Moran: Get your priorities straight

CORRECTION: This story may be incorrect in saying that Moran opposed the D.C. school voucher program. But we believe the point is still valid that our own education system takes priority over prisoners’ access to books. Thank you to all who have debated in the comments section below.

America’s education system is broken. Once #1 in the world in graduation rates, America now lags behind several other countries. And while the system is failing our kids, Jim Moran apparently isn’t worried about it. Instead, he’s sad that Guantanamo Bay detainees don’t have enough to read.

From a story on

Yesterday, at the Aspen Institute Cultural Diplomacy Seminar in Washington, Virginia Representative Jim Moran spoke with former NEA Chairman (and acclaimed) poet Dana Gioia about the absence of reading options for prisoners at Guantanamo. Moran cited as, in his view, one of our past Administration’s great mistakes: the fact that these young, arguably still impressionable, men are offered only one book when they arrive—the Koran. In Moran’s view, this is a terrible mistake. Why offer them the one book with which they are likely most familiar? Why offer them something that has no chance to challenge or change the Way They See Us? Here we have, as Moran implied, an excellent potential audience for a low-cost act of cultural diplomacy: reading more about us.

Is it obvious or brilliant to conclude that the most important books we can give our prisoners are fine works of American literature, works which represent the rich diversity of our current cultural climate, and the history of literature in American life? “The way we counter negativity is with the arts,” Moran said.

So the fundamentalists who hate us and want to kill everyone of us are going to be turned from their ways by exploring the very culture that motivates them to attack us? Can you imagine Khalid Sheikh Muhammad becoming an American literary scholar?

Moran wants to educate terrorists while voting to kill the Washington, D.C. school voucher program that allowed disadvantaged kids a better education.

How ridiculous.

Mr. Moran, get your priorities straight.


7 responses to “Moran: Get your priorities straight

  1. Though I may disagree with Mr. Moran on other issues, it’s irrelevant to me how he voted on a measure for school vouchers for DC. He represents the 8th district and his priorities should be for his constituents in the 8th and not for DC residents.

  2. Jack, under the Constitution, Congress has jurisdiction over all D.C. policy. Congress decided whether to continue the program and Moran voted against it. Northern VA is the wealthiest area in the nation but Moran doesn’t care about the poor just a few miles away.

  3. Also, if his priorities are for the 8th District, why does he care about Gitmo terrorists?

  4. Jack,
    I don’t think a “discussion” about international cultural diplomacy and a vote on a particular school voucher program can be compared apples to apples.

    Also, I’m a working class parent and don’t believe that school vouchers are the answer to educating disadvantaged children. Stronger public schools will be more effective than vouchers. Moran doesn’t have his priorities wrong…you just disagree with him.

  5. It’s not “Koran” guys!!! It’s Qur’an… Please, let’s get that straight–and no, I’m not a Muslim

  6. This is not exactly accurate. Jim Moran actually supports the Washington, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. He has sent supporters letters saying:

    Thank you for contacting me concerning the D.C. school voucher program. I appreciate hearing from you on this topical issue.

    I generally oppose school vouchers, but do support the D.C. program. It is an embarrassment that the capital of the United States has such a poor public school system. The children in D.C. deserve better. I am hopeful that Commissioner Rhee and Mayor Fenty will be successful in their efforts to reform the system.

    The fiscal year 2010 omnibus appropriations bill included $12.2 million for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships program. However, the legislation will only allow currently enrolled students to receive a voucher, which ultimately will lead to a termination of the program.

  7. I guess he didn’t beat up any black children or harass any females this past election cycle. Oh wait, he did that before and got re-elected. Alexandria is a joke.

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