A governor’s red meat, &c.

Bobby Jindal


Did you catch Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, the other day? He served up some red meat for right-wingers like me. Very tasty. After the A&E channel caved on the Duck Dynasty business, he said, “The Left is going to have to get accustomed to the fact that it does not have a monopoly on free speech and is not the only group who is permitted to voice its opinion in the public square. The Left may control Hollywood, but they don’t control the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans.”

Nice goin’, Bobby J. (I culled the quotation here.)

The headline read, “Nepal Maoists agree to join newly elected assembly.” I’m thinking, “Maoists don’t really do elected assemblies.” The article began, “The party of Nepal’s former communist rebels agreed Tuesday to join the Constituent Assembly elected last month . . .” The thing about former Communists, or post-Communists: They often don’t turn out to be so former or post-.

Anti-democrats use democracy to subvert democracy. A lesson as old as time — or at least as old as democracy — and one to be heeded.

The familiar trajectory is left to right: Lefties become righties, liberals become conservatives. We can all cite numerous examples. The trajectory of right to left is fairly rare, I think, and interesting. A sad example of this phenomenon (from my point of view) is Diane Ravitch, the education expert. She used to be a proponent of what I think of as sensible and moral education reform. But she has become a different person, evidently. She is now a staunch advocate of what Bill Bennett dubbed the Blob: the education establishment, the people who have weighed down education for generations.

Sol Stern has a study of Ravitch in City Journalhere. The title of his piece is “The Closing of Diane Ravitch’s Mind: A once-great education scholar rejects everything she previously believed.”

Let me pick a tiny bone with her (amid very big bones): Stern quotes her as saying — as writing, actually — “In education, unions are being crushed [if only!], and there is no one to advocate for them when the Governor and Legislature cut the budget for education.”

I realize the new expression “to advocate for” is here to stay. But it’s still ugly and wrong, and Ravitch can drop the Right and join the Left without dropping English.

So, Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat, is to be our next ambassador to China. There is a minor tradition, I think, of moderate Democrats’ becoming ambassador to China: I think of Jim Sasser (the Tennessean) and Gary Locke (the Washington Stater) — and now Baucus.

One could do worse, I suppose. What I most want in an ambassador to China is this: someone who will remember, as he goes about his work, that the PRC, for all its progress, is a one-party dictatorship with a gulag.