Betsy DeVos, GTFO
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned yesterday, making her the second Trump Cabinet member (after Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao) to jump ship following Wednesday's armed insurrection at the US Capitol. In her resignation letter, DeVos spent several paragraphs thanking Donald Trump for enabling her agenda of dismantling public education, praising the Great Man for recognizing that delivering taxpayer funds to private schools is "one of the most significant civil rights issues of our times."
Eventually, in the third paragraph from the end, DeVos said that the riots, and Trump's "rhetoric" which encouraged them, were the "inflection point" that left her no choice but to step down, 13 days before the end of the Trump administration. Until yesterday, as Politico notes, DeVos was among just '"a half-dozen members of Trump's Cabinet who has lasted for the duration of his term." Guess that means she won't get a Perfect Attendance ribbon.
Now she'll just have to go cry on one of her yachts about how sad it all is.
That resignation letter is a real piece of work; if you read only the first four paragraphs, you might get the impression DeVos was building up to granting Trump a Major Award.
Eventually, though, she hides a slight bit of criticism in a paragraph that continues insisting Trump is one keen guy:
We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration's many accomplishments on behalf of the American people. Instead, we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protestors overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people's business. That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.
Hey, you know what other mess is going to need cleaning up by Miguel Cardona, Joe Biden's nominee to replace DeVos? The one DeVos left in the Department of Education.
You can almost see this thing being drafted by an aide. Let's emphasize that the rioters, err, protesters were bad for democracy, but not be too specific about what role the president played, while also sounding like we're doing the accountability stuff. From there, the letter goes full Helen Lovejoy: Won't someone think of the children, and their potential as revenue streams for private education?
Impressionable children are watching all of this, and they are learning from us. I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgement and model the behavior we hope they would emulate. They must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday. To that end, today I resign from my position, effective Friday, January 8, in support of the oath I took to our Constitution, our people, and our freedoms.
It's fairly telling that DeVos somehow never managed to worry too much about what impressionable children might make of Trump's decision to take other children away from their parents as a means of scaring families away from seeking asylum in the US. Nor has she ever expressed the slightest concern about Donald Trump's constant lies, his disregard for the law, or his attempts to strong-arm a foreign government to create disinformation that might help his reelection. His attempts to stay in power by overturning a legitimate election didn't seem to worry her too much on kids' behalf, either.
Betsy DeVos has never done her job to help America’s students. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that she’d rather qui… https://t.co/lLEbzVsB6N— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1610073866.0
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, initially praised DeVos for taking what looked like a principled stand against mob violence, but then revised her opinion after reading that phony letter:
On second thought, after reading her letter #goodriddance https://t.co/VFqu90Snww— Randi Weingarten (@Randi Weingarten) 1610074041.0
So there's one fewer Cabinet member who might have joined an effort to remove Trump using the 25th Amendment, had she had a shred of integrity. Just imagine the lesson about moral leadership that could have taught The Children.
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