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Monday, February 06, 2017

The grizzly truth: Trump’s competence problems are bigger than DeVos - The Washington Post

"DeVos, a major Republican donor, is nearing the end of her ordeal to be confirmed as secretary of education, and it has been a grizzly tale.

Republicans, apparently recognizing the billionaire’s lack of familiarity with the rudiments of education policy, tried to shield DeVos from public view. They scheduled her testimony in the evening and limited questions. But this did not save the heiress from getting schooled.

DeVos was “confused” by questions about the Individuals with Disabilities and Education Act and befuddled when asked about the raging debate about measuring student proficiency vs. growth. DeVos’s solution to protect student aid from waste? Uh, leave it to “the individuals with whom I work.”

But her finest moment was her argument for why we need guns in schools: “to protect from potential grizzlies.”

It was too much to bear.

Two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, said they couldn’t give DeVos a passing grade, making it likely that she would be confirmed Tuesday on a 50-50 tie broken by Vice President Pence. Hour after hour on the Senate floor Monday, Democrats howled about the nominee’s woeful qualifications, and few Republicans countered them.

But Democrats in the long run may thank the majority Republicans for confirming DeVos. In the fight against President Trump’s agenda, the new administration’s incompetence is their friend. Trump’s choice of DeVos signals a dangerous desire to dismantle public schools. It would be more dangerous if he chose somebody who was up to the task.

In this sense, Trump’s Cabinet generally may be a gift to opponents of his agenda. At Housing and Urban Development there will be Ben Carson. His friend Armstrong Williams, before Carson’s nomination, said that the retired neurosurgeon “feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”

At the Energy Department is Rick Perry, mocked by Trump himself during the presidential primaries. “He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate,” Trump said, suggesting Perry wore glasses “so people think he’s smart....”

The grizzly truth: Trump’s competence problems are bigger than DeVos - The Washington Post

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