We Almost Prevented a Tragedy

Enlightened, caring people phoned their Senators until the cows came home.  So much for summoning bovines.  Bullshit is an unavoidable part of the deal, and that’s what happened today.

A tie-breaking vote from the Vice President has ensured that, for the next four years (but probably longer because the damage will take time to repair, and things haven’t been going well in the schools for a long time anyway), kids in public schools can forget about being educated.  Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as our new Education Secretary.

The root problem is even bigger than this.  If you were Donald Trump, would you want students learning about Checks and Balances? Checks and Balances are among the standards that prevent conflicts of interest in the three branches (Executive, Judicial and Legislative) of government.  We also have laws discouraging — well, actually forbidding — a cabinet member from investing in companies (or other entities) that are affected by said cabinet member’s policies.  President Trump regards all of these standards as flies in the proverbial ointment, and by gum he’s going to do something about them.

(Note: If you’ve never heard the expression “by gum,” you’re younger than I am.)

The apparent goal of Team Trump is to ignore every safety net for protecting the United States.  Selfishness and pure hate are gradually being written into our Constitution, but without involving two-thirds of states to ratify amendments.

(Another note:  It is legal and proper for the Vice President to cast tie-breaking votes in the Senate.  The real issue here is that Betsy DeVos shouldn’t have been nominated as Secretary of Education in the first place because she has too much ethical baggage, and once she was nominated she shouldn’t have received enough support on the Floor of the Senate to warrant a close vote for or against confirmation.  The Senate Committee should have rejected her because she didn’t qualify for a vote on the Senate Floor.)

We’re in serious trouble.

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