Monday, March 2, 2009

Don't blame me, I voted for Bartlet

Good piece on vouchers in DC and Barack Obama's latest opportunity to really be different.

The most honest, decent, and thoughtful Democratic president of modern times, Jed Bartlet, was surprised to find himself supporting vouchers on an episode of NBC’s “The West Wing.” Bartlet’s staff summoned the mayor of Washington, D.C., to the White House to plot strategy for his veto of a Republican-backed bill to provide vouchers for a few students in D.C. schools–and was stunned to discover that the mayor and the D.C. school board president both supported the program, as indeed Mayor Anthony Williams and School Board President Peggy Cooper Cafritz did in real life. Why? the president asked the mayor. “After six years of us promising to make schools better next year,” the mayor replied, “we’re ready to give vouchers a try….We spend over $13,000 per student — that’s more than anywhere else in the country — and we don’t have a lot to show for it.” (As Andrew Coulson wrote recently in the Washington Post, the real cost is actually much higher than that.)

The piece contains the West Wing clip and ends with the question of whether or not the real congress and President will care about the people enough to keep the voucher program intact. My guess is that the Democrats in congress and Barack Obama will once again play the "let 'em eat cake" card. Vouchers just ain't politically correct.

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