Orange Buffoon’s nominee to Head the Education Department is so unqualified that at least two normally compliant GOP Senators can’t bring themselves to hold their noses long enough to vote for her. Here’s how unqualified she is: DeVos has been supportive of shifting public financial support to charter schools. Yet a major supporter of charter schools, philanthropist Eli Broad, thinks she is so unqualified that he has written to U.S. Senators imploring them to deep-six the nomination.
DeVos will probably make it through the process and end up running the Untied States’ educational system as long as no more than two Republicans defer to a preference for the public good. Why? The lady’s rich. Really rich. And she’s showered many of the very Republican senators who will be voting for her with lots of rich folks special type of pocket-book love. That means very large direct donations as well as big PAC spending.
One of those Senators is Missouri’s Republican Senator Roy Blunt. DeVos has assisted Blunt’s electoral efforts with $33,100. It’s a foregone conclusion that our Roy will vote “yea” when DeVos faces the final confirmation vote. To be fair, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) got more dosh than Blunt, $43,000, to be exact, and she has elected to follow her conscience and oppose DeVos’ appointment. But she’s the exception that proves the rule.
There’s more going on, of course. There may be some Republicans who are just as ignorant as DeVos and/or are so ideologically blinkered that they think she’s just fine. Our Roy, of course, seems to want to climb the leadership ladder in the Senate, so we can count on him to toe the line even when we suspect he’s smart enough to know it’ll lead to disaster. To judge by his past deportment, Roy’s rule has always been what’s good for donors is good for him, what’s good for him is what he went to Washington for and devil take the hindmost. Missourians are, of course, the hindmost.
Nevertheless, there’s a big question raised by DeVos’ candidacy and the almost lockstep Republican support for a manifestly unqualified, but rich and generous – to Republicans – nominee. Shouldn’t the senators who have benefited most significantly from her largesse recuse themselves from voting on her nomination? Who’s to say if it’s just an “appearance” of corruption or the substance – does any fool really think we can trust the beneficiaries of that appearance of corruption to tell us the truth? Nevertheless, we’re expected to take their assurances of their own probity at face value and shut up about the impropriety of their actions.
DeVos herself has been pretty unequivocal about the fact that she expects her greenback “free speech” to do some big talking, observing in 1997, when asked what she expected to receive from politicians who accepted her money, that ” we expect a return on our investment.” Looks like she’s going to get it. Big time.
Selling government? It’s pretty clear that this is just the beginning. We’ve entered the age of Trump, folks. Americans – or a particular minority of Americans, at any rate, wanted to shake things up. Who’d have guessed that what would get shattered in the process would be the ethical norms we’ve observed or tried to observe for generations?
Running government like an unfettered, unregulated business turns out to be a pretty ugly, cutthroat phenomena and the only folks who make out well are those with power and those with money enough to buy power. For politicians like Roy Blunt the next few years should rival his heyday when he rode high with Tom DeLay.