Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CRASH: Obama's Acid Test

The term “acid test” derives from the chemical “gold standard” for determining…well…gold from other substances. Gold is amazingly resistant to several strong acids, which readily react with things not gold. Hence, if it is gold, exposing it to the right family of acids will confirm its character.

There were many, many things one could know about THE ONE long before his election, if one listened, read, and watched what he actually said and did. Not what he said in his more soaring oratorical moments (though many of those reveal a deeply disturbed man). No, it was in his books and in less guarded comments, or those made to collectivist-minded myrmidons in their salons, reported to us peons. To anyone who listened and watched, Obama was no mystery. As Charles Krauthamer has said, many of us are not disillusioned, as we were never illusioned in the first instance.

But, for slightly over half of the voting public in 2008, THE ONE was either the incarnation of Hope & Change, or at least an acceptable risk. To many Americans, he is still something of an unknown. That need not be.

There is an acid test. It is absolutely impeccable, and will tell anyone who applies it exactly who Obama is, and what he actually values. He is not who he claims to be, and his goals are foreign to what he pretends.

The test is on-going, in real time, and has been for over a year. Anybody can observe it, and its proceedings are elegantly simple and clear. No less a liberal bastion than the Washington Post has been reporting and editorializing about it.

The public schools in Washington, D.C. are notoriously bad. A modest federally funded voucher program was authorized some years back to offer some few kids an escape from D.C.’s public school monopoly. By every account, it has been successful, and parents and their children (dominantly people of color and modest incomes) love it. It has been empirically tested by a federally-funded study, and found effective. Community leaders in Washington are strongly supportive of it, including D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.

But the National Education Association and other unionized "educators" want it killed; ergo President Obama, and his allies, the Democratic leadership in the Senate, are killing it. One of Obama’s first acts, inexplicably, was to close the program to new students.

"The president doesn't believe that vouchers are a long-term answer to our educational problems and the challenges that face our public school system, where the vast majority of -- of students are educated in this country"--Robert Gibbs.

This was a half-measure of the Senate Democrat leadership's original intention to just kill it. Ostensibly, those lucky enough to be in the program would graduate within it, but even that is dubious now. After those kids now enrolled finish, the program is sentenced to death by Obama and the party of competition and compassion. Hope & Change?

But Harry (“we deserve an up or down vote”) Reid and other Democrats in power in the Senate (including Dick Durbin) have cynically blocked recent moves by their colleagues to provide adequate funding for the voucher kids. Where is Obama?

There can be no more telling exposition of where this president’s heart truly lies. There can be no more eloquent statement of his actual, demonstrated treasures. They are not children. They are not the poor. They are not programs that are known to work. They are certainly not competition or choice. They are not the opinion of community leaders and experts...or voters.

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