TOM COTTON: He scorned Internet as education tool in college; it bites him 13 years later.

  • TOM COTTON: He scorned Internet as education tool in college; it bites him 13 years later.

I’m not ready to jump on the Democratic Party of Arkansas’s bandwagon on this one, though it is kind of amusing.

A Party news release compares Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr’s recent remarks touting use of technology in school — he particularly lauded a church school’s use of iPads with young children — with an article 4th (not 3rd as I originally wrote) District Republican congressional candidate Tom Cotton wrote for the school newspaper when he was at Harvard 13 years ago. A sample from Cotton:

Despite blather about the “information superhighway” in popular culture, connecting classrooms and libraries to the Internet is a horrible idea. The Internet at best brings convenience to everyday life. It allows us to check the weather, the news, the stock market and so on very quickly. None of this information helps educate children. But the Internet does not just fail to educate children; it even obstructs their education. The information on it lacks veritable scholastic quality because it is not filtered through the ordinary editing and publishing process of books and magazines. Moreover, the Internet has too many temptations—ESPNet and Playboy come to mind—to distract students bored with their assignments and looking for some fun.

Fun political research for sure — instant access via Internet to a candidate’s thoughts even 13 years ago. Is not history educating? (Cotton tells AP, by the way, that the Internet has matured into an educational tool and he thinks the criticism is a sign of his strength.)

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More enlightening about Cotton is the earlier part of the column linked above and the screed he wrote against liberals who “use the courts and the bureaucracy to accomplish that which they cannot accomplish at the ballot box. They push their programs on Americans by fiat, without the deliberation or compromise a diverse, continental republic otherwise demands.”

Thank goodness Republicans are willing to compromise — whether on important matters like disaster assistance or trivial matters like presidential speech times — and accept majority legislative votes rather than resorting to the courts to strike down health care legislation they don’t like. Speaking of compromise, Cotton has said he wouldn’t have gone along with the deal to raise the debt ceiling.

PS — Republicans are womping up on Democrats for digging for trivia. To them I have four words: Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis, which spawned a million GOP broadsides. Or how about that letter to a ROTC instructor? But before you chuckle right along with the Republicans for whom history started today, read Cotton. He may have become more enlightened about the Internet since college, but his general radically conservative outlook hasn’t.

Democratic news release follows: