Earlier this week I had a bit of fun at the president's expense over his budget's ludicrous proposal to step up subsidies for new-technology automobiles purchased almost exclusively by the wealthy. There was another item in that budget, however, from which I could derive no such mirth: his proposal to end funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the school choice program that has been extraordinarily successful in helping some of Washington's most underprivileged children -- the vast majority of whom are minorities.
That the budget proposal is primarily a political document -- and that the school vouchers will be safe as long as Republicans hold at least one house of Congress -- is a source of comfort, but it still doesn't compensate for the president's betrayal of the minority voters who believed that he would be a transformational figure. As I explain in the opening of my weekly column for the Center for Individual Freedom:
The election of Barack Obama was supposed to be a penitential act. His ascension to office, we were told, was interpretable as an offer of atonement for a nation whose founding promise of equality and liberty was soiled by the original sin of slavery. As a controlling argument for his candidacy, it was thin gruel. It’s an act of electoral malpractice, after all, to ignore a candidate’s beliefs simply because he scratches the vestigial itch of collective guilt. But after Obama decisively carried the 2008 presidential election, even many conservatives consoled themselves with the thought that a new generation of minorities would grow up with factual proof that there was no glass ceiling impeding their ambitions.
Shamefully, however, the release of President Obama’s budget proposal for the 2013 fiscal year earlier this week showed the glass ceiling very much in place. And the president himself was the glazier.
Read the whole thing here.