Republicans are so intent on destroying public education that they trotted out Pence to break the 50-50 split.
An smarter administration would have noticed the strength of the opposition and found a better candidate. Other nominees have been confirmed with quite large margins. But they don’t care. This is a win for the talibangelicals and the profiteers.
Question- if you were nominated and had this much opposition, wouldn’t you withdraw?
Also, watch the video. No cheering. No one present. No one wants this hung around their neck. They know what they are doing but they just can’t help themselves.
They know this is their last shot, the last few minutes before the tide takes them away. There’s no cheering the sandwall, because they know it’s already failed. They just hope they can loot as much as possible before that day.
Today’s GOP: Party over Country.
I’m curious how many of them, like DeVos, are products of private schools.
I also wonder how the average GOP parent will feel if/when more states, starved for funding, go the way of a large swath of Oklahoma has and does a four-day school week. Oh, who am I kidding? The majority of kids attending public schools nowadays are poor, so GOP voters won’t give two shits about it.
Villago Delenda Est
The entire DeVos family is dominionist, grifting offal.
O. Felix Culpa
GOP is intent on destroying public everything. Except for corporate welfare, of course. That’s the only allowable public good in their world.
They may not want it hung around their necks, but we must make sure it is ALL hung on them. From now until Mid-terms and beyond. Any Democratic rep who is not on board needs to be put on notice their seat is not safe just because they have a D behind their name.
It’s up to us…
Cowards, cowards, cowards.
Just like the proposed Republican legislation springing up across the country to curtail protests and marches. Rather than address the issues and concerns of the populace, they simply rewrite the rules and make it illegal to speak out.
Trump’s Cabinet of gazillionaires are nothing more than donors reaping rewards. Devos will destroy the department of education through willfull ineptitude and will laugh all the way to the bank.
We can’t stop them all, but we have to keep trying.
I feel badly for all of the kids and the parents that will have to watch a generation flushed down the toilet because of someone wanting to make a fucking profit.
@O. Felix Culpa:
Yeah, and at this point I see nothing stopping them other than their own incompetence, and can one really count on competent incompetence? i.e., We’re royally screwed.
The damage that will be done by this Administration and the cowardly, craven asshole in the House and Senate will be immeasurable. Look at how hard it was for Obama to get things headed back in the right direction after Bush, and partly because it was so difficult the fact things didn’t spring right back up haunted Hillary. In Trump’s case, any successor (if we even have a successor in the traditional sense) is going to be stuck with such a shithole the longest ladder in the world won’t help.
The plan seems to be to scold people until they “like” Trump and his low quality hires. They’re all going to yell at us until we capitulate and love them. It’s oddly hectoring and needy– has elements of “stalker”.
Why aren’t these people happier? They’re all loaded. DeVos has billions and she didn’t earn a nickel of it. She’s utterly joyless.
I called Kamala Harris to say thanks for voting against DeVos, and asked her intern to please get Harris prepared to do some Republican arm-twisting down the line, even though she’s a newbie. Feinstein’s line was busy. I was going to thank her too, but the line is always busy. As soon as my local roads stop being flooded I’m going to buy a ton of notecards and stamps and take the resistance to old fashioned snail mail. Everyone please tell your kids and grandkids that I’m sorry shit is fucked up. Really sorry.
you’re obviously forgetting that you’re talking about republicans.
I just called Gillibrand’s office in DC to tell her: thank you.
I told the kid on the phone: we lost that one, and we’re going to lose some more, but at least we fought, and right now that’s what matters.
If you’ve got a Dem Senator, then call to thank them.
If you got a Rep Senator (other than Collins & Murkowski), let them know how you feel, too.
Major Major Major Major
This is the weirdest damn thing about this administration, and possibly will be our salvation. If they were people capable of rational thought, and savvy politicians, and if the more strategic thinkers in the Republican caucus actually had any power over the Freedom Caucus, they would be able to set up one-party rule in a year with it barely even registering outside of people like us. But they aren’t rational, and they aren’t savvy, and the Freedom Caucus nutbags hold the keys. I don’t doubt that they’ll try to do this, but at the very least it will be over stern and vocal objections from all sectors. It’ll look more like what happened in North Carolina, except maybe they’ll fail. The NC thing was still effective–they got what they wanted, didn’t they?–but everybody noticed.
When W. set up all his shit it was like nobody noticed.
So… that’s good, at least, I guess.
Definitely call your Republican Senator. That this did get pushed through is weird. I’m at a rural economics policy conference, and a lot of the people in this room are, if not Trump supporters, from Trump communities, and definitely a predominantly Republican room. Sen. Heller just came to address the group about 30 minutes ago and said he’d come from voting for DeVos for Sec. of Education and she’d be great, and the room tensed up–you could hear a pin drop and he moved on quickly.
Ella in New Mexico
What I think is scaring people right now is the weird way this went down, as if there was a sinister secret agenda behind this confirmation. There is.
We’re in new territory, folks. Trump is a clown, but he is there because he is the Apocalyptic Christian Supremacist’s Trojan Horse.
You know what the GOP Congress is focused on? Getting rid of the school lunch guidelines. It’s an outrage that kids should be fed properly. Eating something green that has some relationship to “food” offends “liberty”.
They’re basically horrible role models. All of them.
Victory lap: not one single, solitary Democrat voted for Betsy DeVos. Nor one independent from Vermont or Maine. Applause, applause.
Pence’s “historic” tie-breaking vote is actually a signal of what a bad nominee was put forth. Confirmed with only Republican votes.
The GOP owns this one.
ETA: Kudos to Collins and Murkowski of the GOP for voting “no.” After thousands upon thousands of calls to their offices. Good for you, Senators.
Cannot say the same for brave ex-President John McCain. He folded.
Obviously, the Republicans want a nation of poorly educated people – to make the grift and con easier.
Most of us here are descent human beings, twisted, cranky, bitchy, and all other manner of things, but still descent, she and the person she will serve are not, they don’t give a shit what we think. At least until he looks at the poll numbers, then it’s why don’t you love me, I’m handsome and tall and strong, and a real tough guy, and smart too, very, very smart. My staff and kids told me so. Just as he never apologizes, he never backs down.
Idiocracy for real.
@Larkspur: You can also fax DiFi. It’s usually easier than trying to get through on her phones.
I’ll believe this when you can point to any senator ever paying a political price for confirming anyone. Presidential appointments are rightly seen as evidence of the President’s success or failure, not of the Senate for confirming them. The only way this will hurt the Republicans in the Senate is if it hurts Trump badly enough that he starts reflecting badly on their brand; their vote on any particular confirmation will never be an issue.
The vote on Sessions is tomorrow. I hate that unqualified hack DeVos is Ed Sec, but the amount of damage she can do is limited by the scope of federal involvement in education. Sessions is a racist creep who can do much more damage. Call your senators!
They're just not tired of winning yet.
They gave her plenty of opportunities at the hearing to address rural schools. She refused. She’s ideologically incapable of offering anything positive on a public school. It’s a line she won’t cross. That’s why Manchin bolted, and he’s right. She offered them nothing. Zip. I don’t even think she understands the reality of Republicans, let alone Democrats.
It’s worth remembering that “meritocracy” was originally a satirical term.
I agree. DeVos was different partly because there was lots of GOP opposition. She’s just unacceptable to a lot of people and Republicans really do rely on rural voters. It feels personal when she goes after their schools. She doesn’t “get” it.
Foul disrespect for teachers and administrators and kids, just so that Jesus and big profits can cohabit, and be tools for discrimination.
You know they’re nervous when they immediately start insisting she will do NOTHING! They swear. “This is a bullshit powerless job – please forget it exists” :)
You know, DeVos is obviously unqualified and deserved every bit of opposition she received – but why hasn’t there been a similar level of opposition to the equally unqualified Rick Perry for Energy Secretary?
Perry accepted Trump’s nomination thinking he was going to be a cheerleader for the nation’s oil, gas and coal industries, only finding out later that the Energy Department maintains our nuclear arsenal and operates our nuclear research facilities. By itself, this could be eye-rolling humorous – maybe the guy is so desperate for an administration job, it doesn’t matter what it is; he’d be happy emptying the West Wing wastebaskets.
But let’s remember something – Perry ran for president and one of his major campaign promises was to abolish the Department of Energy. So he’s out there repeatedly promising to do away with an entire government agency without bothering to so much as do a google search to find out what that organization that he’s going to zero out actually does! We’re becoming used to this sort of shoot from the hip reckless ignorance coming out of the White House, but is that really the mindset we want to put in charge of our nuclear arsenal?
@Kay: I seem to remember in another thread that you said that much of DeVos’ wretched agenda can be resisted at the local level. What kind of things do you have in mind? There’s a bunch of us where I live that are fired up to fight the privatization scam, but none of us have any practical background doing it.
Probably because within this crop of looser’s, Perry is one of the better picks. He at least has executive level administrative experience.
This is why we need to pin all of this shit directly on the Republican Party and not let them whine that Trump made them do it.
They’re in control, and they chose this. When DeVos is a disaster — and she’s already an object of mockery on national television — she is tied to them. They chose her.
I think one thing this confirmation battle will do is to end up focussing a lot of unwonted (and probably unwanted) attention on DeVos. Secretaries of Education generally fly beneath the radar, but there’s been so much scrutiny and criticism of her lack of experience, her wild-eyed ideology, and her utter ignorance of the most basic principles of public education, that people are likely to pay much closer attention to her and her agenda than they might have done with a shoo-in nominee.
Or possibly I’m just grasping at straws.
They have already taken a hatchet to Urban schools. Now, they will be going after the schools where parents specifically moved there because of the quality of the public schools. Should be interesting to see them trying to sell the swill of charters and vouchers to these parents.???
True – no single nomination brought down a sitting senator. But:
1) There’s a first time for everything!
2) There is a very obvious narrative here to take into 2018, 2020, and beyond if need be: Republicans don’t listen to voters, they listen to Big Money.
It works better when Dems help draw a clear contrast and vote against folks who are unqualified (meaning in Trumpov’s cabinet, nearly everyone), of course. Looks like most of them are getting the message, and good for them!
Schools are personal to people in a way that the Energy Department is not. Public schools are everywhere. The vast majority of people have personal experience with them. It’s like health care- everyone is an expert.
No. You are correct. She is such a disaster that every move she makes needs to be hung around of those who voted for her.
mai naem mobile
Does Lumpy Dolt 45 ever get asked about reaching out to the other side like OBama was asked to even though Obamas win was clear and bigger and he was way more popular?
What Weaselone said. And when Rick fucking Perry is at the top of the nominee heap …. words fail me.
@Ella in New Mexico: Exactly. This has been their moment that they’ve been undermining local, state, the judiciary and the 4th estate for for nearly 50 years. Meanwhile, liberals decided pouting was an effective strategy because they couldn’t get everything they wanted all the time.
@Ella in New Mexico: But it could never happen here, or so I am told.
Its not like we have lots of angry, armed whites who would gladly kill those with a darker skin tone if given a wink and a nod from the White House.
The thing is. .The scolding will not work.
I still think Sessions and Tillerson are more dangerous picks, but Devos and Perry are just simply, terrifyingly unqualified for their positions. Devos has no business being head of an agency who’s mission and purpose is public education. I’m hoping her barely being confirmed means she won’t be nearly as influential and opposition keeps up and drives her from office.
I actually called my less corrupt senator several times to ask him to vote against her. Thanks for nothing Rand Paul. I have six grandchildren in public schools, and my daughter is a public school teacher.
Isn’t that first cousin to “He won’t govern radically because the Republican congress will rein him in”?
They never understood the role schools play in neighborhoods. They had those people weeping and protesting in Chicago and they never got the connection. That’s also true in rural areas. They’re a kind of anchor. It’s commonality and continuity and people need that. You can’t really measure it but people sense it has value.
@Weaselone: Only because Perry probably won’t kill us all by nuclear accident because he’s not stupid enough to fire all of the people who actually know what they’re doing.
Speaking of Republican lawmakers listening to Big Money…they just cannot see a way out of this, so they’re going to ride the airplane all the way in…
They can’t envision rallying the non-insane half of their party and fending off the Tea Party half in a primary challenge. They can’t envision, say, a $5M donation from Betsy DeVos being replaced by $5.1M in small donations from 50,000 voters. They’ve existed solely as Cleek’s Law Republicans for so long, they can’t envision what a “principled conservative position” is any more, on any issue. So rather than do the work of rallying somewhat sensible voters, or raising lots of small donations, or coming up with policies that actually work…they take the lazy way out, every time.
I don’t know how to get that on a bumper sticker, but there it is. I think Kay has pointed this out several (dozen) times – Republicans are lazy managers and bad hires.
@Kycole: Rand Paul was always as corrupt as the other Republicans. His flesh suit is just a little shiner.
I wish people would stop saying this. Their vote was transparently political. Just a weasel move that Mitch let them off on.
Besides, how much value do you think they really are that they felt so strongly against this nominee but could not convince one other R Senator they were right to vote no?
Woah, woah, woah. Facts in evidence, there?
@Betty Cracker: Call your Democratic Senators. At this point, we’re just confirming who is not going to go up against the wall when the Revolution comes. All the GOP ones are destined for the tumbrels.
The problem for them is that, they won’t understand nuance either. They aren’t going to accept the fact that the federal govt doesn’t have money to deal with a flooding or some other thing. You can bet this is where things are going to break down for our Jesus worshipping red states. In fact, one hope that their faith in the divine will only get stronger because God is about all they will be able to rely on after the gutting of govt.
I any case, I’m afraid, we need to get rid of this strain of voters before we get anywhere and the only way they will burst out of the bubble that fox news and rush limbaugh have put them into is when they are rudely awakened and realized what they’ve lost.
Corner Stone is right on this one. Collins and Murkowski were both on the Education committee and both voted to advance her nomination. They suck.
(Props to a friend of mine who pointed this out to me when I mentioned I gave them credit for voting against her.)
Major Major Major Major
This is less than true, IIRC, the Times story that reported it, as it turns out, was wrong.
Some numbers in here. The results are mixed, with no clear correlation of GOP : private :: Dem : public. A great many from both parties send their kids to private schools, though.
Interesting question from you, interesting article, and I agree with the authors that more study would be useful.
@JordanRules: A utopia compared to what’s coming now.
@Nicole: Did not know that.
Amazing a fact like that does not make it into newspaper reports. Just “brave Republicans — all two of them.”
And then: not. Because they could have voted no in committee and really kiboshed the nomination. Is that true?
Another day in Trump America ™, because of course he did.
Feature or bug? Experts disagree.
That’s not how the game is played.
@TenguPhule: Yeah I knew that, but he pretended to care about this. Not that I voted for the asshole.
@Elizabelle: The vote went 12-11 along party lines, so yes, if they’d actually had principles, they could have quashed the nomination.
@O. Felix Culpa:
Well, corporations are people, and these people need their corporate welfare.
I think not, although will gladly defer to someone who’s more familiar with the minutiæ of Senate Committee rules. But I am pretty sure I heard or read recently that a nominee cannot be advanced to the full Senate floor without the support of every majority member in Committee.
A small silver-ish lining: Public education in the U.S., unlike in most western democracies, is pretty decentralized; the feds don’t have complete control. Which isn’t, of course, to say that Betsy D. can’t do a lot of damage.
It’s amazing, in retrospect, that it took corporations so long to get their snouts into the public education trough — there’s SO much $$ there, just begging to be skimmed. Charter schools are the ticket, all right.
@Hungry Joe: But higher education is going to get dumpstered…
@SiubhanDuinne: That was interesting reading, and I agree, it would be well worth knowing the K-12 educational backgrounds of members of Congress.
Yeh. The GOP don’t care, so why not an ignorant plutocrat to be education secretary.
I did not know how many public school children are poor. From a study released in 2015:
Addendum and clarification: The requirement is that a simple majority is needed in committee to move a nominee to the floor. The Senate H.E.L.P. Committee is 11R-10D. They could, very likely, have voted her down in committee, but I expect there were political horse-trading considerations that had them vote with the majority in committee and then vote Nay on the actual confirmation.
I have to show my math? Aw man…
Trump true believers were about half the GOP primary electorate, but you’re right, that’s not to say most of the GOP’s other half isn’t nuts (especially if they’re still with him, just based on what they’ve seen since 11/8)
@SiubhanDuinne: I hope that news gets out to supporters of Brave Senators Murkowski and Collins.
The ladies voted for DeVos in Committee, when they had the best chance to stop her, and then got to stage a protest vote with the whole Senate.
Brave Sir Robins!
ETA: Yup. Confirmed. Collins and Murkowski are both HELP committee members. Wankers.
Some damage would result from neglect, I guess. And schools with low or no standards will be free to produce unprepared students.
I wonder if DeVos will oversee the dismantling of the department of education?
@mai naem mobile:
Assumes facts not in evidence, Obama was elected not because he or his policies were popular, but because Bush was so unpopular, so he had no mandate and had to reach out. What’s that you say about approval and likability numbers, Obama was a pushover so of course everyone liked him, Lumpy is all about tough love, so people are grumbling but it’s all for the best. Obummer was an accidental president, Lumpy restores the natural order, so shut up about all those facts of yours.
@piratedan: “a generation”? My, aren’t we an optimist.
They’ve been busy luntzing “public schools” into “government schools” for decades. a generation from now public schools will be looked upon as something only libtards ever supported.
Not coincidentally, most people will be unable to spell ‘libtard’…
Well, I’m sure they’ll be accused of overreach any day now. Oh, wait — that doesn’t happen to Republicans, does it?
comrade scotts agenda of rage
This. Collins only was allowed to do this to provide her with political cover in 2018. Now she can once again parade her Villager-blessed “moderateness” to the electorate. If the vote was ever gonna be in doubt, she would have voted with the tribe like she always does.
Neither of those two deserves an iota of credit for their vote. This was all managed.
If the opposition were Dems, I might consider it.
If the opposition were Rethugs, I would ignore it. And, any post-confirmation statement I made would be something akin to: “And to my Republican ‘friends,’ I say this — FUCK YOU, and everyone that looks like you, you treasonous fucks.”
[Of course, that would probably only work if the Dems had the majority. But, then again, if the Rethugs were the majority, I wouldn’t get confirmed.]
You’re kinda wrong about Obummer’s “election,” you know.
It wasn’t that he won because W was so unpopular. In fact, Obummer ACTUALLY lost, but the Obummer people rigged the vote, skewed the polls, had dead people voting, and all Teh Coloreds voted 12 times each.
One hopes that was intended as a joke, because reality appears to disagree with that statement.
@Hungry Joe: As someone involved in monitoring education policy, I’ve been surprised at the blowback on DeVos. The federal department of education contributes 8 to 10 percent of the funding dedicated to public schooling. There are Cabinet picks I’m way more worried about, like Jeff Sessions. Civil rights is a key issue for a lot of students and teachers.
Re: corporate snouts in the till- they’re already there. If we had a true federal system of education, they wouldn’t be as bad. Right now, I think a big problem in US education is all these companies going to individual school districts and selling their products, like curriculum, tests, “consulting work,” professional development. 90 percent is probably snake oil and a waste of dollars. More money could go to teacher salaries and hiring more teachers.
Via WaPo, here’s something DeVos wrote 20 years ago:
Payoff came today.
I welcome this confirmation. I am not usually nihilistic. I prefer to fix institutions, rather than blow them up and build from scratch. But here, they went to great lengths to confirm this kook. They will own the shit show. They are messing with public schools, and they don’t have bipartisan cover. This will not go well.
Then, maybe we can start having productive conversations about public goods. After cleaning up the rubble, of course.
@maryQ: Presumes facts not in evidence. You assume 1) There are enough morally sound people in America and 2)That they’ll survive the current war.
@TenguPhule: I know. But, Hope.
Such as looting and pillaging. Maybe a little genocide here and there, to keep things interesting.
Two fatal assumptions here.
1) Assuming the Reichwing experiences shame. Shame is for Those Other (Little) People. Teh Elect especially – and in their lexicon DeVos is most assuredly
among the most successful grifters evahBlessed by Gun-Totin’ Capitalist Jeebus – have no experience with shame.
2) Part of the vindication FundiEvangelical Teahadis experience rests in the number and intensity of their “enemies.” DeVos is likely chuffed beyond expression that her opposition is so vocal and so legion, because to her that means she’s
doing Satan’s work to undo The Republic and enthrone Voldemort and Palpatine’s bastard offspringexecuting Jeebus’ Holy Mandate.
@Joyce H: Perry knows oil people. It’s unlikely DeVos has ever met a teacher.
@maryQ: Nach DeVos, uns?
I work in teacher education and professional development throughout Florida, and even in districts where Trump won a big chunk of teachers, the outrage is less over policy and more over the fact that the woman is so vastly unqualified for this position. She has so little understanding of public education and educational leadership, and this is another example of someone thinking that just anyone can be a teacher.
@El Caganer: no, not at all. She will be uniquely horrible. And I thought that my comment made clear that I don’t favor destruction as a mechanism for change. But destruction we will get, and they practically fell over themselves making it happen.
@Kay: My word Kay. Every time you comment, I’m like:
“Let’s get this guy in front of a crowd!” :)