Imagine if Bush Had Done This, Part 9,623


So Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent out a memo to his employees — and by definition our employees — last week, encouraging them all to go to that big rally they held last weekend in Washington, DC. No, not that big rally. The other one. From the Washington Examiner:

President Obama’s top education official urged government employees to attend a rally that the Rev. Al Sharpton organized to counter a larger conservative event on the Mall.”ED staff are invited to join Secretary Arne Duncan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and other leaders on Saturday, Aug. 28, for the ‘Reclaim the Dream’ rally and march,” began an internal e-mail sent to more than 4,000 employees of the Department of Education on Wednesday.

It wasn’t exactly a happy, non-partisan celebration:

“[Conservatives] think we showed up [to vote for Barack Obama] in 2008 and that we won’t show up again. But we know how to sucker-punch, and we’re coming out again in 2010,” Sharpton said.

Speakers at the Sharpton rally praised Obama and took jabs at the Tea Party.

“Dr. King gave us a miracle in 2008. He gave us the first African-American president, and we must let them know today that we support [Obama],” said John Boyd, Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said Beck’s rally “would change nothing. … We will move right over you.”

Education Department spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya defended Duncan’s decision. “This was a back-to-school event,” she said.

Back to school, indeed. But imagine if this had happened during in the Bush years. Imagine if a sitting cabinet secretary had written a memo to employees reminding them about a political event — maybe, and I’m just fantasizing here, a Thank You, Vice President Dick Cheney rally on the Mall.

It would have been a six-act, tear-stained, wailing finish melodrama, with lots of talk of “concern” and “chilling effects” and “coercion” from all of the usual suspects.

There are 6 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor

    That would be the same Department of Education that wanted to encourage students to write letters to themselves about “what they can do to help the president” — and that wanted teachers to hold students “accountable” to follow through on those letters. Maybe Duncan’s title should be Secretary of Re-education?

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  2. Profile Photo Member

    It’s sad that on the anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech there are two separate rallies – one indifferent to race, one obsessed with it – and the officially-endorsed event is the explicitly racial one.

    Not surprising, given the left’s inability to operate without the support of the unions and assorted professional victims… but still, sad.

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  3. Profile Photo Inactive

    I’m also wondering if this had something to do with the DC mayoral race. Fenty has upset the teachers’ union by aggressively attempting to reform DC’s crappy school system. I think they want him out. I think Fenty and Obama butted heads when Obama ended a very successful DC school voucher program over union pressure. Was Gray there?

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  4. Profile Photo Member

    Rob….The title alone says it all.

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  5. Profile Photo Member

    Doesn’t the left just make you want to puke?

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  6. Profile Photo Member

    Duncan is increasingly reviled by the Teacher’s Unions, so his decision to participate was entirely political. He needs the support of the black caucus in order to pass his version of ESEA including an expanded Race to the Top program. The memo regarding his appearance was de facto cheerleading and I doubt meant much of anything.

    • #6

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