Friday, October 05, 2012

Obamney Fatigue

The first of the presidential debates is over and the battle lines are being drawn by the same special interests whose interests are at stake.  And there is no shortage of Sherlock Holmes-wanna-be "fact-checkers".  The argue about the magic numbers each candidate uses to justify their so-called political positions.

My rant is a bit different.  Let this post be the first reality check on this abysmal excuse for a presidential election.  I'm a lifelong Liberal and a Democrat and I feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land.  Jim Lehrer set out to distinguish the differences between the two candidates in their politics.  The more important question of the difference between the candidates positions and that of reality was never broached.

On a national stage we had two profoundly mediocre candidates discussing education.  Obama, proud as a peacock, waxed poetic about his Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative.  When Romney confronted the president about the red herring of education somehow affecting this country's global competitiveness, Obama claimed that RTTT was closing a "gap".

Not to be outdone Romney praised Arne Duncan for making schools accountable and exposing failing schools.

Lehrer never followed up to ask why holding public education hostage to the federal Department of Education ever made any sense.  Nor was there any discussion as to why so-called core standards were necessary or desirable.

Romney got more right than Obama ever will in advocating for a return of schools to local control  but nothing any politician does from here on out matters.  The Obama administration poisoned that well forever.  You see Race to the Top funding required States to legislate away State control of the public schools to the federal government teat.  And that teat means absolute conformity to the Obama administration's agenda.  If Romney wins it will be his to tinker with.  I have zero faith in either.

RTTT was Obama's double down on a Bush  agenda that supplanted the public school's responsibility to nurture a love of learning within a child with a love of absolute conformity in the most bizarre experiment in social engineering in the free world ever.  Couple this collusive, toxic stew with the desire of philanthropy gone rabid to take control of public education and two national teacher unions whose best interests always take a back seat to their legal adviser's political aspirations and public education has long ago driven off the cliff.

We will never hear the debate that needs to be debated about education.  It is impossible.  The make-believe bullshit between these candidates will drown that out.  But it would be fun to hear such a debate.

Another topic worth giving a reality check is the mythical toughness of both candidates on Wall St excesses.  To hear Obama tell it, he reigned in Wall St and took them out to the wood shed!  I must have missed that historic spanking.  My recollection is that those most responsible for the excess were given government jobs with pensions and expense accounts.  They proceeded to give trillions more out to the offending institutions worldwide.  Nobody went to jail.  The so-called interest was often zero.  So when Obama claims that we're being paid back WITH INTEREST, the interest must be little more than cynical wonder that they got away with it.

And those new regulations.  Guess who wrote them?  Hint: it wasn't a regulator's regulator.  The chances that Romney would be tougher than Obama is unlikely.  They are both classic lapdogs.

Health care is also worth a reality check but I'm feeling ill from all this.

I don't write as much about public education these days.  It's circling the drain.  Too many cycles of the two parties trying to be just like each other has created a surreal Washington group think that has resulted in the worst of all compromises winning.  Our national policies are hopelessly and silently retarded and the inmates in charge argue about the arithmetic of their hallucinations.  This political season is a never-never land of contention.

We will be warned to close this gap and that, that prosperity is a term away, and that vicious personal attacks on each candidate's character will sway the undecideds to victory.  But victory just means more of the same depressing dross we have slogged through for the past twelve years.  It is enough to make a grown man cry.

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