Thursday, August 02, 2007

Miss Ann takes on the YouTube Debate

CNN commentators keep telling us how young and hip the audience was for last week's YouTube Democratic debate, apparently unaware that the camera occasionally panned across the audience, which was the same oddball collection of teachers' union shills and welfare recipients you see at all Democratic gatherings.

Noticeably, Gov. Bill Richardson got the first "woo" of the debate – the mating call of rotund liberal women – for demanding a federal mandate that would guarantee public schoolteachers a minimum salary of $40,000.

So much for the "younger, hipper" audience. Maybe CNN meant "hippier," as in, "My, she's looking a bit hippy these days."

Not counting talking snowmen, the main difference in the YouTube debate audience and the audience for the earlier CNN Democratic debate is that the YouTube debate had 173,000 fewer viewers in the 18-49 demographic. So it was provably not young and, on the basis of casual observation, definitely not hip.

As usual, the audience consisted mostly of public schoolteachers. According to CNN, the highest reading achieved on the CNN feelings-knob was for Richardson talking about public schoolteachers. (Some in the audience said they hadn't been that excited since the last time they had sex with an underage student.)

B. Hussein Obama said he was for slavery reparations in many forms, but the only one that got applause was for more "investment" in schools. In Obama's defense, the precise question was: "But is African-Americans ever going to get reparations for slavery?" So a switch to the subject of education was only natural.

Moreover, a question on reparations has got to be confusing when you're half white and half black. What do you do? Demand an apology for slavery and money from yourself? I guess biracial reparations would involve sending yourself money, then sending back a portion of that money to yourself, minus 50 percent in processing fees – which is the same way federal aid works.

It was fun to hear the Democratic candidates give heart-rending reasons for not sending their own kids to public schools. Except John Edwards. He got a "woo" for sending his kids to public schools from all those "young, hip" Democrats whose greatest concern is how to transfer more money to public schoolteachers while reducing their workload.

The candidates all managed to come up with good reasons for sending their kids to private schools – with extra points for reasons that involved a family tragedy or emergency – but it didn't seem to occur to any of them that ordinary families might have good reasons, too.

In her first risible lie of the debate, Hillary said Chelsea went to public schools in Arkansas. But when they moved to Washington, they were advised that "if she were to go to a public school, the press would never leave her alone, because it's a public school. So I had to make a very difficult decision."

"Unfortunately," she said, it was "good advice."

Was it really that difficult a decision not to send Chelsea to public schools in Washington, D.C.?

This is how the New York Times recently described the schools in Washington, which it called "arguably the nation's most dysfunctional school system."

"Though it is one of the country's highest-spending districts, most of the money goes to central administration, not to classrooms, according to a recent series of articles in the Washington Post. Its 55,000 mostly poor students score far worse than comparable children anywhere else in reading and math, with nearly 74 percent of the district's low-income eighth-graders lacking basic math skills, compared with the national average of 49 percent."

So Hillary was dying to send Chelsea to the D.C. public schools, but "unfortunately" did not do so only because of the press? Did she also agonize over whether to allow Chelsea to play in traffic?

She was not dying to send Chelsea to D.C. public schools. And no Democrat cares about "education" or "the poor."

Democrats care about social service bureaucrats who make their living allegedly working on behalf of the poor – the famed "public service" the Democrats always drone on about – jobs that would disappear if we ever eliminated poverty. That's why Democrats keep coming up with policies designed to create millions and millions more poor people.

Democrats fight tooth and nail against any measures that would actually help the poor, such as allowing schools to fire bad teachers. They refuse to allow parents with children in the rotten D.C. public schools to take money out of the public school system so their kids could go to Sidwell Friends like Chelsea.

Most important, Democrats resolutely refuse to tell the poor the secret to not being poor: Keep your knees together until marriage.

That's it. Not class size, not preschool, not even vouchers, though vouchers would obviously improve the education of all students. You could have lunatics running the schools – and often do – and if the kids live with married parents, they will end up at good colleges and will lead happy, productive lives 99 percent of the time.

But Democrats don't care about the poor. They don't care about the children. They care about government teachers and other government bureaucrats – grimy, dowdy women who "woo" at political debates. Or as CNN calls them, the "young," "hip" crowd.

Ann Coulter uses sarcastic humor to combat the Left. This is particularly effective since they are such a humorless crowd. They take themselves so seriously and are, as P. J. O'Rourke famously observed, filled up to the nose holes with esteem for themselves. So when Miss Ann comes along with her needle and punctures their massively inflated ego with her humor they fall to the ground in paroxysms of foaming madness and start accusing her of every mortal sin in the multiculti bible (racism, sexism, homophobia and not "caring about the children").

However there are times when the Left manages to combine ridiculous buffoonery with pure Satanic evil to the degree that sarcasm cannot be used to effectively parody them because they have gone so far over the top that hyperbole can't catch up with them.

The public schools and the teacher's unions which feed off of them like maggots on a rotting corpse are such a case.

I know that there are still many teachers who love children and who have a genuine passion for teaching. And I know that there are still some good public schools out there. My cousin's daughter goes to one. It is near Oak Ridge, TN and many of the people who live in the district are scientists and engineers who work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Many of them are foreign born (particularly Asian) and they were educated to very high standards and they demand the same from and for their own children. They use their power to elect the school board to force the education bureaucracy, kicking and screaming sometimes, to deliver a quality education.

That kind of school district is vanishing. It isn't so much that they are being replaced by schools where the 8th grade children are made to write an essay entitled "Why I hate America and think George W Bush should be murdered" before practicing putting condoms on dildos and doing a community service project involving handing out clean needles down at the bus stop - although all of that happens. What is happening is just a tragic and pathetic dumbing down.

Good public schools are not the only thing needed to preserve a free and prosporous society. In fact they are not even the most important thing. The public school education in nearly every nation in Europe is superior to that available in the US and Europe is still casting itself into the black hole of socialism while allowing an ascendant Islam to take over. However the fact that the Oak Ridge National Laboratory needs to staff itself with so many immigrants (who will do the jobs that too many Americans lack the education to do) is troubling and does not bode well for America's future.