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Sam Brownback
Sam Brownback, known nationwide for sucking
Let me set the stage: A high school senior, Emma Sullivan, was on a field trip to Topeka, Kansas, in one of those school trips that supposes you will learn something about government if you pop in for a day and absorb it via osmosis or having politicians speechify at you or the like. You know, standard stuff. But this high school senior was a rebel. A rebel with a cellphone. And that, in turn, set up the following epic battle between a random teenage girl and crazy-ass Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's staff, a staff that jealously guards Brownback's image as one of Republicanism's crabbiest and most thoroughly nuts politicians:
“Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot,” Sullivan thumbed from the back of the crowd.

She actually made no such comments. “Joking around,” Sullivan says of the incident.

Brownback’s director of communication wasn’t amused when the tweet was spotted during the routine daily monitoring of comments on Twitter and Facebook mentioning the governor’s name.

“That wasn’t respectful,” responded Sherriene Jones-Sontag. “In order to really have a constructive dialogue, there has to be mutual respect.”

Brownback has made a career out of blocking constructive dialog and denying people mutual respect, of course, but hey: He's now a governor, and you pissant little kids have to be nice to him. Or else:

She landed in the principal’s office for a scolding that lasted nearly an hour. She says she was told the “not so nice” comments had embarrassed her school and the district and that “damage control” with the governor’s office was the next step.

So Shawnee Mission East is forcing her to write an apology to the governor’s office, with the principal even giving her talking points to hit.

Now that teaches students about government, doesn't it? She didn't actually tell Brownback he sucked. She sent a joke tweet saying she did. But even that is unallowed because the 1st Amendment does not, apparently, apply to 18-year-olds, and because nobody in Kansas government has either a sense of humor or the sense the good Lord gave a garden snail, and so she's being forced to write an apology letter to the pissy Brownback. As "damage control" for a school that apparently fears a terrible retribution resulting from one of their students publicly not liking Sam Jerkass Brownback.

There are several problems with this, but Wonkette points out a rather obvious one, in a story they have titled Sam Brownback Insane With Rage After Twitter Insult By High School Girl:

Yeah, but Sam Brownback really does “suck,” and really “blows a lot.” This is well known, nationally, and to expect smart young people in Kansas to be ignorant of this fact is to want children to be born without brains.

They took these high schoolers on a trip to Topeka to learn about government. Well, if the only thing those kids learn is that Gov. Sam Brownback sucks eggs and his staff is full of narcissistic assholes, I'd say that was a damn productive trip. Christ, there are people who have been exposed to Sam Brownback for decades that haven't learned that lesson yet, which is what causes Kansas to have books written about it called What's the Matter With Kansas and the like.

All right, so here's the lessons from this little episode. First, that Sam Brownback's staff obsessively monitors Twitter and Facebook for insulting mentions of the governor. Second, that if you do joke about insulting Sam Brownback, the aforementioned staff will come down on you like a ton of bricks—presuming you're a high school girl, that is, and they think they have some power over you. Third, that your school will, under the pretense of "teaching you about government," turn the primary lesson of all this into you shall not insult your fucking insane governor on Twitter, and insist on a written apology to the grumpy, racist old coot. And fourth, that nobody in this whole incident aside from the girl in question is willing to recognize just how stupid this makes all of the officials involved look, because they are freaking out over a goddamn insult of the governor on Twitter by a high school girl.

I would say that the students in question definitely have been "taught" something about government. They've been taught exactly what most of the rest of us got "taught" at around the same age: Government is filled with pissy little people who have nothing better to do than use whatever tiny scrap of power they have to make the lives of those around them miserable, and you are not allowed to criticize or have any non-rah-rah opinion on any of it because this is America, damn it, so shut up.

Yep. That sounds like exactly the lesson they wanted to pass on. Message received, kids? Now go write apology letters for thinking your governor is a thin-skinned moron and your school administrators are weak-willed, pissant little cowards.

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