Sunday, November 2, 2014

Maybe DC Dems Should Just Shut Up

For the love of God, Washington Democrats. Many's the time I've tried to defend you to my conservative friends and family, but sometimes you seem so hell-bent on acting like cartoon Democrats, you make it nearly impossible.

This week, the President went to Rhode Island and said this:

The now-infamous quote is “Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make. So let’s make this happen: By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool, and let’s make sure that we are making America stronger.”

Maybe that's a verbal fumble. Maybe he wanted to say that he didn't want women to have to make that choice. But the six million preschool enrollees line kinda makes that unlikely. (It also represents a jump up from the 2.2 million that he previously wanted to hit by decade's end.)

In that case, there's no good way to spin this. It could mean that the President thinks preschool programs can do a better job of raising kids than mom, or that making money is more important work than staying at home with the kids. It could mean-- no, sorry, there's just no way to spin this that isn't a slap in the face for stay-at-home moms.

This pairs up badly with comments like Arne Duncan's June 2014 observation that Hispanic families suffer from a "cultural hesitation" about putting their kids in preschool. "Sometimes you have a cultural piece where people are scared to put their kids in more formal care and they prefer, you know, to do the grandmother, the neighbor, whatever," said Arne. Yes, those crazy people wanting to keep their small children in the care of immediate family. What the hell are they thinking?

In that same clusterfarfenugen, HHS Secretary Kathy Sibelius observed that "pre-school could make Hispanic children 'culturally comfortable' with entering public schools as kindergartners." So remember boys and girls-- the school is not there to serve and adjust to you and your culture. Instead, you need to be properly assimilated.

If administration members and supporters wonder why folks on the hard right keep blathering about crazy commie plans to separate children from their parents as quickly as possible for government indoctrination, it could be because administration figures keep saying things that make it sound as if that's exactly what they want to do!

The GOP suffers from many loud voices that seem to have lost all contact with traditional conservative values in their pursuit of electoral wingnuttery. But many leading Democrats have also lost all contact with traditional Democratic values. This feeds the cycle of strident argument because these days, it's not even necessary to create a straw man version of the opposing side because somebody on that side is already acting far worse than the straw man you were about to manufacture.

So if the administration does not really believe that it knows better how to raise small children than their own parents, they should choose their words and their policies more carefully. If they do actually believe that government knows best, then they deserve every accusation of being over-controlling, meddling, nanny-statists that they get.


  1. Yeah, I've generally supported Obama but he's been tone deaf about education policy from the very beginning. I thought maybe he would learn, but he hasn't surrounded himself with the right kind of advisers - like maybe actual teachers.

  2. For someone who has aligned himself with the corporate reformers, whose mantra has been "choice," he sure bungled this one.

  3. The woman in the picture don't look like they are cheering.

  4. And what about stay at home dads?