The Corner


Believe it or not, a phrase of Michelle Obama’s came to my mind the other day: “just downright mean.” That is how she described the country in 2008.

Then, her husband was elected president — and the country was less mean, presumably. At last, America was a country to be proud of. (Aren’t you just bursting these days?)

I was reading about the new New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, and his moves against charter schools. His predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, was friendly to such schools; de Blasio is hostile. He campaigned against charter schools, and he is making good on his pledge.

Did you see this article by our Alec Torres? It makes your blood boil, if your blood is like mine.

Campaigning in 2008, Barack Obama pledged to shut down the school-choice program in Washington, D.C. A precious few children, relatively, got to escape violent, hopeless schools to have a chance at a better life. And that was intolerable to the unions and the Democratic party.

None dare call it mean — and “downright mean.”

It would be nice if voters punished the likes of Obama and de Blasio for standing in the schoolhouse door. But they are more inclined to reward them — which is “a whole ’nother discussion,” I’m afraid.

P.S. Googling around, I see that I’m nothing if not consistent. As an old golf instructor would say to me, when repeating himself, “I may bore you, but I hope not to confuse you.” Here is a snatch of a column I wrote in April 2009:

Lately, I’ve been writing about school choice — have been on kind of a kick. I guess it’s because the Democrats are killing the D.C. school-choice program — which I think is downright mean (even though “mean” is supposed to be the Republicans’ specialty). I’m particularly interested in a case at the Sidwell Friends School. This is the private D.C. school where the Clintons’ daughter went, and where the Obamas’ daughters are going now. As it happens, two kids are going there thanks to the D.C. school-choice program. But that is coming to an end. The carriage is turning back into a pumpkin. So long, Sidwell. Hello, good ol’ violent public schools, where no learning can go on: only a struggle for survival.


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