Most of the time, when Republicans tackle issues in education, it's like a pig farmer getting involved in catering a bar mitzvah dinner or Maker's Mark providing beverages for the celebration of the end of Ramadan, i.e., disasters-in-progress in mortal competition to find the optimal place to actually occur. But Republicans -- we may be certain through sheer accident -- did an absolutely stellar job inadvertently educating the American public about ACA / Obamacare (hereafter O’care). (Remember: the Affordable Care Act [ACA] and O’care are the same thing.) In fact, Republicans did such a good job educating Americans about health care / insurance in general, and about O’care in particular, that, with a bit of luck, we may be able to leverage the paradigm implicit in the Republicans’ drun
Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!
I owe the Republican Party an apology. I have long believed and said, both verbally and in writing, that the Republican Party, supposedly tainted by its association with conservative-evangelical / -fundamentalist, anti-intellectual Christianity, culminating in essentially unanimous Republican support for Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education, has styled itself the anti-education Party, the Party that has become the political home of people like HUD Secretary Ben “Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Big Bang” Carson, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry who, fortified with a C grade-point average earned on the way to an animal husbandry baccalaureate degree from Texas A&M University (football cheer: “Whoop-Haw!”), assumes the custodianship of the Nation
I am writing this late in the evening before Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. But this column is not about Trump. It is about President – as he still is, as this is written – Barack Hussein Obama. It is customary among professional historians to wait a decent interval, usually on the order of at least a generation, before attempting to assess the legacy of any President … or any scientist … or any military leader … or any artist … or any philosopher … or … etc. There are good reasons for this, having to do with avoiding the "tyranny of the recent" by allowing for the growth of some historical perspective. But my purpose is not to assess the legacy of the President. My purpose is to assess the man himself, and delay can dull memories and dim recol