Public School Teacher Assigns Students Oppo Research on GOP Candidates, Instructs Them to Forward it to Obama Campaign


Eighth-graders at Liberty Middle School in Fairfax, Virgina, were assigned opposition research on the four remaining GOP presidential candidates, and told to forward that research to the Obama campaign, reports The Daily Caller: 

The assignment was for students to research the backgrounds and positions of each of the GOP candidates for president and find "weaknesses" in them, the parent explained. From there, students were to prepare a strategy paper to exploit those weaknesses and then to send their suggestions to the Obama campaign.

Liberty teacher Michael Denman, who declined to comment, unveiled the assignment in mid-January when he broke the Civics Honor's class into four groups, one for each Republican candidate. The students were then to collaborate as a group and research the backgrounds of their assigned candidate.

Denman assigned two kids to write a paper revealing the identified "weaknesses," two to write the attack strategy paper and two others to locate an individual inside the Obama campaign to whom they could send the information.

"My classmates don't actually know a lot, but a few of us tended to agree that the most recent instruction on this project just didn't seem right," one of the students told TheDC. "Mr. Denman didn't tell us where to find the information, just to research on them."

More here. Who needs Citizens United when you have millions of impressionable young people trapped under the thumb of the American Federation of Teachers and a compulsory education system?

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  1. My classmates don’t actually know a lot, but a few of us tended to agree that the most recent instruction on this project just didn’t seem right,” one of the students told TheDC. “Mr. Denman didn’t tell us where to find the information, just to research on them.

    Clearly this kid’s teachers failed to make him into a proper drone.

    1. Clearly this kid’s teachers failed to make him into a proper drone.

      He didn’t kill any Afghan civilians? No extra credit!

    2. moot assignment since the gop primary is a circular firing squad providing it’s own OR for team obama.

    3. Isn’t that the point of the assignment? Give ’em time, John.

  2. Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato.

    1. Mama mia! I’m-a so greasy-a!

      1. That’s-a spicy Stato meat-a-ball!

      2. “Get outta here, ya dago bastard!”

      3. I’ll just leave this here.

    2. “O che sciagura d’essere senza coglioni “

      1. You have no balls?

    1. And knowing is half the battle.

  3. “Hi, I’m Michael Denman. I crave vapid fame. I’m too clumsy to be on Survivor. I’m too ugly to be on American Idol. I’m too chicken to go up a bell tower with a gun. I don’t have a vagina I can flash getting out of cars at nightclubs, so I can’t go the Paris Hilton route. But I crave fame. Also, I’m an unprofessional partisan asshole. So I’ve decided to be the Fox News freak of the week.”

    1. Too ugly to be on American Idol? You obviously don’t watch the show. 🙂

  4. This might have rated a “meh” — except for the fact that the teacher could have easily created a fifth group to “research” the weaknesses of Obama.

    1. Could you be any more racist?

    2. Yeah, I vaguely remember doing something like this in ELP (Economic, Legal & Political Systems or some such) in middle school, including sharing our insights with congresscritters. It was pretty non-partisan, and the research was such low quality that it couldn’t have possibly helped anyone.

      The most bizarre political experience I had in school was in second grade at a non-religious private school where we had a mock political debate in class and then cast our votes. Apparently Ross Perot’s promise not to borrow from his grandkids’ piggy banks went over well.

      1. Same here, and I believe it was in 2nd grade to (but public). Ross Perot totally qick the shit out of every other candidate.

        1. I voted for John Anderson in middle school.

          1. We weren’t allowed to vote for members of Yes at my mock-election.

            1. I would have voted for Jon if I had been allowed.

              Speeling is hard.

              ^^^not intentional, but chose not to edit.

            2. Or Bengals QBs.

        2. Perot won at my school too.

          1. Both mine voted for Bergland at school in 1984 (Bergland has just stayed at my house) and when the results were announced (and published in local news rag) there were no votes announced for Bergland. I almost went to the school board about the rigged election and the lesson it taught kids, but didn’t want to put a target on my kids.

            1. I’m pretty sure I convinced at least 10% of the school to vote for Frank Zappa in a mock election one year, but again, no votes for him were reported. I guess it is sort of a valuable lesson: if you support a weird candidate, people will pretend you don’t exist. Unless they can score cheap political points off you somehow.

    3. Why have any assignment to research “weaknesses” at all? Couldn’t this partisan shitstain just have assigned his students to find statements showing the candidates being hypocritical asshats?

      I mean, if your goal was to actually educate your students, that is.

    4. the teacher could have easily created a fifth group to “research” the weaknesses of Obama

      To be fair, the group doing oppo research on Obama would have had a much easier assignment.

      1. The Obama has no weaknesses – political, moral, corpreal or quantum. The Great Leader’s strengths are legion and enumberable. Sometimes the Unicorn he rides, tires helping the Great Leader in his endless battle against the Evildoers and the ignorance of the American People — but the Great Leader never weakens!

    5. Actually that material is widely published, so that would have been an easy A.

    6. That’s what struck me when I read this. It would be a very good assignment if it wasn’t so blatantly partisan and included research on Obama (and, fuck it, why not Gary Johnson) as well.

  5. THis was a bad episode of Star Trek.

  6. And the descent to meet ancient Rome continues.

    1. Dr. McCoy: They’re crying Jim. I don’t know how it happened, but it’s good to see.

      1. Captain Kirk: Very funny Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.

        1. Trust me, Jim, you won’t need clothes. Green alien bitches luv nekkid.

    2. Meh.

      The politics of the Republic were not much different than the politics of today or the politics of the 1800s.

      (Actually, the stuff that was published in the 1800s would embarrass Limbaugh or Olbermann.)

      1. The politics of the late Roman Republic period were pretty much exactly like our current elections. Every ambitious politician asked himself “how can I circumvent the Constitution in order to expand my power?” then got to work. Everything turned out great.

        1. Oats for everyone!

        2. They were in the early Republic, too. cf: The prosecution of Scipio Africanus or the failures that led to the appointment of Cincinatus. So citing Roman history is not really meaningful unless you are going to argue that all democratic governments eventually turn into tyrannies.

  7. This actually sounds like a great assignment — Get the kids to research the weaknesses of all the candidates for president — then brainstorm, pretending to be opposition campaign strategists.
    And of course, you tell the kids that you’re gonna forward their “important” research to all the campaigns.

    But that’s not the way it went down, it seems.

    1. Good luck to them trying to get anything about Obama.

  8. President Urkel needs all the help he can get.

  9. While I think it’s a bad idea to use the current campaign (should have done it for an old campaign — maybe 2004 or 1980 or whatever) it’s little different from having kids do market research and send it in. It uses current events to develop research skills and encourages the kids by having them actually submit it to an authority.

    It’s not like any of them would find anything the Obama campaign didn’t know already.

    1. The point is as much to train youngins to reflexively look for bad things in Repubs as anything else. To teach the toddlers who the bad guys are.

    2. That would be a semi-valid point if he broke the kids into five groups, with one digging up dirt on Obama.

      1. Semi-valid?

  10. H&R continues their unbroken streak. Every time they publish a story about Fairfax County, all it does is validate my decision to leave.

    I’ll make a wild guess based on 8 years of FCPS: this isn’t the first time something like this happened, and it won’t be the last.

  11. Had the same thought — you can include Obama and discuss the power of incumbency, etc.

  12. We’re training young Libertarians!

  13. I grew up in Fairfax County. It’s heavily populated by CIA, FBI, NSA, and military officer types. Good, right-wing, God-and-country folk. So even tough the teachers are your typical lefties, they’ve got their hands full when it comes to reprogramming their students.

    1. So left-wingers feeding at the government’s left breast are “reprogramming” the children of right-wingers feeding at the government’s right breast? That may be easier than you suppose.

      1. Yeah, but there are still fundamental differences between the two classes of American taxfeeders. And in this case, it sounds like the teacher’s sole objective was to convince them that reelecting Obama is just the natural thing to do. I can tell you THAT would have bene a hard sell in my neighborhood.

      2. Sippin’ on the left teat
        Sippin’ on the right teat
        Which teat shall I take?

        1. What am I, chopped liver?

          1. You make me wish I had three hands!

            1. I had four.

    2. Is this parody? That first group is scary as all hell.


    3. When did you leave? It’s almost unrecognizable from when I graduated from high school 16 (shit!) years ago.

      1. I left just over 20 years ago. My dad was a career officer, so we did a few tours there during my childhood.

        I lived in Herndon, what about you?

        1. I’m still in the area but went to Oakton. used to live between Fair oaks mall and reston town center. was right on the line between Oakton and Chantilly.

          1. I’m still in the area but went to Oakton. used to live between Fair oaks mall and reston town center. was right on the line between Oakton and Chantilly.

            Yep, I grew up maybe 10 minutes from there. I miss it sometimes, but I’m happy where I am, 3 miles from the beach 🙂

    4. Yeah, off the top of my head here’s some parental occupations from when I was in high school in Vienna: Director of Surface Warfare for the Navy, full colonel in the Army and Air Force, intelligence analyst, undisclosed position in the CIA, FBI Hostage Rescue Team member, and DOD contractor.

      1. Yep, my dad was one of those, to a tee. We had at least one of each of the rest in our subdivision.

    5. CIA, FBI, NSA…

      I fail to see how the adjective “good” can be used here.

      1. I fail to see how the adjective “good” can be used here

        C’mon, man. I said “Good, right-wing, God-and-country folk.” If that’s not a sarcastic barb, I don’t know what is. 😉

        1. Cuz they are every bit the parasites that cops and firefighters and public school teachers and administrative law judges and assistant district attorneys are.

        2. Fair enough

  14. “My classmates don’t actually know a lot, but a few of us tended to agree that the most recent instruction on this project just didn’t seem right,” one of the students told TheDC. “Mr. Denman didn’t tell us where to find the information, just to research on them.”

    The complaint isn’t that it was partisan or creepy, just that it was too hard. I get the impression if teach had told them where to get the information, this kid would’ve been just fine with the assignment.

    We are so screwed.

  15. The only problem I see with this is the kids researching Rick Santorum, because the assignment inevitably exposes minors to pornography.

    1. Yes, and even if they miss his website, there’s all the talk of bloody anal spooge.

      1. Not as bad as reading Ender’s Game, but pretty bad.

    2. I would put that in my paper about his weaknesses.

  16. I remember back in 2004 during the presidential election, a parent went ape shit because the classroom had pictures of all the presidents, including Bush up on the wall but not a picture of John Kerry, who was just a candidate. I hated Bush, even then, but I thought the parent was a complete moron for going nuts over it. But, the school did relent and put up a picture of candidate John Kerry next to president George W Bush.

    Ain’t Amerika great?

    1. As it turns out the school wasted their money. Good work parent.

    2. If it had been my classroom I would have taken Bush’s picture down and put it in the urinal in the boy’s bathroom with a picture of Kerry.

      1. So you could play musical chairs on the Titanic?

    3. What? That doesn’t even make any sense.

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    Your email address was selected randomly by a computer ballot system as one of the lucky winners. This draw is a way to reach out to as many living in poverty and hardship knowing that the world is experiencing financial difficulties lately. We know that your win would affect as many that are close to you.

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  18. Jeez, the lucky kids that got Ron Paul probably finished their assignment in 30 minutes.

  19. I wonder what the competency of these students is in basic subjects. Learning political campaign strategy doesn’t seem like something that should be a priority in middle school.

  20. The past, it haunts us.

  21. The unions are expected to spend up to $80 million in TV advertising to recall Scott Walker. I am sure the Left is going to be outraged by all of this outside spending. Right?

    1. It’s going to sting when it turns out to have been a waste.

  22. This type of thing, right here, is what turned me libertarian. Politics is poison, but some people just won’t stop until it’s saturated every single part of our lives.

    1. I hate that more than anything. Every single thing has to be about politics with some people. There is no safe zone. You can’t go to a concert or a ballgame without some dick making it about politics.

      1. Like the NFL and the never ending worship of our “brave troops”.

        Its a football game.

        No More Flyovers, please.

  23. As incompetent as every organization Obama has ever run is…if they need help from 8th graders for mudslinging purposes, it’s worse than I thought.

    1. “The latest candidate debate included half an hour of each candidate telling the other, ‘I know you are, but what am I?'”

  24. Mommy? What does “fleet-footed” mean?

    1. Mommy? What does “He didn’t write those articles” mean?

  25. This is the picture which should hang in every classroom in America.

  26. Come on guys, a little perspective please. It’s a teacher’s responsibility to ensure that the kids know the right way to think. After all, their parents could have been teaching them all kinds of bad things and we can’t have that.

  27. A more challenging research assignment would have been to find the strengths of the candidates.

    1. Have a heart, dude. They’re just 8th graders.

      1. When I was in 8th grade…

  28. “My classmates don’t actually know a lot are mindless fucktards, but a few of us can actaully think and tended to agree that the most recent instruction on this project just didn’t seem right,”

    Future libertarian. I wonder if the ones that could apparently think straight were also the ones assigned to research Ron Paul?

  29. Meh. Teacher in school system does this, so the press reports it and public pressure stops it happening. Teacher in homeschool does this, so nobody know about it because you don’t snitch on Mom. School system beats homeschool on this story. But Reason will keep supporting the right of idiots to mis-educate and segregate their kids.

    1. If idiots’ rights weren’t worth protecting, you’d speak less freely.

    2. The teacher in homeschool isn’t using tax dollars to indoctrinate his or her kid, so I’m not quite sure what your problem is, other than a goon’s preoccupation with “proper socialization.”

    3. Yeah, it is a real pity I have the right to teach my kids on my own. If only the government had absolute power, they could make sure my kid turned into an idiot like the majority of the rest of the population.

  30. Rush is talking about this right now.

  31. There was just a book out on the profession of opposition research. I bet this had something to do with it. It isn’t like the teacher was going to do anything with the work from the kids. Seriously, this made the news? How about that Georgia legislature debating on if the women of their state should be forced to carry dead babies because “pigs and cows do..”

  32. Given the number of conservative voters who had a public school education (the vast majority of them), it sounds like “thumb of the American Federation of Teachers and a compulsory education system” hasn’t been very effective in brainwashing all those “impressionable young people.” I don’t think Mike Riggs has anything to worry about.

  33. “The assignment was for students to research the backgrounds and positions of each of the GOP candidates for president and find “weaknesses” in them…”

    Clearly, the assignment was too easy.

  34. Abuse of power by the teacher. Should be fired, and forbidden for life to teach anywhere.

  35. Children are nothing if not cognizant of UNFAIR. This teacher did great harm to her students’ view of Obama. We who also disaprove of his policies should give her a wet kiss.

  36. All power to the Soviets

  37. Is the Romney campaign like an Etch A Sketch?

  38. I went to high school in Fairfax county. I was never assigned to do scutwork for the Ruling Party, but I do remember one teacher who paraphrased the LP platform in his own words to make it look as bad as possible, who then handed it out to his classes saying “This is the Libertarian platform, it should be good for a laugh”.


  39. So I was just reading this, and I’m a little ticked off, but not surprised.

    “Mr. Denman didn’t tell us where to find the information, just to research on them.” THAT WAS HIS MAIN COMPLAINT

    This tells me that either a) all forms of media were banned as sources or b) these “honors” students, not even ten years younger than I am, can’t figure out how to do the google. Fucking hell. Everything is wrong with this.

  40. To let you know the teacher is a conservative, a republican, a true followers of Jesus, and did not vote for Obama. I am his son and if knew the true situation and who he was you would take all your comments back. I understand how you could see an article and get frustrated by how something sounds. If I wasn’t closeto the situation Iwould have reacted probably in the same manner(though I wouldn’t slander an individual). My father won’t even respond because his standard is to let the lord defend him. He will not fight back because he will choose to take the high road. If you knew my father you would realize heis truly a man of character. All I ask is that you try to realize that some things can be taken out of context and not to immediately judge and belittle a mans name

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