Wednesday, February 08, 2017

In praise of some politicians

I guess I liked rising early better than I thought because here I am again at my desk at 6:15, waiting for dark to turn to daylight. My body was tired of being in bed, achy. Yesterday I heard from several people who said they love this hour of the day, and I’m beginning to see why.

I am also energized this morning by yesterday’s news. Yes, it was bad news for liberals who value our country’s heritage and want to preserve it in the face of unrestrained madness. The confirmation of Betsy DeVos is a tragedy for our country and our educational system. Private charter schools, which she advocates, have been shown to be discriminatory and generally academic failures. My grandchildren are all (okay almost all) good student that come from academically achieving backgrounds so mine is not a personal worry—it’s for the country, for the thousands of children that we must help move to a high level of existence—better jobs, etc. If we’d done a better job in the past, we might not face the current administration. I don’t take Hilary’s “deplorables” lightly. I understand students at the university where I worked so many years now sport “Make America Great Again” caps and “I’m a deplorable” shirts.

I don’t remember the details but I do recall that early on when DeVos was mentioned, I was more appalled by her lack of knowledge of history and the way the world operates. She seemed not to be a deep thinker. That bothers me as much as her unformed ideas on education.

If I were Betsy DeVos, there would have been little rejoicing last night. She must realize it was a squeaky victory, and one that she owes to overly generous campaign contributions and party loyalty rather than to any accomplishment, knowledge or capability of her own. Go slow on that champagne, Betsy babe.

But look at the challenge to her. I’ve waited years for the progressives in this country to show the spark of life shown yesterday. Fifty—count them, 50—votes against DeVos, mostly Democrats but a few Republicans who listened to their consciences. Phones in DC rang off the wall as folks weighed in with opinions mostly against this appointment. And this protest won’t stop here—it is a rising tide. The man in the White House better learn to swim in rough water.

And then there’s the Senate Majority Leader’s remarkable slap-down of Senator Elizabeth Warren. During hearings on the appointment of Jeff Sessions, generally regarded as an extreme racist, Senator Warren quote a dated letter from Coretta King and was forbidden to speak again for breaking the rule against impugning someone’s character. Pardon me, but if you can’t criticize why are they wasting our time and money on these hearings? A sour-mouthed milquetoast like Mitch McConnell is no match for the fiery and comitted Senator Warren. The difference between the two is basic—she is committed to the good of ALL American people; he is committed to the wealth and success of Mitch McConnell and maybe the Republican Party. Watch out, Mitch—a lot of us are waiting to see you crash and burn.

My dander is up this morning, and I find it energizing.


Becky Michael said...

Elizabeth Warren is my new hero!

Randy Eickhoff said...

Judy, you and I have often disagreed in the past about the political arena without impugning each other. And both of us have admitted to the other when we have been wrong. In this case, I most certainly side with you. Warren has the right to voice her opinion regardless how much she may anger others. She has the right to read the letter by King as she was doing so to show WHY she was making her argument. IF I, or anyone for that matter, disagrees with her argument, then I need to show WHY I disagree. You are quite correct when you say, here, that censuring her was totally wrong. As for the "rule" invoked, that rule should not have been made in the first place. By silencing someone for expressing opinion, one opens the door to the road leading to tyranny. I may not like what someone says but by God I will support that person's right to say it. And, as I said above, she was ONLY using that letter to show her reasoning, her explanation about why she was saying what she said. The only reason that I can see for what happened is rabid political affiliation made without exercising common sense. In this case, Judy, you are absolutely correct with your assessment. You may post my opinion if you wish.

Judy Alter said...

Randy, I'm proud to post your comment, and it's fun to agree with you. In one batch of comments I saw some sexist comments which riled me as you can imagine. A side note: that letter has been in the Senate record for at least 30 years. I hear she immediately went outside chambers and read the letter aloud and also that several male senators, including Bernie Sanders, later read it.
Mitch McConnell, who is one of my most disliked politicians, unintentionally created a feminist meme when he said, "And she persisted." Hope it comes back to bite him.
I'm afraid we're seeing partisan politics at its worst.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Becky for your continuing support of fauxcahontas...