Monday, September 08, 2003

Hypocrisy in Action

So it turns out that when the issue of vouchers for Washington D.C. came up for a vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee, only Dianne Feinstein and Robert Byrd broke ranks with the Democratic party to support the bill, with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) abstaining from the vote. This is the same Mary Landrieu of whom the Wall Street Journal said the following some time ago (no link - subscription reqd.):

If Senator Mary Landrieu is mortified about the way her recent flip-flop on school vouchers for Washington, D.C., is playing, we suspect it has something to do with a full-page ad that attracted national attention after it ran in her home state's leading newspaper, the Times-Picayune of New Orleans.

The ad, the top of which is reproduced below, stems from a hallway encounter the Senator had with nine-year-old Mosiyah Hall in July after Mrs. Landrieu had announced that she wouldn't be supporting vouchers for D.C. schoolchildren this time around. This led young Mosiyah to ask the natural question: Where did the Senator send her own kids?

The Louisiana Democrat answered "Georgetown Day"--one of the district's toniest private academies--and went on to offend the mostly black mothers on hand when she came over to explain that even with this D.C. voucher measure they still wouldn't be able to afford Georgetown Day.

Aww shucks, well I guess that makes it all right then! We can't have all these inner city types getting uppity and forgetting their place! Hypocrisy in educational matters seems to be something of a habit with Washington-dwelling Democrats; let us not forget that Bill Clinton sent his own daughter to a private school as well (Sidwell Friends).

It seems that the Democrats still hope to wreck passage of this bill Perhaps the Democratic party's representatives ought to make their motto "public schools for thine, but not for mine," as that's certainly how it plays out in the real world. Following is what I consider the single best part of the Washington Post article:

In one indication of how heated the debate has become, the District chapter of the pro-voucher Black Alliance for Educational Options bought a full-page ad in a New Orleans newspaper accusing Landrieu of turning her back on African Americans and noting that her two children attend the private Georgetown Day School.

Another pro-voucher group, D.C. Parents for School Choice, released the text of a television ad it is to air in the District and Massachusetts that accuses Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) of trying to stop a plan to help black schoolchildren and compares him to segregationist Bull Connor, the Birmingham police chief in the early 1960s.

"Senator Kennedy, your brothers fought for us. Why do you fight against us? Are the unions really more important than these children?" the ad says.

Kennedy spokesman Jim Manley said the ad was "outrageous, and I'm not going to dignify it with a response."

After being informed of the ads, Williams last night called on the pro-voucher organizations to halt such attacks, saying, "These ads don't represent our position, they're not helping our cause and they should take them off the air."

Well of course the (dis)honorable Senator for Massachusetts won't "dignify" the ad with a response, as no possible response could ever dignify selling out the futures of thousands poor inner-city children for the sake of unions' dollars. I hope Mayor Williams is being disingenous in his calls for these attacks to cease, because nothing could be more important than to make the Democratic Party understand that black support is not so unconditional that it can be satisfied with mere token gestures. Ted Kennedy is, if anything, worse than Bull Connor, in that he masquarades as "a friend of the Negroes", even as he works to ensure that they will remain poor and stupid for the indefinite future; at least with the likes of Bull Connor, one knew where one stood.