Democrats Played a Key Role in DeVos Confirmation… in 2013
Michigan billionaire and former Michigan Republican Party Chair, Betsy DeVos, was confirmed on February 07, 2017, as US secretary of education.
While the Senate was casting its historic 51-50 vote/VP tiebreaker around noon, I was in a place that DeVos has yet to demonstrate she has actually been:
I was in my traditional public school classroom, teaching.
The 48 Democratic Senators tried to prevent DeVos’ nomination, which made me feel as if they really were on the side of the traditional public school. However, the DeVos nomination is such an extreme situation that Democratic involvement in pushing charter schools to the detriment of the neighborhood public school, coupled with the bipartisan idolization of standardized testing, took an almost-forgotten back seat ever since noon on November 23, 2016, when Trump announced DeVos as his US ed sec pick.
But there is something else that Democrats did that actually advanced the amazingly unqualified DeVos right into the US ed sec seat, and it happened in November 2013:
Senate Democrats lowered the bar for number of affirmative votes needed to confirm a Presidential nominee.
As the January 2017 Atlantic reports:
At the urging of Majority Leader Harry Reid, [in November 2013], Democrats had just voted along strict party lines to change the rules of the Senate, deploying what had become known in Washington as “the nuclear option.” McConnell and his Republican colleagues were furious. Under the new rules, presidential nominees for all executive-branch position—including the Cabinet—and judicial vacancies below the Supreme Court could advance with a simple majority of 51 votes. The rules for legislation were untouched, but the 60-vote threshold for overcoming a filibuster on nearly all nominations was dead.
The practical outcome of that fateful (and arguably shortsighted/foolish) 2013 Democratic decision is that while I was discussing The Tragedy of Julius Caesar with my fourth-period English II students, a billionaire who likely has not walked the main hallway of a single traditional public school ever— not as a student, or parent, or office holder, or even citizen– officially snagged her first job as overseer of America’s traditional public schools.
Senate Democrats, you tried hard in these last few weeks to derail the highly Democrats Played a Key Role in DeVos Confirmation… in 2013 | deutsch29: