In this post, Richard Eskow describes the manipulation of public opinion by people who call themselves reformers.

The attack on public education, he writes, is an attack on children and our nation’s future.

The playbook has been carefully planned and orchestrated. And the media fell for it, with few exceptions. Instead of calling them “reformers,” he says, they should be known as “demolishers.”

Here is a synopsis of the playbook:

“Pretend that “budgets” are the real crisis — but never mention that corporations and the wealthy are paying less in taxes than ever before in modern history.

“Make scapegoats of innocent people to draw attention away from yourselves. For Social Security they’ve attacked “greedy geezers,” but it’s hard to come up with a catchy equivalent for kids. (“Insatiable imps”? “Avaricious anklebiters”?) So they vilify teachers instead.

“Sell a fantasy which says that the private sector can do more, with less money, than government can. (Never, never mention that private insurance provides far less healthcare than public insurance, at much higher cost. And don’t bring up the mess privatization’s made of prisons and other government services.)

“Find a name that doesn’t use words like “money making.” How about “charter schools”?

“Describe yourselves as “reformers” – rather than, say, “demolishers.” That’s why “entitlement reform” is used as a euphemism for cutting Social Security and Medicare. (Michelle Rhee even called her autobiography “Radical.” Apparently “Shameless” was taken.)

“Employ the political and media elite’s fascination with (and poor understanding of) numbers. Suggest that “standardized” and “data-driven” programs will solve everything — without ever mentioning that the truly ideological decisions are made when you decide what it is you’re measuring.

“Co-opt the elite media into supporting your artificial description of the problem, as well as your entirely self-serving solution.

“Use your money to co-opt politicians from both parties so you can present your agenda as “bipartisan” — a word which means you can “buy” a few “partisans” from both sides.”