Wednesday, November 17, 2004

File Under "No Child Gets Out Alive"

Shoring up the yes men in his new Cabinet, the President announced today that he is nominating Margaret Spellings to be his new Education Secretary. Is she a scholar of pedagogy? Nope. Is she the superintendent of a large, urban school district? Negatory. Is she a principal? Unh-unh. A professional teacher? Ummm, no. So what precisely qualifies her to be the Secretary of Education?

She was a lobbyist for school boards back in Texas. And she is responsible for the better part of No Child Left Behind.

Yup- she's a deal cutter. And, perhaps more important than anything else, she's very close to the President. (Perhaps, too close. Good God, they actually look like they're going to make out.) In any event, he promoted yet another from within- first Alberto Gonzales, then Condie, and now this person. As the Christian Science Monitor puts it, She also has the quality most valued in the Bush White House: unquestioned loyalty. Great.

Between the purging at the CIA, the public humiliation of Arlen Specter, and the rally around Tom Delay, it appears that Republicans really only require one thing of its members- do what you're told. Remember way back during the (I think) '88 Republican convention, when Tom Kean (a man I despised at the time, but now I only wish there were more of him) described the GOP as a "big tent," with room enough for all points of view? Either the tent has shrunk, or Frank Luntz has managed to redefine "room enough."

On another note, the President has pardoned a turkey. The turkey in question was held at Camp X-Ray without access to its attorney until it was discovered that the turkey was, in fact, a bird. No word on whether Zacarias Moussaoui will also receive a pardon.

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