The Most Unqualified Pick in Cabinet History Gets Confirmed…Why it’s Worse Than all the Others
Betsy Devos was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday to become the Secretary of Education, amidst tons of protest from both the public and congressional Democrats. The vote came down to Vice President Mike Pence, who decided the vote for the split 50-50 Senate. It is the first time in history a cabinet pick has come down to a tie vote. It is also the first time in 28 years where a cabinet pick was at risk of rejection by the Senate.
Throughout the confirmation process, many of those who voted in favor of Devos asked few questions during her confirmation hearing. When asked why they support the nominee, Republicans cited her work to improve charter schools and her dedication to reforming the current education system through voucher programs. Her critics, on the other hand, cited her inability to understand basic concepts prevalent in the education community, as well as her clear lack of experience in both attending and/or teaching in public schools as well grants management, which will be crucial to funding student’s higher education.
While she has divested herself from 100 of the businesses associated with her, many feel the new Education Secretary was nominated due to her contributions made to the Republican party. According to followthemoney.org, the Devos family donated close to $50 million to the Republican party over the last 15 years. In 1997, Devos wrote an op-ed in the publication “Roll Call” stating the following: ““My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee. I have decided to stop taking offense. At the suggestion that we are buying influence, now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment.”
Is this bad?
When I first heard about Jeff Sessions as the pick to lead the Department of Justice I was disgusted by the fact that someone who has come out against civil rights, taken hardline, bigoted position on immigration, and supports continuing the drug war and getting tougher on marijuana. I thought he was the worst pick by far, at least for those who are affected directly by civil rights law. This pick is so much worse; This pick is indicative of what we as a country have decided education is worth. States consistently cut education to make up for budget short falls, we constantly criticize younger generations for being naturally lazy and not worth the extra effort to fix, we constantly persecute intellect by tying it to elitism, which is a self-fulfilling prophecy because we elect people who make education harder to access.
Republicans confirmed Betsy Devos in spite of her clear lack of experience and clear lack of knowledge about topics related to teaching and public education and general. They are more interested in political power and toeing the party lines of their President, than they are their morals or their constituents. They willingly sacrificed the minds of the next generation in order to maintain political power. While it is not surprising, it is still disgusting.