Saturday, November 18th, 2006


The Republican leaders who took power in the House in 1994 spent most of their adult careers collecting money from big government they claimed to despise. They were generally insignificant or only marginally successful otherwise, and they did not serve in the armed forces. They served in the House of Representatives as a cluster of truly poor and misguiding leadership for the full 12 years they held power. This assessment comes a bit late, since all this was easily visible from the beginning, but Dick Mayer at CBS News tells the tale.

Politicians in this country get a bad rap. For the most part, they are like any high-achieving group in America, with roughly the same distribution of pathologies and virtues. But the leaders of the GOP House didn’t fit the personality profile of American politicians, and they didn’t deviate in a good way. . . .

The iconic figures of this era were Newt Gingrich, Richard Armey and Tom Delay. They were zealous advocates of free markets, low taxes and the pursuit of wealth; they were hawks and often bellicose; they were brutal critics of big government.

Yet none of these guys had success in capitalism. None made any real money before coming to Congress. None of them spent a day in uniform. And they all spent the bulk of their adult careers getting paychecks from the big government they claimed to despise. Two resigned in disgrace.

Having these guys in charge of a radical conservative agenda was like, well, putting Mark Foley in charge of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus. Indeed, Foley was elected in the Class of ’94 and is not an inappropriate symbol of their regime.

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A court case, brought by hispanic parents may have ended this, but after half a century of school desegregation, we still have this as reported in the Dallas Morning News:

For years, it was an open secret at North Dallas’ Preston Hollow Elementary School: Even though the school was overwhelmingly Hispanic and black, white parents could get their children into all-white classes. And once placed, the students would have little interaction with the rest of the students.
. . .

Preston Hollow’s unwritten policy of clustering whites together was known for years among parents and teachers, according to testimony. In fact, Mrs. Parker’s subordinates – including teachers and her assistant principal – raised concerns about it multiple times. One even wrote a letter to Superintendent Michael Hinojosa about it. Those complaints fell on deaf ears, the judge wrote.

“I began to see something very strange,” Ms. Santamaría said in Spanish. “The difference was that the Anglo students would go to lunch together while the Latinos went with the Asians and the African-Americans.” That, she said, raised a question in her mind “because the children don’t know what segregation is.”
. . .

. . . In reserving certain classrooms for Anglo students, Principal Parker was, in effect, operating, at taxpayer’s expense, a private school for Anglo children within a public school that was predominantly minority.”

Enjoy insight and giggles with the cartoons.