiots for supporting her at all for all the reason sited, at least they drew the line somewhere. I think I’ll choose to see a glass half…well, one-quarter full rather than completely empty because I need any smidgen of hope I can muster right now.

  7. moarscienceplz says

    One of the reasons we endorsed Mrs. Bruner was because of her long years of experience as a teacher.

    Oh, all those poor, poor children!

  8. Gregory Greenwood says

    What does it take to get rid of delusional public servants?

    Fabricate evidence that she is secretly an atheist, and that all the bible babble is just a smokescreen to hide the truth – with the American political climate the way it is, she will be out on her ear so fast her feet won’t touch the ground.

    Just ask pretty much any prominent politician in the Lone Star state, and I am sure they will be happy to tell you how atheism is the most monstrous, ebil thing evah (with the possible exception of being gay, though most will probably assume that one implies the other without any intelligible reason as to why that should be the case, or how homosexuality or atheism actually harms anybody in the first place), because reasons that have nothing to do with what atheists actually are or believe (or rather fail to believe). Incoherent ranting about ‘being angry at god’ and ‘wanting to do evil without consequences’ is likely.

    If you can associate Mary Lou Bruner with godlessness, her own bible-thumping kind will cannibalize her in no time flat.

  9. blf says

    Fabricate evidence…

    No, please, don’t go there.

    Also evidence? Since when would “they” pay any attention?

  10. says

    I suppose there are a number of ways to get rid of public servants like this. People could pay attention to their local elections and hopefully realize how woefully awful candidates like this are before voting for them. They may have known who they were voting for and agreed, but given how little people seem to know about local candidates, I would not be surprised many just tick a name they like. They could also turn up. She received 48% of the votes in her district on March 1, but the turnout was only 21.65% (http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist273_race108.htm). That includes both Democratic and Republican voters though, I could not find the actual voting eligible population of Republicans. I did see that for the entire state 66% of the votes were Republican voters.

    Turnout for the runoff is likely to be more woeful, which is not going to help. Previous runoff results are not terribly encouraging, with turnout often being well under 10% (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/historical/70-92.shtml)
    If she wins it will likely be a small number of people making that decision.

  11. unclefrogy says

    that will be just fine if they are white Christian property owning men.
    and women who vote like their men want!!

    uncle frogy

  12. Meg Thornton says

    [Context: Australian.]

    Actually, all it takes to prevent nincompoops like this from getting into public office is treating high public offices like any other fscking job. This is how it works just about everywhere else in the world: things like being a board member of the Department of Education or any other similar public service office involve actually meeting requirements for things like qualifications, experience, ability to write statements to selection criteria, and so on. You pay them a salary, they have to damn well earn it.

    This notion (which appears to be peculiar to the USA; I know of no other country which routinely puts senior public service offices up for a public vote) that senior public office is something which any yahoo who can convince the public they’re “good people” is entitled to is one of the things destroying your country. It destroys the upper levels of your public service by making them into politically partisan battlegrounds with no upper management continuity, and it destroys the lower levels of your public service by making it deadly clear to anyone who applies for a public service job their work isn’t valued at all. It’s one thing for an employee to hold the opinion their boss is an idiot (every employee does this at one time or another) – it’s quite another to realise this isn’t just an opinion, but rather a verifiable truth.

    Even if you just put a “statements to selection criteria” stage before the public election – a set of criteria which have to be met in terms of role-relevant experience, education, knowledge and so on which have to be met in order to be able to have your name put before the voters – it would improve things sight out of mind.

  13. says

    On the Civil War, she wrote in 2014: “Slavery is not the Reason for the Civil War.

    Someone needs to read some declarations of secession from the southern states. Here’s South Carolina’s:

    The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

    The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

    These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

    We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

    For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

    This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

    On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

    The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.

  14. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 15:
    agree! She seems to be exemplifying the style of retcon argument.
    Where X is talking about an argument between A and B. X reads that A used argument Q to support their argument of R against B. So X says the argument was about Q and totally disregard R.
    to clarify that algebra:
    The argument about Civil War. The South used the argument about “States Right” to support their fight for Slavery. Now, some will say the argument was about “States Rights” and Slavery was just an incidental aspect. The latter being the retcon.