History was made Tuesday when Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to confirm Betsy DeVos as secretary of education.
But the necessity of Pence’s vote reflected another kind of history, too: The decision by all Senate Democrats to reject DeVos marked a new low for the flailing party.
Democrats claim to stand for the poor, immigrants and nonwhites. Yet given a chance to actually support someone who is dedicated to improving education for all America’s children, especially those trapped in failing urban schools, the Dems said no, hell no.
Joined by two Republicans, they stood in the schoolhouse door to block vital change, casting their lot with teachers unions that fear reform the way a vampire fears garlic.
Throw away all the subtexts and subterfuge, a defense of the rotten status quo is the only explanation for the bid to block DeVos. The teachers unions pulled the strings, and the political puppets danced to their masters’ tune.
DeVos survived because President Trump is determined to deliver a government that shatters the insiders’ perks and privilege and opens the door to new ways of doing things. In education, that means giving more parents the power of school choice and taking power away from the union establishment.
Millions of children, most poor and many black and Latino, are forced to attend failure factories that rob them of America’s promise. While family breakdown is a prime culprit, the social contract requires society to do its best to compensate.
And there is no question that charter schools, vouchers and other experiments offer the best hope for bringing fresh ideas and progress to educational deserts.
DeVos, a passionate crusader for excellence in the classroom, is just one of the Trump nominees Democrats tried to block in their insane attempts to destroy his presidency before it gets started.
No president has ever had so few cabinet members confirmed at this late date, just as no president has been confronted with such open talk of assassination and impeachment.
Speaking of which, have you heard a single Democrat decry the talk of assassination? Have you heard a single Democrat denounce the violence carried out by so-called protesters?
The answers are no and no because Dems see the riots and threats of violence as legitimate expressions of disapproval — and convenient for their purposes. Their contribution to the “resistance” started when 70 Democrats boycotted Trump’s inauguration and many senators boycotted confirmation hearings and votes. Maybe they’ll soon throw rocks through windows.
The madness was on full display Monday night when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer boasted in a tweet from outside the Capitol that “While the GOP is pushing a vote on Betsy DeVos, the people are rallying outside. We’re with them.”
Think of that: The Democrats’ leader walks out on his job to play the role of a man of the people in a staged demonstration. This is a party that has lost its mind, as well as its soul.