Send in the Clowns
How stupid do these people think we are? Better: how stupid are these people? Over the past week we have heard incredible fables from the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and the President of the United States. In the Secretaries cases the fables were based on almost laughable ignorance of American History. It would be laughable if it were not so sad --- and especially tragic for us, the citizens who have to withstand these “leaders” for several years to come. The President, of course, is pedaling another in his endless string of conspiracy theories and this one is so nonsensical even his base must be scratching their heads over it.
A previous Blast (#161) related the sheer stupidity of Dr. Ben Carson’s assertion that slaves were “immigrants” and we needn’t belabor that here. Secretary Devos illustrated her own staggering ignorance of U.S. History during the last week of Black History Month by claiming historically black colleges and universities were “schools of choice.”
"HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality. Their success has shown that more options help students flourish." (Maya Rhodan, Feb. 28, 2017 Time)
Ms. Devos is a one-note, tone-deaf ideologue who wants to convince us that “choice” is the best and only way to go --- and it’s even better if the schools offering choice make a profit. That’s the crusade she has led in Michigan, where the for-profit school voucher system is failing miserably (you can look all that up on your own --- it’s all documented --- see Valerie Straus in the Dec. 8, 2016 Washington Post). Getting back to HBCU’s and Devos’s statement, though, she seems to have had no idea that those schools were created because of the Southern apartheid system instituted after the Civil War. Like Carson’s “immigrant” comment, Devos sees HBCu’s as “pioneers” and not the victims of a vicious racist system constructed to exclude them --- a system that continued into the early 1970’s in the American South. Public school students in Virginia and North Carolina were still going to “blacks only” schools up until the early 1970s and often required “forced bussing “ to implement a system of integration. The point here is simple: Trump’s Cabinet --- particularly his one Black and his one woman --- do not know the history of our nation, are unqualified, by any standard, for leading their Departments, and prove that Steve Bannon’s strategy of “deconstructing the administrative state” is in full swing.
As for our President: this week’s conspiracy, another involving former President Barack Obama, is that the Affordable Care Act would “explode” in 2017. In Trump’s own words:
“Seventeen would be a disaster for ObamaCare, that’s the year it was meant to explode because Obama won’t be here. That was when it was supposed to . . . As bad as it is now, it will get even worse,”
Again, the sheer stupidity of such a statement might boggle one’s mind if we hadn’t already gotten used to this kind of pronouncement. Think about it. Would Obama and the Democrats really plan to have the ACA “explode” in 2017, anticipating a total loss of the Senate, House, and Presidency? Really? The nonsense that Trump traffics in defies logic, of course, and is designed, whether consciously or not, to make headlines, not sense. Where Trump comes up with his ideas, of course, is well documented at this point: Alex Jones & InfoWars.com, Mark Levin’s radio lunacy (he was behind the “Obama wiretapping” craziness), and, of course, Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News. The notion that Obama and the Democrats planned some kind of self-destruct mechanism in a piece of legislation that took months and months to design and was subject to huge compromise with Republicans is beyond crazy! But this is our new “normal,” isn’t it?
Finally, and this has nothing to do with politics but it is about another right wing “icon” who I would contend is of questionable intelligence: have you seen the latest “Papa John’s Pizza” advertisement? A group of “executives” are sitting around a conference table with a very sad looking pizza in front of them. The boss, at the head of the table, announces they will now have a “slice” of the pizza to celebrate their conclusion of business and everyone makes an excuse as to why they can’t eat the horrible pizza. The boss laughs and says "I wouldn’t make you do that,” and we read “Cheaper doesn’t mean Better.” Cut to Papa John who then tells us about the high quality (though pricey?) pizza he makes. My point is this: who has EVER thought “cheaper means better?” Cheaper means “less expensive.” Cheaper means “that’s all I can afford.” Cheaper means “I am not rich.” When . . . when has “cheaper” ever meant “better?” But we now live in a world where slaves are “immigrants,” segregation is “school choice,” Obama designed the ACA to “explode” and “cheaper means better.”
Send in the Clowns.