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Ben Carson’s Education Department Would Police Universities for Bias

Not a good idea

Ben CarsonThe BlazeUnlike some conservatives, Ben Carson doesn’t want to shut down the Education Department—no, he wants to use it to punish universities that demonstrate “extreme” political bias. That’s according to an interview he gave to The Blaze’s Glenn Beck:

I actually have something I would use the department of education to do. It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding on that basis.

What does Carson even mean? Would universities risk losing federal funding if professors, or student groups, demonstrated some kind of leftist bias?

This statement, if I’m reading it correctly, should serve as a powerful reminder that many supposedly limited-government conservatives would actually use federal power to oppress people in ways remarkably similar to those on the left.

President Obama’s Education Department is currently engaged in an effort to force campuses to police sexual assault in ways that are manifestly unfair to the accuser. One of its rogue agencies has made up rule after rule putting unconstitutional limits on students’ free speech rights in the name of stopping sexual harassment. These actions are wrong, and someone in elected office should challenge the organization.

But it would be equally wrong to use the Education Department to police speech that conservatives don’t like.  To the extent that Carson was serious about his suggestion, he deserves criticism.

Hat tip: The Daily Beast

Photo Credit: The Blaze

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  • Winston||

    Unlike some conservatives, Ben Carson doesn’t want to shut down the Education Department

    Which ones would those be?

  • That's A Bingo!||

    Reagan?

  • Winston||

    Sorry I meant who are the conservatives who want to shut down the Education Department?

  • SIV||

    Gingrich? Buchanan? Paul Sr. ?

  • PapayaSF||

  • Zaytsev||

    Trump.

  • RAHeinlein||

    Ernst campaigned on this issue.

  • Spartacus||

    "President Obama’s Education Department is currently engaged in an effort to force campuses to police sexual assault in ways that are manifestly unfair to the accuser."

    Is that what you meant to say?

  • R C Dean||

    COSMO ALERT!

    I knew it! Sure, he'll try to pass it off as a typo, but if John has taught us anything its that in typo veritas

    Cancel my subscription and bring me a drink!

  • Paul.||

    Hugh Akston finished all the Vodka, so all you can have is an "...and Cranberry".

  • Hugh Akston||

    You got it backwards dude. I don't drink vodka but I fucking love cranberry juice.

  • Winston||

    Prune Juice is the nectar of warriors, isn't it?

  • Hugh Akston||

    it is a warrior's drink.

  • Mongo||

    Somewhat OT : I mixed myself a vodka and mango juice the other night at a party. Awesome. Didn't know if the cocktail had a name so I went online to the Absolut site and I had to enter my birth date and check a box stating that I'm 21 before I could proceed.

  • Akira||

    I know that all the alcohol companies probably do that for legal liability reasons, but...

    Absurdity #1: Supposing that an "age verification" cannot be bypassed by anyone with half a brain cell.

    Absurdity #2: Thinking that something bad would happen if a person under 21 were to access the website of an alcohol company.

  • Galactic Chipper Cdr Lytton||

    I think #2 isn't just legal liability but to protect themselves from accusations from ABC's, politicians, and self-appointed nannies of targeting under 21's.

  • Robert||

    Where "targeting" = ~ excluding.

  • GILMORE™||

    "Absurdity #2: Thinking that something bad would happen if a person under 21 were to access the website of an alcohol company."

    It has to do with both voluntary agreements "booze" (spirits) companies in America agreed to decades and decades ago not to advertise on TV or radio....as well as the fact that US states have different levels of regulation of any kinds of booze advertising. Basically, the lawyers are assuming that the Internet is 'closer' to TV and Radio than it is print media. To be safe, they put up a pretend-barrier that allows them to claim they're only allowing exposure to people who are 'of age'. Its pre-empting complaints by the MADDs of the world, et al.

  • GILMORE™||

    " I mixed myself a vodka and mango juice the other night at a party. Awesome."

    Oh, yes.

    Mango is a bomb-ass mixer. Sometimes it comes like the goya 100% nectar stuff, thick and pulpy and is better cut with something like 7up or soda water... or you get the mango-cocktail juice (usually mixed with grape or pear juice to thin it out)... or - in my opinion the most flexible option - you get a bottle of Mango Cordial (concentrate), which is undrinkable by itself, but when added to water allows you to make mango juice of varying levels of tartness. Just a splash can do wonders. You could buy that stuff in Indian grocery stores in NY, and i think also some bodegas, but i havent' seen it much outside NY.

  • spqr2008||

    A friend's mom used that to make mango juice growing up near Cincinnati, so it's available there (probably at Jungle Jim's, if anywhere). It also was used to dull the spices in her curry (she'd serve my other friends and her son first, with spicier stuff, then water down mine with mango and water).

  • Ken Shultz||

    I bet the average American can't tell the difference between what Carson said and how Title IX is implemented.

    I would guess most Americans can't tell the difference between a university being threatened over having an extreme left wing bias and a university being threatened over being insufficiently feminist--which is how average Americans typically interpret Title IX.

  • Juan Segway, Sidewalk Avenger||

    Top Man Syndrome strikes.
    Carson's sure it won't backfire.
    Yeah, that won't happen.

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    He's a doctor. The Toppest of Top Men.

  • SIV||

    While Carson isn't calling for an end to all federal funding of higher education he is for ending some funding.

    "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good"

    This statement, if I’m reading it correctly,

    You're not, Robby. The word "bias" in this context implies a university restricting speech and ideas by applying ideological tests to faculty hires, campus speakers, student clubs and activities etc. Carson is proposing cutting funding to institutions that restrict the free flow of ideas and opinions.

  • ||

    That's quite a spin job there SIV.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That isn't a spin job.

    That's the way Title IX works.

    I pasted the relevant text from the Federal Code below.

  • wareagle||

    why is it any more of a spin job that Robby's supposition that Carson would use the White House as a cudgel? Bias is not hard to find in academia.

  • SIV||

    I assume you're referring to my first statement in that post, thank you.

  • RAHeinlein||

    As usual - 100% alignment with SIV. Dept of Ed and EPA are top two among Govt agencies that should be defunded.

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    Carson should be questioning why the Department of Education has ANYTHING to do with institutions beyond K-12.

    Since he isn't, he's an enemy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    § 106.4
    Assurance required.
    (a) General. Every application for Federal financial assistance shall as condition of its approval contain or be accompanied by an assurance from the applicant or recipient, satisfactory to the Assistant Secretary, that the education program or activity operated by the applicant or recipient and to which this part applies will be operated in compliance with this part. An assurance of compliance with this part shall not be satisfactory to the Assistant Secretary if the applicant or recipient to whom such assurance applies fails to commit itself to take whatever remedial action is necessary in accordance with § 106.3(a) to eliminate existing discrimination on the basis of sex or to eliminate the effects of past discrimination whether occurring prior or subsequent to the submission to the Assistant Secretary of such assurance.

    ----Code of Federal Regulations

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/C.....c106-4.xml

    Why shouldn't Title IX be extended to cover other forms of discrimination? Race, creed, color, etc?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Why shouldn't Title IX be extended to cover other forms of discrimination? Race, creed, color, etc?"

    Is it because it would mean the end of affirmative action?

  • wareagle||

    affirmative action - discrimination with a more polished name. But Carson's the problem. Yes, the man is right-wing, which should surprise no one. Still, having universities that teach instead of indoctrinate would be nice. A little ideological diversity would go a long ways in that. Maybe that's a suitable application for Title IX.

  • tarran||

    Maybe that's a suitable application for Title IX.

    Because having the state police the ideology of professors is just the thing to bring ideological diversity to academia. No way it won't be used to break up a GMU's austrian econ program, or force Keyneseians into Friedmanite or Hayekian colleges.

  • wareagle||

    i understand this can work both ways. Let competing voices speak in the marketplace of ideas. You can't bitch about the leftward tilt of most campuses and want to protect the few hothouses of non-derp.

  • Libertymike||

    This guy's creepiness continues to impress.

    He is a reminder that STEM guys are every bit as wedded to busybody objectives, control, and the federal teet as black studies or feminist studies graduates are.

    This guy wants to dramatically increase the power of the state.

    No thanks.

  • SIV||

    This guy wants to dramatically increase the power of the state.

    To dramatically limit the powers of some subsidiary institutions of the state.

  • wareagle||

    that part about the perfect and the good holds little currency here.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Stop lying SIV.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I actually have something I would use the department of education to do. It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding on that basis."

    Denying federal funding does not equal "dramatically increas[ing] the power of the state".

  • tarran||

    Really?!?

    Because the faculty at Harvard Law who are revolting over the rape kangaroo court system that Harvard is implementing at the behest of the feds might disagree with you.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I would say that the way Title IX has been implemented and interpreted in the courts is woefully wrong, but denying federal funds on the basis of discrimination isn't wrong by itself.

    If you really want to limit the power of the state, deny federal funds to all universitites and let them compete on quality and price.

    Denying federal funds for the preaching of the gospel doesn't equal 'dramatically increasing the power of the state' either.

    If Title IX has somehow increased the power of the state, it isn't because it denies federal taxpayer funding. It's because 1) the federal government is giving so much in the way of funds to others, 2) the way Title IX is implemented, and 3) because the way Title IX has been interpreted in the courts.

  • tarran||

    I would say that the way Title IX has been implemented and interpreted in the courts is woefully wrong, but denying federal funds on the basis of discrimination isn't wrong by itself.

    Ah, so we'll just ignore how the real world works because it produces a different outcome than our favored models says it should produce. Got it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Hey, I'm not championing Title IX here. I'm skewering it for its implementation and interpretation. That isn't enough? I have to think it's wrong to deny federal funding to further discrimination, too?

    Just because good intentions are insufficient to justify an unjust outcome doesn't mean the intentions aren't good, and just because I think Title IX has been used to pervert justice doesn't mean I have to praise the cause of sexual discrimination either.

    I also don't have to pretend that withholding federal funds--by itself--is equivalent to dramatically increasing the power of government, and I hope the point isn't being lost that left wing academia probably doesn't want to see Title IX expanded to include race, creed, etc. because that would represent a direct threat to some of their favorite babies.

  • Christophe||

    The core problem is that discretion in the hands of the executive is a cudgel. Doesn't matter what it's supposed to be for, it will be used in whatever manner is most expedient.

  • ||

    I mean Canadians are weird and all that but Americans have lost their minds.

  • ||

    I found your minds.

    I'm not giving it back.

    /tightly holds it to chest.

  • Seguin, the Mighty Monoclops||

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. There's still plenty of meat on those minds. Now you take those home, throw 'em in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you've got a stew going.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The other precedent for this is probably the Hatch Act.

    Why should federal taxpayer money be used for expressly political purposes?

    Churches can lose their tax exempt status for political advocacy. Why should universities be allowed to finance expressly political programs with taxpayer money?

    African-American Studies, Womens Studies, Latino Studies, Industrial Relations, Political Science, Ecology--don't many of these programs expressly offer college credit for participating in political advocacy?

    Why should taxpayers who don't agree with these academics be forced to pay for political advocacy?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Concerned taxpayers should take comfort in the fact that they have no say in how the government spends its money.

  • Paul.||

    That wasn't political advocacy, it was art.

  • Paul.||

    And not to get all Notorious on you by replying to myself, but to get all Notorious, that was precisely the argument that "the left" used against speech restrictions in the 80s, that no one could tell the difference-- and we wouldn't trust 'top men' to judge the difference-- between political advocacy and performance art, therefore any restriction to speech was verboten. Specifically... specifically because performance art might become political advocacy, and there shalt be no restriction to political advocacy, thus endeth the sermon.

    Fast forward 20 years and now the "New Left" openly calls for restrictions to political advocacy... if it weren't so sickening, it'd be laughable.

  • Winston||

    Aren't the arguments the Left are using in favor of Hate Speech restrictions pretty much the arguments used by 19th Century Conservatives used against Freedom of Speech? That it would lead to people lying and saying mean and nasty things that would upset people and disrupt the social order?

  • spqr2008||

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

  • ||

    Good thoughts, Ken. Whenever there is competition, disparate impact appears inevitable. Let's say most students want a left-leaning education, and that universities are responsive to these demands. Then neutral funding of all universities will in fact be disparate funding of left leaning education. The same goes for funding infrastructure like the internet. Does it make sense to come up with a kind of fairness doctrine here? And as long as tay payers are funding education, why should those (groups) who disparately contribute not get disparate services? There's a pertinent establishment clause case (entanglement) - can't recall it right now - about funding religious groups who offer general education and would receive general government subsidies. Indeed ideological bias appears as problematic as ideological, political bias.

  • ||

    Correction: "Indeed [religious] bias appears as problematic ..."

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Clearly, this is a terrible idea.

    Government-funded politicized education is at the very heart of what makes this country run -- how are we supposed to staff the government, the media, academia, and so forth with right-thinking people who will keep this country on the right track? Hell, by doing it this way those murderous flyover types are paying into our communities and reimbursing us for the high price of their crimethink -- an opportunity for which they should be grateful, quite frankly.

    Who would want to demolish this system?

  • tarran||

    The solution to Carson's concern about idealogical bias is to...

    /drumroll

    END FEDERAL FUNDING FOR EDUCATION!

    Naturally he wants to expand political control. I guess he's an economic creationist as well as a religious one.

  • SIV||

    Carson wants to end some funding for education. You have to start somewhere.

  • tarran||

    He also wants to expand political control. Which means he isn't really starting at all. He just wants to control and direct it.

  • ThomasD||

    Right because accepting you cannot eliminate an organization means you must never seek to control it either.

    A ratchet, not a pendulum.

  • spqr2008||

    I'm thinking he's hoping the left will then propose eliminating the Dept of Ed if he politicizes it against them, which serves his purposes well.

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    Because cutting it's budget by 20% isn't a possibility. So further control it is.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    Maybe he can also abolish the income tax for his political friends. That's also starting somewhere.

  • Christophe||

    Isn't that the big conservatarian proposal? Big-ass child tax credits?

  • jdgalt||

    "President Obama’s Education Department is currently engaged in an effort to force campuses to police sexual assault in ways that are manifestly unfair to the accused."

    Fixed that for you.

  • Cytotoxic||

    ITT, yokeltarians lie and spin to exculpate Carson for his blatantly stated aim of increasing government power over education.

  • GILMORE™||

    uuuuuuggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh

    God, I said yesterday... if carson would improve his speaking voice and just *not say retarded shit*, he'd be 10X more appealing as a candidate.

    Just please for the love of god, republicans... stop being such extreme dipshits. Its like you're all working for Hillary.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That would explain Kevin McCarthy's comments about Benghazi.

  • Jima||

    My Education Department would consist of one person who could answer the phone and say,"I'm sorry, but the Department of Education has been disbanded. Please contact your local administrators for further assistance. Have a good day, goodbye!". In six months, I'd retire the phone guy too.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "This statement, if I’m reading it correctly, should serve as a powerful reminder that many supposedly limited-government conservatives would actually use federal power to oppress people in ways remarkably similar to those on the left."

    Which should remind you that the Left is already doing it.

    We already live in a Progressive Theocracy.

    Unfortunately, given that way too many of our neighbors are supporters of this theocracy, I think we need a deprogressification, similar to denazification.

    Content neutrality would be nice, but the Progressive Theocracy is not neutral, and uses any means necessary to win. I doubt that victory over them is possible without fighting back in kind.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So to fight the dark side you'd have us become the dark side.

  • Bryan C||

    No. But to fight the dark side you do have to fight. You may not be interested in regulatory lawfare, but regulatory lawfare is interested in you.

  • chmercier||

    Bryan C - I agree. It's often forgotten that the Left is fighting a WAR and we, us liberty loving peeps, are their enemies.

    It's like trying to appeal in 1941: "Hey guys, we shouldn't use tanks against the Germans because use their tactics is to become them."

    Oh no, we should use tanks. It's who the targets are, not the weapons.

  • Bryan C||

    Title IX should be repealed altogether, and there should be no federal money in education.

    But you have to get there somehow. The Department of Education in general and Title IX in particular have deliberately been crafted into tools to inflict pain on the ideological enemies of the hard left, Including libertarians. Right now there's no downside to this: When the statist left has a lock on political power they can use the law with impunity. When the statist left doesn't have political power they can also use it with impunity. That's a pretty sweet deal. There's no way forward until that changes, and the only way to do that is to make the pain go both ways.

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    I would start by cutting the DoE budget by 200%. Fire everyone and make them pay last year's salary back.

  • NoobSalad||

    This just gives evidence to my theory that progressives are currently a greater danger to free speech not because they are more inclined to censor, but because they're better at selling it. Seriously, they've got all this language about oppressing marginalized people through hurtful speech and people think "wow, words can hurt. Oppressing marginalized people is bad." Then conservatives walk in and say "I AM GOING TO CENSOR YOU" and everybody recognizes it for what it is

  • GILMORE™||

    "progressives are currently a greater danger to free speech not because they are more inclined to censor, but because they're better at selling it."

    That's a good point.

    Its also consistent with how the left suddenly seems to rediscover civil liberties when the GOP is in the white house.

  • SIV||

    Except Ben Carson isn't proposing censorship. He's proposing withholding federal funds from institutions which practice censorship.

  • GILMORE™||

    I agree that people might be over-reacting to his suggestion...

    ...but that regardless - this whole thing of "determining who is practicing censorship" would require some federal oversight that measures "fairness". and that OCR type bullshit invariably gets misused by virtue of the fact it exists at all. When they can't find unfairness in one place, they'll simply expand their mandate and look for it elsewhere.

    as an example = most universities have a huge disparity in their faculty, where most are openly Democrat

    would we really support a DoEd that enforced "equality" in hiring? I'd hope not.

  • SIV||

    It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding on that basis.

    I'm taking Carson at his word that he would like to withhold federal funds from institutions that practice an especially egregious "extreme" bias. He doesn't call for "fairness" , "equal time" or neutrality. Do you really think DoE bureaucrats and their client institutions are going to go full RED SCARE over an executive order from a right wing president?

    I don't think this is great practical proposal but it isn't what Robby and some commenters are trying to twist it into. The outcry over it might even fuel a conservative movement to defund across the board. Conservatives were ready to dump the whole NEA over the funding of the Mapplethorpe Serrano exhibitions.

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    I'm taking Carson at his word

    Which just proves you're a sucker.

  • Robert||

    Why not? We have other governmental & quasi-governmental institutions that have rules to forbid 1 party from monopolizing them. Boards of election typically require equal represent'n from the top 2 parties. Institutional review boards (for research on human beings, for submission of results to FDA or EPA, and/or for sponsorship by gov't institutions such as universities) are required to have membership not be entirely from 1 political party. So why not have such a requirement for tax-supported institutions of higher learning?

  • GILMORE™||

    ""Why not?""

    because merely taking federal money should not be an excuse for endlessly expanding degrees of federal meddling and control

    I'm for cutting off ALL federal funding, obviously. But the idea that the degree of current funding should be dependent on an arbitrary measure of political 'fairness' is bullshit in the extreme, particular for universities, which as i note below are always going to have 'extreme' elements simply due to the fact that political scholars are not all valued for their "moderation" but rather the uniqueness of their POV

  • SIV||

    You're doing the same thing Robby did and reading shit into this that Carson didn't say. He didn't call for fairness, quotas, balance, even-handedness or anything like that. Institutions are run by administrators. Students and faculty don't run colleges. Extreme bias isn't extreme views, it's a practice.

    A good real world example of bias is when they charter, fund and encourage (Rove v Wade WEEK!) a pro-choice club while denying a charter and meeting space for a pro-life club. A hypothetical example of xtreme bias might be firing a tenured professor for making a remark in class deemed heteronormative while going to the mat for a professor who advocates enslaving white people and physically attacked a student for holding a sign up on the quad. A school that regularly made the top of FIRE's worst list and lost several lawsuits they defended with those fungible federal funds might show an "extreme bias".

  • GILMORE™||

    "Extreme bias isn't extreme views, it's a practice."

    and how exactly do you measure "extreme bias", and who makes the call when a line is crossed? What "Department of Ensuring No Bias" is going to be handling these cases?

    If that office is a "fairness abiter" i don't know what is.

    the concern is that the federal government should not be playing ideological referee at all. It has too many potential negative consequences.

    .... in this context, I'm thinking specifically of the mistake the Supreme Court made in...uh, Lynch v Donnelly? (whichever was the Lemon Test for religious speech)

    ....when they said that it would be "Okay" to have a creche display on courthouse property / a public-square owned by the city *as long as there was balance with other religions*...

    so suddenly small, 100%-christian communities were being sued for not having a Menorah and a Kwanzaa display *as well*.

    The fake-ideal of "Balance" was required to be enforced. Consequently, most cities decided that "balance" was too hard to guarantee, so they banned the speech entirely for fear of being seen as 'unfair'.

    Any federal oversight of "political bias" would have the same effect as Title IX. The risk of losing money would force the schools to limit what groups do out of fear of not being able to provide equivalent 'balance'.

    Its just a terrible fucking idea. I already get that you think 'defunding' is a more neutral mechanism. But again = who is playing the referee?

  • See Double You||

    He's proposing withholding federal funds from institutions which practice censorship.

    The feds shouldn't be involved in education policy at all. Hell, there probably shouldn't even be such a thing as "education policy."

  • SIV||

    No shit. If you want that on the table (or "within the window") you gotta start somewhere.

    I'm not fully understanding this libertarian distaste for proposals to defund things.

  • See Double You||

    The problem is he's proposing that education spending turn on what DOE bureaucrats believe is "fair." That will lead to more arbitrary, centralized decision making using our money. It's misleading to say it is merely a matter of "defunding things."

    Something more politically palatable would have been for him to advocate federalism (and not term it "states rights," which has a bad odor to a lot of people); start decentralizing education policy slowly.

    And then quietly dismantle the DOE when no one's looking.

  • SIV||

    You have that word "fair" in quotes but that isn't what Ben Carson said.

  • GILMORE™||

    He said "extreme political bias" is what is objectionable.

    the presumed alternative is some mythical "balanced".

    universities are always going to be havens for "extreme" political views. that's part of *what they do*. Its no one's business to try to enforce a false 'moderation'. Imagine the outrage if Bush had insisted upon defunding Boulder after Ward Churchill's dumbass "little Eichmans" essay.

    We've seen what obama and people like the SPLC have done with the term "extremists". Its a cover for trying to re-define 'normalcy' as something closer to their own views. Anyone who claims to be fighting extremism will sooner or later brand anyone outside their narrowly defined 'acceptability' range as 'extremist' merely to justify their own existence or to harass political opponents.

  • Robert||

    Heck, aren't the decisions on how to dole out $ to institutions or programs or grantees already arbitrary?

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    He's not trying to defund anything. He's using the funds to control school policy.

    This is like people who say they will tax vices to discourage their use, and then add that it will raise a lot of revenue. Which is it? What's the goal and the ideal state of affairs?

  • GILMORE™||

    "This is like people who say they will tax vices to discourage their use, and then add that it will raise a lot of revenue. Which is it?"

    Good point

  • SIV||

    It's a campaign line Dr. Carson delivered in a conversation with Glen Beck. He's not the president and he isn't using federal funds to do anything. Like drug testing welfare recipients, this isn't the greatest idea in practice but it is understandable why it is appealing to the targeted voters.

    The proposal is totally mischaracterized by Robby reaching new lows in Reason's "The right does it too" genre.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Facepalm.

    It's really clear that Carson has no well-thought-out political principles. He's just pulling stuff out of his ass like some very nice yet ill-informed guy you meet at a cocktail party. Virtually nothing he says holds up once you start asking "How would that work?" and "Doesn't this conflict with what you said the other day?" or "What about the Constitution?"

    Of course, very, very sadly, Carson is far from alone in this among our Presidential contenders.

  • ThomasD||

    Carson would make what is presently covert into the overt.

    I'm ok with that since it is about the only way we could all agree to stop the process.

    So long as it remains an institutional bias of the permanent ruling class nothing will change.

  • See Double You||

    Carson is a wacky guy.

  • AlmightyJB||

    While I certainly don't like the aashole mentality, not that I ever would have voted for him anyways, denying you money you don't deserve in the first place is not exactly oppression.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Giving people money that do tow the lion is a much worse offense.

  • See Double You||

    I don't think anyone is arguing that (at least not here). Rather, the problem is further politicizing education spending. Carson should have said the federal government has no place in education and therefore he would shut down the DOE.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm with you

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    At the very least cut its budget to get it out of anything beyond K-12.

  • Nick W B||

    "This statement, if I’m reading it correctly, should serve as a powerful reminder that many supposedly limited-government conservatives would actually use federal power to oppress people in ways remarkably similar to those on the left."

    Has Carson at any point claimed to be a limited government conservative?

  • SIV||

    Robby seems to think so.

  • Robert||

    This statement, if I’m reading it correctly, should serve as a powerful reminder that many supposedly limited-government conservatives would actually use federal power to oppress people


    Where "oppress" = deny funding to.

  • JeremyR||

    Welcome to the new Reason, where government programs and funding are a good thing in some cases, like in particular Planned Parenthood

  • SIV||

    The government is just an accumulation of rounding errors.

  • Robert||

    Like the bloggers & many of the commenters here complaining that Sanders is insufficiently or inauthentically socialist.

  • kbolino||

    Welcome to the new Reason, where government programs and funding are a good thing in some cases, like in particular Planned Parenthood

    I'd rather my tax dollars were spent on firefighters and fire engines than on advertising for the Smokey the Bear campaign. That's not really a libertarian position so much as a "if you're going to steal from me, then use the funds well" position.

    If you're going to cut something I find useful, then give the money back to me. Don't be surprised if I'm not thrilled you spend it on your pet project instead.

  • GILMORE™||

    "Oppress" is clearly the wrong word. "Influence", at best.

    Which should still be objectionable - because the federal govt should not be in the business of policing politics.

    but that's a nuanced point that i'm not sure is the same as what Robby was trying to say.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    I trust you, Jeremy and SIV have never used such language regarding the national drinking age.

  • XM||

    "Bias" is going to be more easier to prove than you think.

    Consider that only 2,3 years ago, cities and universities were in bed with the OWS movement. These people were allowed to crash local parks for free and given a forum on city meetings. But they made sure to bill Tea Party activists for using public property.

    There's nothing wrong with punishing universities for bias if it leads to the loss of someone's freedom. If UCLA moves to cancel fourth of July (because of white privilege or whatever) but holds "Che Gueverra Day", that's fine. If they disinvite controversial conservative or Jewish speakers for the usual reasons but accepts radical Muslims who insist they have a right to "resist" Israeli occupiers, that's something to look at.

    The campus rape prosecution is almost certainly biased. The accused to have to prove their innocence at a Kangaroo court. And real courts often exonerate them after the school kick them out. They should be stripped of funding of all kinds.

    If a libertarian government deregulated society, some of these leftist universities will pass all sorts of regulations as a response. They do that NOW, spitting at the constitution which so explicitly disallow them from doing the many things they do. Some states tried to cap campaign contribution even after the SC ruled in favor of free speech.

  • chmercier||

    This is to expand on thoughts about resisting the idea of defunding uni's based on ideological bias or Title IX abuse:

    We often forget that the Left is at war with liberty. Leftists want absolute power and will actually use guns to get it, hence all the effort to destroy due process, freedom of speech, and gun rights.

    Now here we get quibbles about possible misuse of a weapon. Ideologically, of course, I disagree with the expansion of federal/governmental power.

    We need to apply how we view gun rights as political rights - it's not the weapon, but how its used. Don't confuse NAP with Non-Defense Principle. That's suicidal.

    Sadly, it's courting the dark side. But, again - the Left will win its war because we're politely asking them not to use tanks.

    The Soviet answer to "please don't use tanks on us" is: squish.

  • Christophe||

    Remember, any "weapon" you build ends up in progressive hands within 4-12 years, tops.

  • Azathoth!!||

    This is what Carson said--


    I actually have something I would use the department of education to do. It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding on that basis.

    This is what Robby takes it to mean--

    What does Carson even mean? Would universities risk losing federal funding if professors, or student groups, demonstrated some kind of leftist bias?

    Robby thinks it would be used to attack leftist bias-instead of extreme bias. Why?

    Because Robby is well aware that academia is awash in extreme leftist bias.

    This statement, if I’m reading it correctly, should serve as a powerful reminder that many supposedly limited-government conservatives would actually use federal power to oppress people in ways remarkably similar to those on the left.

    Even though Carson states that he wishes to attack "extreme bias", not "leftist bias'

    But it would be equally wrong to use the Education Department to police speech that conservatives don’t like. To the extent that Carson was serious about his suggestion, he deserves criticism.

    But if he WAS serious--and meant what he said--as opposed to what Robby infers, what's wrong with it?

    What's wrong with trying to keep ALL bias in education to a minimum?

  • kbolino||

    Because Robby is well aware that academia is awash in extreme leftist bias.

    Also there's the part where Carson has represented himself as conservative...

    What's wrong with trying to keep ALL bias in education to a minimum?

    I would say that it depends entirely on what kind of bias we're talking about.

    Bias in admissions? Well, what does that mean exactly? Should the school start accepting people whose SAT scores indicate they couldn't even spell their own names correctly?

    Bias in judicial proceedings? Again, what is the meaning? Should the school weight everyone's testimony equally, regardless of how credible it is?

    Bias in faculty opinions? Ok, so everybody has to pretend they don't have an opinion. But everybody does have an opinion, including the anointed arbiters of ensuring no one has an opinion.

    Running a school should be up to the school, not the government. Reinforcing the DOE's role as a political weapon sounds nifty when your guy is in charge. What happens when the left invariably wins an election again in the future?

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    I actually have something I would use the department of education to do. It would be to monitor our institutions of higher education

    Therefore: CARSON FAIL.

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  • Christophe||

    I have a use for the DoE. We close it and fire every last employee, pour encourager les autres.

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