Home / Dave Brockington / This Week in Republican Crazy, Idaho Edition

This Week in Republican Crazy, Idaho Edition


Idaho State Senator John Goedde, chair of the Education Committee, introduced a bill requiring all high school students read, and pass a test on, Atlas Shrugged as a requirement for graduation.

Sadly, it seems that he’s just joking.

h/t John Neuharth

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  • Cody

    Why would a HS require online courses to graduate?

    Wait – I’m going to hazard a guess – in some manner the people who sell these online courses to Idaho fund this Senators campaign.

    What do you do if you don’t have internet access at home and don’t have reliable transportation to a library whenever you need?

    Unless you allow kids to do the online courses at school (during class time), which would seem pretty dumb since you could just have the teacher teach.

  • Hogan

    Making Atlas Shrugged required reading? Wouldn’t refusing to read it be the Randian thing to do?

  • Reading Atlas Shrugged made me a Republican

    I was 17 at the time.

    Then Richard Nixon happened, and slowly the scales fell from my eyes. Reagan. Clinton impeachment. Bush II. McShame. The Romneybot.

    Now I wouldn’t vote for a Rethug at any level of government.

    They are just that loathsome.

  • Icarus Wright

    I read Atlas Shrugged at 20 and it alternately bored, amused and nauseated me. Mostly bored.

    • DrDick

      That was my reaction when I read it at 14.

      • cpinva

        thank goodness, i was beginning to think i was the only one who made this mistake.

        “That was my reaction when I read it at 14.”

        in my defense, i was very into sci-fi at the time (bradbury, heinlein, etc), and thought that’s what it was. it was the most god awful piece of dreck ever to cheapen the stacks in a library. it gave new meaning to turgid, and less to prose. i forced myself to finish it, because i felt like, once i started a book, i should finish it. masochism deserves no prize.

  • SteveHinSLC

    I’ve taught law students in Idaho.

    I don’t know if enough of them could actually read Atlas Shrugged.

  • c u n d gulag

    Forcing students to read that awful dreck, might actually have the opposite reaction that this moron might want.

    Nothing will turn young students off more than having to read massive some book with an 80+ page self-aggrandizing monologue by some rich @$$hole, extolling about how his selfishness and greed were actually virtues.

    Ayn Rand makes sense only to people who have the maturity level of a 3 year-old with emotional problems, and the ability to withstand a huge volume full of insipid writing, violent sex, and brutal and selfish cartoon characters.

  • trex

    “Herp, derp!” said Idaho State Senator John Goedde, angrily, waving his tiny pistol. “Derp dee hur'” he then said to relieved laughter, easing the tension in the room and giving assurances that this toddler with a loaded weapon wasn’t going to totally fvcking freak out on the state education system over his unresolved daddy issues.

    • delurking


  • FLRealist

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

    I love this quote.

  • wengler

    It might be interesting to actually have a critical reading of it, but that book is just too damn long and boring.

  • Jameson Quinn

    Wouldn’t that be unconstitutional on 8th amendment grounds?

    • DrDick

      I think it is under the 1st Amendment (freedom of religion), as well.

      • sharculese

        If this is true then the high school teacher who assigned me Brighton Rock has some explaining to do.

  • Phil Studge

    “When I read ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ and it’s been probably 30 years since I read it, but it certainly gives one a sense of personal responsibility,” Goedde said

    How vapid and empty was this fellow’s upbringing, that he needed fantasy fiction to acquire personal responsibility?

  • Alan in SF

    “When I read ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ and it’s been probably 30 years since I read it, but it certainly gives one a sense of personal responsibility,” Goedde said.

    Personal responsibility for inspecting the safety of a restaurant before you dine there, personal responsbility for making sure the banker doesn’t run out the back door with the money you just deposited, personal responsibility for blowing back the toxic cloud drifting in from your neighbor’s meth lab…Utopia!

  • Crackity Jones

    “Joking”? Ah yes. My favorite backpedal though is the “satire” defense. These people are so cute.

    • cpinva

      if they actually could identify satire, they might even fool one or two people. sadly, no.

  • ChrisTS

    But aside from all the preaching, it is full of extra-marital sex. And Dabney is not a cookie-baking, child-rearing, decent woman.

    Maybe that’s why he decided it would have to be just a joke.

  • Since apparently this is the Internet site for proposing new Internet Traditions, I think devising the test would be an excellent exercise. There are a number of alternative formats:
    1) True False
    2) Multiple choice
    3) Fill in the blank
    4) No Multiple choice
    5) Essay
    or since it would be online
    6) First Person Shooter

    My first suggested question would be
    Dagney Taggart is:
    a) An ethical actor by Objectivist standards
    b) Hot
    c) A role model for red blooded American adolescent males of all ages.
    d) Nothing like the bitches we have to deal with in real life
    e) All of the above

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