Question of the week: how would Buck have voted on Brown v. Board of Education?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



You may recall that last week’s BigMedia question of the week for reporters was, “Does Ken Buck support a ban on the use of morning-after pill, even for a woman who is raped by a family member?

The answer turns out to be yes, as reported by 9News in a story fact checking a Michael Bennet ad. Buck opposes the use of the morning after pill, because it could harm a fertilized egg, according the Buck spokesman Owen Loftus, who was cited by 9News. (More on this topic later this week.)

This week’s BigMedia question of the week for reporters is: If Ken Buck had been a member of the U.S. Supreme Court at the time, how would he have voted on Brown V. Board of Education.

The question arises after ColoradoPols posted a video of Buck last week, in which  he is quoted as saying:

“In the 1950s, we had the best schools in the world. And the United States government decided to get more involved in federal education. Where are we now, after all those years of federal involvement, are we better or are we worse?”

The video got a bit of play nationally, but surprisingly the Colorado media has essentially ignored it.

The truth is, you really can’t conclude anything about Buck’s view on the topic from the video. But the fact that he specifically cites the 1950s does raise legitimate questions about his views on Brown V. Board of Education, especially in light of his general opposition to federal involvement in education.

So reporters should ask him about it. It’s definitely in the public interest to clarify what Buck thinks about one of the most significant Supreme Court cases in American history.

53 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. H-man says:

    That is at least an issue in the US Senate.  His answer sadly was:

    “It’s time to stop dividing people over legislation that everyone knows will not pass the Senate and may not even come up for a vote,”

    I see you didn’t get Bennet’s message.

    Believe it or not, it is possible for a conservative not to be a racist.  

    Is it possible for you to be relevant?

    • Such speculation is silly, I think. Nobody can predict how consumers or voters will decide an issue, according to consumer research. You have to watch what they do, not listen to what they say.

      The same goes for trying to revise history and speculating on whether Saddam would have become a Chrisitian and an ally of Israel if he hadn’t been hung.

    • Having benefitted from a public school education in the 1950s and seen the results of public educations for some people in the 2000s, I can say the results were mixed in the 50s and still are.

      The reason is simple: Those of us who grew up in families with rich educational traditions do better in school and life than most of those whose parents and grandparents don’t value education. Underpaid and underfunded teachers and schools produced about the same results in the 50s as overpaid teachers and expensive public schools do today.

      It’s the kids who count.

      Read Freakonomics. The data show that parental educations and values matter. Transferring poor performers to rich school districts doesn’t help them.

      All the money in the world won’t fix a kid’s academic abilities, ambitions, motivations, values or energy levels.

      While I support Buck, I think that his comments about the good old days are off base just as I think Bennet’s cya tax and spend approach to education is misguided.

      I don’t want to go back to segregation, beating kids in schools, under paying teachers or giving  school boys advantages over school girls.

      As Teacher Tom Tancredo says, our schools need real reforms. But, to me, needed fundamental educational  reforms don’t seem possible in the current political environment.

      • Ralphie says:

        Those of us who grew up in families with rich educational traditions do better in school and life than most of those whose parents and grandparents don’t value education.

        My grandfather couldn’t read.  He used to sign his name with an “X.”  He carried bricks up a ladder by day, lit gas lamps at night.  My dad, sister, and I all got master’s degrees.

        Just another bullshit stereotype used as an excuse to gut public education and keep ghetto kids bottled up in their own neighborhoods.

        • dwyer says:

          My grandparents were illiterate and non-English speaking. One of their sons was a Ivy League graduate; all the others were HS grads with some college…among their 21 grandchildren are lawyers, a lot of teachers, an artist (where did that come from?) a priest….almost all are at least college graduates…

          What concerns me is that the right leaning bloggers keep trying to trip and trap up the discussion….I don’t want to talk about education in the 50s or people’s personal histories/opinions (having given mine!)…the focus needs to be on Ken Buck…and how he can be “encouraged” to explain his comment, and specifically how he can be forced to take a stand on Brown v. Board of Education.  BTB, M. Rosen thinks this was a wrongly decided case and an excellent example of judicial activism.  

          So, my progressive colleagues, when they throw their peanuts….let us not act like their monkeys.

        • Ralphie, Did you learn to read? How’s your comprehension? Look at the kids who are failing today. Do they come from homes with books that have been read by their parents? No.

          You’re so eager to bash and dash that you make yourself look so mindless, education or no.

        • Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

          Give that Mayberry had a nice sheriff, no Black people, aristocrat the news.

      • JO says:

        Why keep on hiding your light under a bushel, Donald?

    • H-man says:

      They know that it doesn’t represent what the polsters say it does.  

      Here is an idea for next weeks question of the week to Michael Bennet:

      In a civil rights suit brought under 42 USC sec 1983 to redress excessive force by  police officers, such as the Denver Police Department officers who have recently beaten detainees, should the plaintiff be allowed to introduce evidence of a pattern and practice of beatings which were know by city management and go after the Mayor who is currently the Democratic Party nominee for Governor?    

    • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

      The Senate isn’t going to vote to outlaw abortion, so you can pretend that Buck’s position on real legislation is irrelevant?

  2. dwyer says:

    He said he supported Card Check with one exception. He was in favor of the secret ballot.

    I miss Romanoff.  His defeat, IMHO, marked the total collapse of an effective democratic party in Colorado,  I think that OFA, having defeated Romanoff,  will just get bored and Buck will be senator, particularly if skiing season starts early.

  3. dwyer says:

    Again, break it out so if Buck is directly asked the question, he can’t wiggle out of it.

    LAW:  ”Separate but equal” is inherently unequal and therefore is not constitutional.

    Remedy:  Integration by forced busing.

    Buck may well try and ignore the question about the law by attacking the remedy.  If anyone gets to actually ask the question, make sure Buck addresses the underlying legal principle, before attacking busing.

  4. catpuzzle says:

    The question about the difference in education then and now is really less about Brown and more about something far more critical: Title 1 funds.

    These are the moneys that go to schools serving poor or otherwise economically disadvantaged students. Having these funds available marks a big (perhaps the biggest) difference in our education system. And it’s the model that Buck is essentially arguing against – a social insurance system where those who can’t afford opportunity don’t fall through the cracks and aren’t left behind.

    It’s just another iteration of his positions against social security, medicare, student loans, against employer tax credits, etc. Buck fundamentally doesn’t believe in pooled risk and communal support models.

    Or I guess I should say it is hard to tell what he actually believes, but these are the positions that he has taken thus far. Who really knows what they will be tomorrow…

  5. JO says:

    …for several reasons, including perhaps this one:

    Brown v. Board of Ed, was the fundamental trigger for civil rights, not just in theory but in practice, and it was a court decision, more than a decade before the Civil Rights Act.

    Roe v. Wade was also a court decision, one that played a similar (not identical, but analogous in some respects) role for the rights of women, who otherwise stand to be entrapped by sexual activity (willing or unwilling, doesn’t matter) in a way that men don’t, and thus cast in an unequal and disadvantaged position. Will Roe be followed by legislation? Nothing that’s on the horizon, in large measure because it isn’t deemed necessary and is deemed too hot a potato, I daresay. But the notion of overturning Roe is very much on the agenda of Teahadists like Buck, who wish to ascribe properties to fertilized eggs that are absurd and utterly lacking any philosophical or theological basis besides the emotive view that it’s hard to distinguish a human from the foetus one minute before birth, or one minute before that, or one minute…. ad absurdum. [If a fertilized egg is a nascent human, why not an unfertilized egg? Or a sperm cell? Hand off boys, those are prospective humans you've got in there! Nah, I didn't think so.]

    To paraphrase Jason’s astute question: What is Buck’s underlying position on the proposition that All Men and Women Are Created Equal, AND on the related notion that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, said governments to be disestablished when they become destructive of those rights?  

  6. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    I would be totally blown away if he didn’t. As the last thread on this subject proved, most Republicans won’t even go there.

    But if he supports policies that add up to a de facto rescission of Brown, like dismantling the federal education system and replacing it with “local control,” without enforcement of federal standards like that prescribed by Brown, then that is something people should take very seriously.

    Oh yeah and Buck’s just stupid full of shit wrong on the premise, schools were vastly worse in the 1950s by every yardstick. That’s enough for me, but not enough for H-man and friends.

    • H-man says:

        Where do you come up with the “without enforcement of federal standards like that

      prescribed by Brown.

      Buck is concerned about federal spending.

        • H-man says:

          But if he supports policies that add up to a de facto rescission of Brown, like dismantling the federal education system and replacing it with “local control,” without enforcement of federal standards like that prescribed by Brown, then that is something people should take very seriously.

          How is weaning the educational system from federal spending related to “without enforcement of federal standards like that prescribed by Brown”

          In other words, going from cutting spending to bigotry is OK is not supported and stupid.

          • dwyer says:

            What I think you want to say is; Can Buck support Brown and still be in favor of eliminating federal spending on education?

            That is a fair question.  I would like to see it asked and then the follow up would be: How can local districts enforce all the civil rights mandates coming from the courts and Congress w/o federal spending.

            The chief mandates are:

            1) Civil rights based on Brown

            2) Total access in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities.

            3)  Education of children who are illegally in the US.

            That would be a very productive discussion.

          • jpsandscl says:

            separate but equal is a sham and has been proven to be false. This is why we have federal standards and need to enforce them. Otherwise we get defacto segregation into sub-performing schools and school systems.

      • Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

        Have him describe how Colorado would make up the cuts?

        You can’t.

  7. dwyer says:

    Brown v. Board of Ed, was the fundamental trigger for civil rights, not just in theory but in practice, and it was a court decision, more than a decade before the Civil Rights Act.

    and

    To paraphrase Jason’s astute question: What is Buck’s underlying position on the proposition that All Men and Women Are Created Equal, AND on the related notion that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, said governments to be disestablished when they become destructive of those rights?  

    I would find Buck’s answers very interesting.  

  8. Barron X says:

    .

    Is Ken Buck Satan ?

    .

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