The Faux Progressive Polka
It has always been one of the curiosities of the reformster movement-- the insistence that they are Progressives and Democrats, while they have embraced and pushed policies linked to the privatization of public education.
How could it be that Bush II's ed policy could flow seamlessly into Obama's? How could it be that Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton saw each other as simpatico when it came to education?
The answer, of course, is that ed reform has been driven in large part by faux progressives. Probably the most spectacular example would be Democrats For Education Reform (DFER), a title in which the only accurate word is "for." Here, from his filmic ed reform magnum opus "A Right Denied," is DFER founder and hedge fund giant Whitney Tilson's explanation of how they decided to put the D in DFER:
“The real problem, politically, was not the Republican party, it was the Democratic party. So it dawned on us, over the course of six months or a year, that it had to be an inside job. The main obstacle to education reform was moving the Democratic party, and it had to be Democrats who did it, it had to be an inside job. So that was the thesis behind the organization. And the name – and the name was critical – we get a lot of flack for the name. You know, “Why are you Democrats for education reform? That’s very exclusionary. I mean, certainly there are Republicans in favor of education reform.” And we said, “We agree.” In fact, our natural allies, in many cases, are Republicans on this crusade, but the problem is not Republicans. We don’t need to convert the Republican party to our point of view…”
But now the head of DFER has this to say about serving in a Trump administration.
It is, generally speaking, an honor for any person of any political persuasion to be asked by the CURMUDGUCATION: The Faux Progressive Polka: