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“Snapshots Of A Racist Teacher”: What A Principal’s Bigoted Rant Shows Us About American Education

Over the weekend, Nancy Gordeuk, the founder and director of TNT Academy, a small private school in the Atlanta area, made racially offensive remarks at the school’s graduation ceremony.

After some confusion in the program, many in attendance thought the graduation had concluded, when it became clear that Gordeuk had neglected to let the valedictorian give his speech. Gordeuk tried to corral the audience back into the hall to finish the ceremony, but when that didn’t work, she yelled, “Look who’s leaving. All the Black people.” Immediately, all of the Black graduates got up and marched in a single file line out of the ceremony, while the white valedictorian cringed in embarrassment.

The utter outrageousness of Gordeuk’s outburst is only the most obvious of things to say about her remarks. I am also struck by the swiftness with which she moved to shame a whole demographic of people because she could not get them to respond to her requests. Though racial unity remains elusive for Black people — as well it perhaps should — a sense of linked fate does inhere in much of our political analysis. How we feel about this sense of shared destiny varies from person to person. But one of the quickest ways to raise the ire of Black people is to suggest that “all the Blacks” should or shouldn’t do any particular thing.

Still, that desire to shame Black people into submission is at the heart of so much public discourse about unruly Black people who cannot seem to follow simple instructions. Because Gordeuk said such inappropriate remarks in a roomful of children clad in graduation attire, among their doting family members, it is clear to see just how out of line her remarks are. But these malicious sentiments about unruly Black people who need to be shamed into doing the right thing have been pervasive in social discourse of late, particularly in light of continuing Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country.

Koritha Mitchell, associate professor of English at Ohio State, has written that Black people should respond to these long histories of white shaming tactics with what she terms a “critical demeanor of shamelessness.” Such a demeanor allows us to “recognize not only the power of dominant assumptions but also how little they have to do with you and the communities to which you belong.”

This principal had hoped to make Black attendees stay. Instead, after her remarks they left, and they did so shamelessly. We need to walk out on racist acts far more often.

This act of walking out, which the students did in community with family and friends who probably played a critical role in their educational success, also points to all the times that they perhaps could not walk out while learning in a school environment run by a woman with such antagonistic racial views. No child should have to learn in a racist environment. But far too many Black and Latino children do learn in such environments.

On the one hand, TNT Academy seems to be a kind of school of last resort for children who struggle in traditional academic environments. So for many students, graduating from this school culminates a challenging, but ultimately successful academic history. Starting such a school is to Gordeuk’s credit. But the nobility of that effort is deeply undercut by the fact that she is a rabid racist, who insulted her students and their families at their graduation. Many Black people can attest that we owe much of our educational histories and successes to racist educators.

This has certainly been true for me.

The sixth grade was the second time that a fellow student called me a nigger. This time it was over a scuffle at the water fountain. I may, in fact, have been in the wrong in the scuffle, over who was first in line at the fountain. That did not, of course, make me a nigger.

The mother of the child who called me that term taught at my school. Perhaps that was why our Black principal opted not to take more severe disciplinary action against that student, my classmate, her son. Years later, I ran into that teacher and her husband, my classmate’s parents, while I was out on a date. It was apparent when I met them that the father deeply despised Black people. When you grow up in the South, you learn very quickly how to assess these matters. Racist sentiments inhere in subtle gestures, the way that people avert their eyes, refusing to look at you, or conversely, stare at you with a steely disregard and a refusal to speak, that makes you begin to wonder whether there is something on your face or your body that shouldn’t be there.

Your skin is the thing of course –the source of their discomfort, the thing they hope will become the source of your discomfort.

I knew then that my initial impression of my classmate had been right — the N-word rolled off his tongue, because it was most probably in frequent use in his home.

Gordeuk’s son took to social media to defend his mother, and could not resist dropping a few N-words in her defense. It seems, given his clear lack of compunction about the public use of that term, that he uses this term readily and with ease. For Gordeuk’s part, she blamed the devil, who was “in the house and came out from [her] mouth.” If the devil exists, he is assuredly a white supremacist. But Gordeuk cannot get away with blaming her racism – and she did admit to her own racism — on the devil.

We must stop accepting an education system where an exceptional few Black students excel because of the grace of God, and the others are left to the devilish schemes of racist madwomen. That’s far too fine of a point to put on a more complicated, structural problem. Racism is never just a problem of individual attitudes — for this woman also created a school environment that helped these children to successfully graduate, after they didn’t fare well in traditional school environments. But given the virulence of her racism, it is easy to surmise that the school also has a racially hostile climate.

And herein lies the challenge. Many of my best teachers growing up were veritable racists. My sixth grade math teacher — I hated sixth grade — also owned a small clothing store in town. And Black people generally never shopped there because she watched Black customers like a hawk and was as unpleasant as possible when they came into the store to shop. In class, she mocked me each day, until I was reduced to tears. I never told my mother, for fear that I must be doing something wrong, or, conversely, fear that my mother would go and wreck shop.

From the fifth grade forward, there was never a year when my mother did not have to talk to a teacher or school administrator about racially charged remarks. Not one year. But I also remember that in almost every case, save fifth, sixth and eighth grade, I had positive interactions with the very same teachers who made inappropriate comments to me.

Sitting all these years later with the complicated reality that I’m educationally indebted to both benign and malignant racists alike, what is clear is that no child should have to navigate this kind of educational world. The incessant mocking from my teacher did not kill my spirit. But it was designed to do so — designed to extinguish the fire of a precocious Black girl, who always knew the answers and got them right.

I was one of the lucky ones. But the entire point of a good education is that your life chances should no longer be left up to luck.

It would be easy to dismiss Nancy Gordeuk as an especial and enduring breed of Southern racist, but what should we make of her son, who certainly is in a different generation than she? And what does it mean that her antics, while over-the-top, don’t seem drastically different from my own experiences more than 20 years ago?

Our children do not just need good textbooks and comfortable buildings in which to learn. They also need culturally competent, anti-racist educators who do not shame them and their families. We must also stop looking at Gordeuk as a relic of a racist past, since American racism is still very much present, and since many Black children will tell you about the range of racist aggressions and micro-aggressions they experience from educators each day.

I am glad the students of TNT Academy walked out on their graduation day. In doing so, they rejected the implicit lie of their own inferiority that Gordeuk’s comments tried to shame them into believing. They recognized the lie, and instead embraced the truth of their own value and capacity for achievement.

Down South, we say: Tell the truth and shame the devil. The truth is, Gordeuk’s shaming tactics didn’t work. Her students, heads held high, have commenced indeed.


By: Brittney Cooper, Contributing Writer,  Salon, May 13, 2015

May 14, 2015 Posted by | Bigotry, Education, Racism | , , , | Leave a comment

“Frenzy Of Ignorance And Indignation”: Scandal? Knowing Zero About Clinton Foundation, Indignant Pundits Blather

A very strange thing has happened to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Suddenly, journalists who never paid the least attention to the foundation’s work over the past decade or so — and seemed content to let the Clintons and their associates try to do some good in the world — proclaim their concern about its finances, transparency and efficiency. Commentators with very little knowledge of any of the foundation’s programs, who are indeed unable to distinguish the Clinton Global Initiative from the Clinton Health Access Initiative, confidently denounce the entire operation as suspect.

What provoked this frenzy of ignorance and indignation, of course, is the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States. Partisan adversaries of the former Secretary of State have been working overtime, subsidized by millions of dollars in Republican “dark money,” to construct a conspiratorial narrative that transforms her husband’s good works into dirty deals. (Transparency is evidently required of the Clintons, but not of their critics.)

The main product of that effort, delivered by media mogul Rupert Murdoch amid a din of promotion in mainstream and right-wing media, is of course Clinton Cash, authored by a former Bush speechwriter named Peter Schweizer.

Compressing lengthy timelines, blurring important distinctions, and sometimes simply inventing false “facts,” Schweizer has attempted to transform the Clinton Foundation from an innovative, successful humanitarian organization into a sham institution that sells public favors for private gain.

While many of Schweizer’s most glaring accusations have been thoroughly debunked already — notably concerning the uranium-mining firm once partly owned by a major foundation donor — amplified echoes of his “corruption” meme are damaging nevertheless. Various media figures who have long hated the Clintons, from Rush Limbaugh to David Frum, feel liberated to utter any outrageous accusation, however distorted or dishonest.

But as so often has proved true when such individuals start screaming “scandal” and “Clinton” in the same breath, the sane response is to take a deep breath, suspend judgment and examine relevant facts.

Appearing on a recent National Public Radio broadcast with me, Frum asserted that the foundation spends far too much on air travel and other expenses. The same philanthropic impact could have been achieved, said Frum, if Bill Clinton had merely “joined the International Red Cross” after leaving the White House.

While Frum doesn’t know what he’s talking about, that won’t stop him chattering for a second. Among the significant achievements of the Clinton Foundation was to build a system that has drastically reduced the cost of providing treatment for AIDS and other diseases across Africa, the Caribbean and in other less-developed countries, saving and improving millions of lives. Bringing together major donors, including wealthy nations like Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the leaders of poor nations to create these programs, he helped turn back a disease that once threatened to infect 100 million people globally. That effort required many hours of air travel by him and his aides — and many visits to extremely uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, places in which Frum will never set an expensively shod foot.

Like Limbaugh, Frum has claimed that the Clinton Foundation wastes enormous resources while concealing its donors and expenditures from a gullible public. The truth, attested by expert authorities on nonprofit and charitable organizations, is that the foundation spends (and raises) its funds with commendable efficiency — and it has posted far more detailed information, including the names of 300,000-plus donors, than federal tax law requires.

Did the foundation’s staff commit errors during the past 15 years or so? Undoubtedly. Could its operations be more efficient, more effective, more transparent? Of course — but its record is outstanding and its activities have done more good for more people than Frum, Limbaugh, Schweizer, the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch would achieve in 10,000 lifetimes.

Why don’t these furious critics care about basic facts? It may be unfair to assume that in pursuit of their political agenda, they are indifferent to millions of Africans dying of HIV or malaria. Yet they do seem perfectly willing to hinder an important and useful effort against human suffering.

When you hear loud braying about the Clinton Foundation, pause to remember that two decades ago, these same pundits (and newspapers) insisted that Whitewater was a huge and terrible scandal. Indeed, Limbaugh even insinuated on the radio that Hillary Clinton had murdered Vince Foster, a friend and White House staffer who tragically committed suicide. Politicians and prosecutors spent more than $70 million on official investigations of that ill-fated real estate investment, loudly proclaiming the Clintons guilty of something, before we finally discovered there was no scandal at all. Talk about waste!

So perhaps this time, with all due respect for the vital work of the Clinton Foundation, we should assume innocence until someone produces credible evidence of wrongdoing.


By: Joe Conason, Editor in Chief, The National Memo, May 13, 2015

May 14, 2015 Posted by | Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton, Journalism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Freedom To Provoke”: The Right To Free Speech Does Not Include The Right Not To Be Criticized

It’s still a radical document, the U.S. Constitution, no part of it more so than the First Amendment. Almost everybody’s for freedom of speech, particularly for themselves and people who agree with them. However, the part about no establishment of religion vexes True Believers of every persuasion. How can government possibly remain neutral in matters of faith?

But what really confuses people is an episode like the recent failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas. Does our commitment to freedom of expression require that we condemn Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, the two self-proclaimed ISIS jihadists who got themselves shot to death during an abortive attempt to massacre participants in a well-publicized contest to draw ugly cartoon caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad?

Absolutely it does. Those two murderous dimwits got exactly what they came looking for. Although nobody’s saying so, something tells me the police officer who took them down wasn’t just the average traffic cop. That fellow would have been all over TV by now. This guy has remained anonymous. Amateurs are ill advised to get into gun battles with professionals.

But are we therefore also required to admire Pamela Geller, co-founder and president of Stop Islamization of America, the organization that sponsored the cartoon contest? No, we are not. The right to free speech does not include the right not to be criticized.

I’m glad nobody shot her. However, Geller’s actions were deliberately and characteristically provocative, coarse and contemptuous of others’ beliefs; in short, the very definition of bigotry. In the final analysis, those actions are also damaging to this country’s ability to prevail in its long twilight struggle with radical Islamic terrorism.

The amazing thing is how observers find this hard to see. Writing in his Washington Post media column, the normally sensible Erik Wemple takes issue with Geller’s critics. “And who’s being treated as the public enemy on cable?” he asks incredulously. “The woman who organized a cartoon contest.”

I’m pretty sure Wemple would take a different view of a Stormfront competition to caricature the ugliest hook-nosed rabbi.

But hold that thought.

“To her enduring credit,” Wemple adds “Fox News’ Megyn Kelly has been screaming all week about the folly of the ‘too-provocative’ crowd.”

Indeed she has. Interestingly enough, the lovely Ms. Kelly’s antagonists include Fox News luminaries Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump, along with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, CNN’s Jake Tapper, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush and others Wemple characterizes as “folded into a crouch of cowardice and rationalization.”

Megyn Kelly’s thunderous rebuttal to O’Reilly was couched in melodramatic terms Geller herself would find appropriate: “You know what else the jihadis don’t like? They hate Jews. Should we get rid of all Jews? That’s the path we’re going to go down catering to the jihadis. There’s no satisfying them.”

Holy false dichotomies, Batman! So the choices are deliberately offend the religious sensibilities of millions of peaceable Muslims or get rid of Jews?

This kind of black-and-white thinking is pretty much the stock in trade of propagandists like Geller intent upon persuading Americans that not only ISIS and al Qaeda extremists but Islam itself and Arabs in particular are terrorist enemies of the United States. All Arabs, everywhere.

The problem, argues former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, is that the worldwide battle with Islamic fundamentalism can’t be won without Muslim allies — loyal U.S. citizens who report suspicious activities; allies and proxies who fight against violent Islamism; hundreds of millions of people around the world who repudiate Salafism by the peacefulness and tolerance of their daily lives.

When Americans engage in high-profile, attention-seeking acts of blasphemy, they are not joining U.S. military and intelligence forces at the front line; they are complicating and undermining their work.

President Obama has said much the same thing.

Things might also be different if Pamela Geller didn’t have such an extensive track record. “On her website,” reports the Jewish Daily Forward “Geller has denounced President Obama as ‘a third worlder and a coward’ who ‘will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords’ and as ‘a muhammadan’ who “wants jihad to win.

The Anti-Defamation League has criticized Geller for “consistently vilifying the Islamic faith under the guise of fighting radical Islam.” The British government refused to let her enter that country in 2011. She has characterized other Jews who criticize her as worse than “21st-century kapos,” a reference to Jews who served as guards in Nazi death camps.

Astonishingly, after extreme-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik murdered 70 people at a Norwegian Labour Party summer youth camp in 2011, he credited Geller with inspiring him. She then assailed the Scandinavian left for harboring anti-Israel sentiments, posting a camp photo on her Atlas Shrugs website captioned: “Note the faces which are more Middle Eastern or mixed than pure Norwegian.”

Non-Aryan Untermenschen, Hitler would have called them.


By: Gene Lyons, The National Memo, May 13, 2015

May 14, 2015 Posted by | Free Speech, Pamela Geller, U. S. Constitution | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“What The Godfather Of Reaganomics Gets Wrong”: Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge; More Distorted Reagan Nostalgia

Chris Christie just announced a big tax-cut plan. Well, of course he did. Offering such proposals is de rigueur for Republican presidential candidates. And it pretty much has been since the Reagan presidency.

No surprise, then, that Arthur Laffer, intellectual godfather of the Reagan tax cuts, remains in high demand on the right. Many GOP 2016ers — including Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Ted Cruz — have been publicly consulting with the supply-side economist who continues to joyfully preach the wonder-working power of cutting top marginal tax rates.

But Laffer is, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about my recent column here at The Week, in which I argued that some presidential wannabes were misinterpreting and misapplying the lessons of Reaganomics. As I wrote a few weeks back:

Republicans sometimes misuse Reaganomics to justify fantastical tax plans that promise deep rate cuts for the rich — both Cruz and Paul favor low-rate flat taxes — that will pay for themselves and boost the middle class through explosive economic growth. … Republican policymakers and voters have little reason — either from historical experience or empirical studies — to assume tax reform will generate a prolonged period of 4-5 percent GDP growth such that concerns about budget deficits and income distribution are irrelevant. [The Week]

In other words, a flat tax won’t supercharge growth enough to prevent us from losing big bucks. This is a rather modest claim and critique, one perfectly compatible with the idea that the Reagan tax cuts were still good policy. Reaganomics was a home run — just not an impossible five-run dinger.

My comments are also compatible with the consensus among economists on the left and right. Yet Laffer felt compelled to respond to my article with a three-chart, five-page, 2,000-word rebuttal.

Laffer is one of the most important public policy entrepreneurs of the 20th century, right up there with John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman. His official bio asserts his work was responsible for “triggering a world-wide tax-cutting movement in the 1980s” — and that is no vain boast. His famous Laffer Curve — an illustration of the trade-off between tax rates and tax revenue derived from the ideas of philosopher Ibn Khaldun — is indeed one of “the main theoretical constructs of supply-side economics.”

So it is disappointing that Laffer, in responding to me, offers such an odd, airy, and ultimately unnecessary defense of his life’s work. For instance: While Laffer doesn’t explicitly say the Reagan tax cuts paid for themselves, he doesn’t say they lost revenue, either. Yet he spends hundreds of words countering my claim that they didn’t pay for themselves. What Laffer basically argues is that since (a) income tax revenue rose during the 1980s, (b) the rich paid a higher share of GDP in income taxes, and (c) there were more employed people as a share of the entire adult population, then that must mean the tax cuts paid for themselves. Except he doesn’t actually say that. “Well, I hope you get the idea” is how he puts it. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Put aside for a moment that Laffer mostly avoids my evidence, such as a Treasury Department study concluding the Reagan tax cuts lost $200 billion a year and one by former Bush II economists that found income tax cuts only recoup a sixth of the revenue they lose through higher growth. A bigger flaw in Laffer’s argument is that he ignores everything else happening in the U.S. economy during the 1980s. Tax rates matter plenty — Laffer’s key insight — but they aren’t all that matters. Laffer ignores the big role of easier monetary policy in driving the recovery after the awful 1981-82 recession. And, yes, the employment-population ratio rose in the 1980s — as it did in the 1970s. Did the Reagan tax cuts cause the Baby Boom, too? Laffer also ignores the revenue impact of $115 billion a year in 1980s tax hikes and how the Tax Reform Act of 1986 nudged rich people to shift how they took their income to the personal income tax base from the corporate one. Laffer ignores a lot as he attempts to make a stronger-than-necessary case. The economist doth protest too much.

Laffer’s other big objection is that I downplay the growth effects of the Reagan tax cuts by cherry picking dates. Since the tax cuts did not go fully into effect until 1983, Laffer argues that’s the appropriate start date for the Reagan boom. Indeed, real GDP grew at a snappy 4.5 percent annually from 1983 through 1988. But Laffer’s timing is problematic. The recovery likely would not have been as strong if not for the 1981-82 recession itself. Sharp recoveries after downturns were the rule of the postwar era through the 1980s. And since the 1981 downturn was the deepest, a strong rebound would be expected. For example, the economy grew by 5 percent during the first two years after the awful 1973-75 recession.

Again, none of this means the Reagan tax cuts failed. It would be hard to find a reasonable economist who denied they boosted growth in the 1980s as the Fed battled inflation. The effects just were not ginormous enough to fully offset the direct revenue loss. More importantly, perhaps, Reaganomics — tax cuts, deregulation, entrepreneurial optimism — changed America’s longer-term economic direction. Economist Michael Mandel contends that “the impact of the policies Reagan set out in the 1980s, which slowly worked their way through the economy, helped lay the groundwork for the Information Revolution of the 1990s.” So, yeah, you can give Reagan a bit of thanks for your smartphone.

This is the data-driven, evidence-based analysis Laffer and other old-school Reaganauts should be making to today’s GOP and center-right movement. The real Reaganomics. With fantasy tax plans again abounding on the right, the presidential race could use a reality check more than more distorted Reagan nostalgia.


By: James Pethokoukis, The Week, May 13, 2015

May 14, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, Reaganomics, Supply Side Economics | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“A Pointless Exercise”: The Iowa Caucuses Are A Big Fat Joke, And Jeb Bush Is The Only One Laughing

Jeb Bush’s heartless betrayal has sent shockwaves through the presidential race. I’m not talking about his advocacy for Common Core educational standards, or his disturbing habit of talking about undocumented immigrants as though they were human beings. No, it’s the news that broke Monday: Bush will not be competing in the upcoming Iowa Straw Poll this August.

The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party was predictably contemptuous of Bush’s excuse that he’ll be going instead to a different gathering of Republicans in Georgia: “We don’t buy this excuse and neither will Iowans,” he said. Et tu, Jeb?

How on earth could Bush ignore the Straw Poll, an event whose winner four years ago was future non-president Michele Bachmann? It may be because Bush is lagging in the Iowa polls and he’s worried he’ll do poorly. Or it may be because the Iowa Straw Poll is a pointless exercise.

In fact, everything about Iowa’s role in the presidential election process is absurd, and I say that as not only someone who reads, thinks, and writes more about politics than any sane person ought to, but also as one who counts actual Iowans among my friends.

Iowans are, as a whole, fine people — as much as any other state’s residents. But do they really deserve the power we give them every four years? Granted, some state has to hold the first presidential contest, but the fact that it’s in a state with a comical election system and where the overwhelming majority of voters can’t be bothered to make it to their state’s contest is particularly maddening.

You’d expect that with a dozen or so presidential candidates practically moving to the state so they could meet each and every voter in all of Iowa’s 99 counties, turnout in the caucuses would be high. No such luck. In 2012, turnout was a measly 6.5 percent, meaning 14 out of 15 Iowans didn’t vote in the caucuses. While it’s true that only one party had competitive primaries that year, even in 2008 when there were tight contests in both parties, it topped out at 16 percent. Not exactly an inspiring show of their commitment to democracy.

Part of the explanation may lie in the fact that caucuses are time-consuming and involve standing around in a high-school gym while people give speeches, then moving about in little gaggles according to your favored candidate. Whatever old-timey nostalgic thrill that might give you, it’s undeniably a hassle compared to just pulling a lever or punching a chad. Nevertheless, don’t you think that if multiple candidates had literally shown up to your house to beg you in person to choose them, you’d manage to make it out on caucus night?

That’s not to mention that the event next February is actually merely the first step in a ridiculously baroque multi-stage process. What Iowans will be selecting on that evening is precinct caucus delegates, who will later go to the county convention (remember how there are 99 counties? Yeah, that means 99 conventions), and from there to the district convention, after which it’s on to the state convention (can you feel the excitement building?) where they’ll actually select the delegates who’ll go to the national convention next summer.

You’d be hard-pressed to offer a persuasive explanation for why they bother with all that, and more importantly, why the rest of us should care. But Iowa is first (and will stay that way, because there’s a state law mandating it has to be), so candidates will continue to troop through the state, testifying to their affection for the “heartland” and their love of ethanol, and heading to the Iowa State Fair to consume food on a stick.

(Permit me a brief digression: Sadly, deep-fried butter on a stick — in which, yes, an entire stick of butter is battered and deep-fried, then stuffed down your food hole — is for some reason no longer on offer at the Iowa State Fair as it was for a brief but glorious period. Last year’s fair did, though, feature no fewer than 69 food-on-a-stick options.)

You can understand why politically involved Iowans are so protective of this process. After all, if you’re a Republican precinct captain in Oklahoma or Rhode Island, you’d no doubt love to have Scott Walker and Marco Rubio sit at your kitchen table and tell you how important you are to their campaign. But the real fault lies with the news media, which looks at the results of this bizarre contest and decides that it’s actually freighted with meaning about the will of the electorate.

Perhaps it’s because after months and months of covering a campaign without any concrete results, they can’t help but go a little nuts over the first actual votes anybody casts. But they play an inane game of expectations — setting them, interpreting them, and spinning them — to try to enhance the uncertainty and drama. At the end of it, some candidates will be said to have failed to meet expectations and thus be consigned to permanent loserdom, their campaigns no longer worthy of attention, while others will be elevated on high (only to be pulled down soon after). Imagine if we reported sports that way: “Analysts are calling the Red Sox the clear winner in last night’s contest after they came within two runs of beating the Yankees, whom most had expected to coast to an easy victory. Hard questions are now being raised within the Yankees organization about what the failure represented by this narrow win means for their chances in the fall.”

The only redeeming factor in this whole exercise is that for all the importance the political press puts on Iowa, winning seems to have little relationship to whether a candidate wins his or her party’s nomination, let alone the presidency (as Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, winners of the last two GOP caucuses, can attest). Just don’t get me started on New Hampshire.


By: Paul Waldman, Senior Writer, The American Prospect; The Week, May 13, 2013

May 14, 2015 Posted by | GOP Presidential Candidates, Iowa Caucuses, Jeb Bush | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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