Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jersey Jazzman: Republicans Must Own Trump; "Reformers" Must Own DeVos

Jersey Jazzman: Republicans Must Own Trump; "Reformers" Must Own DeVos:

Republicans Must Own Trump; "Reformers" Must Own DeVos

One of the more amusing things to come out of the Trump presidency -- that is, as amusing as things can get during this horror show -- is watching "moderate" Republicans and other center-rightists try to distance themselves from The Donald. Here, for example, is Andrew Sullivan (the guy who tried to convince us racism could be part of a legitimate academic pursuit) now thoroughly vexed that a maniac like Trump is in the White House. And here's David Frum, scared that Trump will sail to an easy reelection because Reaganomics always works, and therefore people will be so happy with the booming economy that they will readily overlook Trump's fascist tendencies.

The problem with Sullivan's and Frum's arguments, of course, is that they desperately want to believe Trump is an anomaly; that this corrupt, intemperate, freak of a man just happened to be in the right place at the right time, up against the wrong opponent. It's only through some strange confluence of circumstances and some overlooked back door in America's political code that Trump was able to worm his way in and take power.

The hard truth, however, is that Donald Trump was inevitable. That he is a product of a political and media system in which Sullivan and Frum have held positions of influence for years. That the conservative/neo-liberal framing of the issues (what Atrios calls the "Free Republic to New Republic" range of acceptable discourse) set up the rise of a nationalist like Trump.

Plenty of others have taken down Frum and Sullivan from this angle (hereherehere), and I'm not about to dive into their complete bodies of work without a substantial paycheck and a gas mask. So I won't contribute any more to this debate; I only wish to point out this ongoing attempt by the "reasonable" right to distance themselves from Trump as a way to explain what is already happening in my little universe of education policy:

Some of the center-right is disavowing Trump, even though they were instrumental in creating him -- just like some of the neoliberal school "reformers" are disavowing Betsy DeVos, even though they were instrumental in creating her.

Here's a good example of this, courtesy of (you guessed it) The New Republic:

Perhaps the most nebulous term in these discussions—aside from “school reform” itself—is the simple phrase “school Jersey Jazzman: Republicans Must Own Trump; "Reformers" Must Own DeVos: