Congress Just Voted To Make America Stupid!

Under Article I, Section 5, clause 2, of the Constitution, a Member of Congress may be removed from office before the normal expiration of his or her constitutional term by an “expulsion” from the Senate (if a Senator) or from the House of Representatives (if a Representative) upon a formal vote on a resolution agreed to by two-thirds of the Members of that body present and voting.

The United States Constitution does not provide for nor authorize the recall of United States officers such as Senators, Representatives, or the President or Vice President, and thus no Member of Congress has ever been recalled in the history of the United States. The recall of Members was considered during the time of the drafting of the federal Constitution in 1787, but no such provisions were included in the final version sent to the states for ratification,

Around noon today, a banner flashed across my screen letting me know that Betsy DeVos had been confirmed as Secretary of Education.  While I knew this was the likely outcome, I am nonetheless angry and disappointed.  First, though, let me commend the two Republican senators who actually voted their conscience:  Senator Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, and Senator Susan Collins, of Maine. Hats off to them both. doffing-hat

Ms. DeVos is, as I outlined in a previous post,  the worst possible candidate for the position.  I will not reiterate my arguments, but will simply say that our not-so-illustrious Republicans in the Senate have just succeeded in ensuring that twenty years, forty years, sixty years from now, our population will be even less intelligent than it is today.  Once those of us who actually received an education that taught us to think for ourselves die off, there will be nothing left but self-focused, self-serving, narrow-minded people left in the U.S.  (Okay, perhaps that is a bit extreme, and the reader can use his/her better judgement to put it in perspective … I get to rant every now and then)

As you read above, there is no Constitutional means for the people who elected the senators responsible for the killing of American Education to remove them from office, and even if there were, I imagine that, like everything else, it would be a long, drawn-out process.  However it is, after just over a month, quite obvious that what we have in Congress is a collection of greedy, self-centered Republicans.  The slogan “Clean the Swamp” has taken on an entire new meaning, and these men and women are swamp rats the likes of which we have not seen before. What I suggest, then, is that we begin planning for future elections today!  The following eight Republican senators who voted to confirm DeVos will be seeking re-election in November 2018:

Arizona Jeff Flake Republican 2018
Mississippi Roger Wicker Republican 2018
Nebraska Deb Fischer Republican 2018
Nevada Dean Heller Republican 2018
Tennessee Bob Corker Republican 2018
Texas Ted Cruz Republican 2018
Utah Orrin Hatch Republican 2018
Wyoming John Barrasso Republican 2018

If only one of these individuals had considered the future of education in this nation, I would be writing an entirely different post today.  If just one of these men and women had voted their conscience rather than their wallets, we would have the opportunity to improve our education system.  But not a one of them had the courage of their convictions.  Not one of them. And why?  Check out the graphic below, which explains a lot:

devos-1

What can we expect under DeVos?  Certainly we can expect a significant percentage of the budget for K-12 education to be diverted away from the public schools that most of our children and grandchildren attend and earmarked for school vouchers and charter schools, which benefit a relative few.

  • Schools will not be able to afford to hire the ‘best and brightest’ teachers, those who motivate and inspire children rather than simply assigning lessons and following a set curriculum
  • Schools will be forced to cut programs such as art, music, and athletics that contribute to a well-rounded education
  • Schools will not be able to afford to replace aging textbooks with more updated versions.
  • Things like supplies, building supplies and maintenance, student meals … even playground equipment and maintenance will fall by the wayside

In addition, Special Education for children with special needs could well become a thing of the past. The following is an excerpt from the DeVos confirmation hearings last month:

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire): I want to go back to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. That’s federal civil rights law. So do you stand by your statement a few minutes ago that it should be up to the states whether to follow it?

Betsy DeVos: Federal law must be followed where federal dollars are in play.

Hassan: So were you unaware when I just asked you about the IDEA that it was a federal law? 

DeVos: I may have confused it.

One final note:  Charter schools and school vouchers tend to be religious schools, further reducing the diversity that is necessary to help our children grow to be less inclined toward bigotry in all its many forms.

And yet, FIFTY Republican senators lacked the cojones to say “No” to DeVos’ confirmation.  Of course, in addition to receiving funds from DeVos and her ‘philanthropist’ family, and in addition to being cowed by the bullying of Trump, these senators have no personally vested interest, as their children all attend private schools.

While most of the attention surrounding DeVos’ nomination has focused on K-12 education, it should be noted that her confirmation also puts her in charge of the nation’s trillion-dollar student loan program.  Though she has said little on the topic of higher education, she has criticized proposals for free college education and also for student debt elimination programs.

The U.S. currently ranks 115th worldwide in linguistic diversity, and 14th in education. The U.S. ranks only 7th in literacy worldwide.  I will be very curious to check those statistics in a few years, after DeVos has had time to implement her elitist policies.

Ms. DeVos’ confirmation is yet another huge black mark on our nation.  It is a sad day when we put the desires of a few above the needs of the many, yet that is exactly what was done today.  We cannot hope to remain a competitive and respected nation if we allow our system of education to fail the majority of students, which is precisely what Ms. DeVos has proposed.  Great job, Senators … the future of our nation rests on your consciences.

22 thoughts on “Congress Just Voted To Make America Stupid!

  1. Did you see that the IDEA.ed.gov is already gone? That is some bull. If Matt’s education get screwed up because of her, there will be hell to pay. I didn’t vote for Trump, but I sure the heck won’t vote for another Republican AGAIN!! Some of them need to grow a pair….😡😡😡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wasn’t the ultimate vote to make America stupid on November 8th? I contacted Marco Rubio, to try to convince him to change his vote. I received a form response telling me how important my opinion is and that I would get a response in 2-4 weeks. I’ve got my eye on this woman. I will pull my daughter out of school and home school her at the first signs of negative change.

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  3. “As you read above, there is no Constitutional means for the people who elected the senators responsible for the killing of American Education to remove them from office,”

    Yes there is. People of a state can recall their senators or reps.

    “Schools will not be able to afford to hire the ‘best and brightest’ teachers, those who motivate and inspire children rather than simply assigning lessons and following a set curriculum
    Schools will be forced to cut programs such as art, music, and athletics that contribute to a well-rounded education
    Schools will not be able to afford to replace aging textbooks with more updated versions.
    Things like supplies, building supplies and maintenance, student meals … even playground equipment and maintenance will fall by the wayside”

    There is no proof, no way to predict if any of this will materialize. Sec of Ed really does not have much power.

    “inspire children rather than simply assigning lessons and following a set curriculum”

    Trend last 20 years that following the set curriculum even to the point that all teachers are on the same lessons on the same week throughout an entire state or city or county school system. This to insure kids ready for testing and make sure teachers are teaching basic things like grammar for instance instead of reading the teacher’s favorite novel.If you are not following the set curriculum and refuse to do so you will be fired.

    I see very little accuracy or truth to this entire article. On the other hand I would not approve DeVos. She is probably one of the least qualified people ever to be appointed to a cabinet post.

    Carl D’Agostino
    classroom teacher 33 years, Miami

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Jill,

    Wait until republicans figure out that using tax payer monies for religious schools would have to include Muslim schools.

    Yesterday, I spent part of my day in a commenting battle over a WSJ article about Betsy DeVos. Conservatives were convinced that the NEA is the boogeyman causing all the ills within public school systems. I have become convinced the the reason republicans support Mrs. DeVos is because their goal is to dismantle the NEA.

    Facts like MA, a liberal state being #1 in public school education results despite NEA, because this state simply altered its public school funding formula by funneling more monies to poorer neighborhoods after 1993, was not persuasive.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhhh …. poor Gronda! I do not envy you that commenting battle! I have found over the past year and a half that you simply cannot get through to the majority of Trump supporters who are convinced of the ‘right-ness’ of their notions. No amount of well-presented facts and data have an effect on them. It is extremely frustrating, and I have, in the past month or so, tried to avoid those discussions, though there are days that I simply cannot keep my mouth shut and my fingers still. Hugs … and more well-deserved HUGS!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sad news. Every time I hope the elected people will do something for the people that elected them, my hopes are dashed. I hope my country doesn’t look to America for ideas for at least the next four years and I hope in that time the people realise what a mistake Trump is and ensure his reign is a short one. I honestly believe , even at this early stage, that what he’s doing to America with these inane appointments, is little short of criminal. He’s preparing you as a gift to the Russians.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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