Constitution Week may be four months away, but it's never too early to try and hone the indoctrination message that the nationwide event will hammer into America's children. First out of the gate are the Tea Party Patriots. The Georgia-based conservative group doesn't want just any Constitutional interpretation delivered to public schoolkids, it wants an obscure Idaho-based right-wing group's version--the one that says the U.S. Constitution was more or less created by God himself.
Furthermore, the Tea Partiers think teachers ought to look no farther than the National Center for Constitutional Studies based in Malta, Idaho, for how they should go about teaching the finer points of the document.
The NCCS was founded by W. Cleon Skouse. That's the same conservative extremist, Mormon evangelical, and John Birch Society member who once wrote that slave owners were the real victims of slavery, and who has called just about half the political leaders since George Washington "communists."
He's sort of the original Glenn Beck. In fact, Beck has said on his show that Skouse is one of his favorite authors, and there is an effort by the NCCS to get him to write a new preface to Skouse's principal work The 5,000 Year Leap.
As for the group's Constitutional interpretation, championed by the Tea Party, it's the notion that the document was the product of "divine inspiration" that's apparently most attractive.
In fact, Bill Norton, the Tea Party Patriots' leader in charge of its "Adopt a School" program, tells The Huffington Post that it's other non-Christian views of the founding document that are extreme.
"They're eliminating God out of the whole political discussion 100 percent, which is going to the other extreme," [Norton] said.
Maybe. But when respected constitutional scholars like, for example, Pulitzer-prize winning Standford historian Jack N. Rakove calls Skouse's work "a joke that no self-respecting scholar would think is worth a warm pitcher of spit," it's maybe worthwhile to find a more mainstream view with which to brainwash children.