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Monday, February 23

Unserious Hacks  

The Bush administration is staffed almost entirely with deeply unserious political hacks. By unserious I mean that they are committed only to scoring political points against their self-chosen enemies and care not a whit for actual policy. While constantly spouting rhetoric about how the world changed on 9/11, administration insiders don't hesitate to tar any political opponent with what has become one of the most odious epithets in modern American discourse. It is not an accident.
Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a 'terrorist organization' during a private White House meeting with governors on Monday. Democratic and Republican governors confirmed Paige's remarks about the 2.7-million-member National Education Association. 'These were the words, 'The NEA is a terrorist organization,'' said Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin. 'He was making a joke, probably not a very good one,' said Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. 'Of course he immediately divorced the NEA from ordinary teachers, who he said he supports.'
Bad taste doesn't begin to describe a joke that likens teachers to the men who flew planes into the WTC. It would be one thing if this was an off-hand comment by a low-level staffer to some other low-level staffers voicing frustration after extremely difficult negotiations; but this was the Sec. of Education (a career school bureaucrat in Texas) talking to governors (who are responsible for state education budgets as well as conforming to the NCLBA) about the country's largest teacher's union, an organization with which Paige & the governors would be intimately familiar. There is simply no way to justify such a comment; especially coming from a member of an administration that stokes the nation's fears over terrorism at every possible turn. It seems we should assume that even the Sec. of Education sees himself as being in a holy war against evil doers as he promotes the No Child Left Behind Act.


Previous Posts:  No Enthusiasm  …  Honeymoon Over  …  Cash Cow  …  Two Men, Same Feelings  …  Recess Appointment  …  Behind the Green Zone  …  Great Military Blunders  …  Colin Trouble  …  The Empire Strikes Back  …  Flippity-Floppity  … 

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