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Holy Shit, Betsy DeVos Might Not Get Confirmed

Holy Shit, Betsy DeVos Might Not Get Confirmed

There are plenty of reasons to oppose Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education–her inexperience with/contempt towards public schools, her disastrous track record on school choice in Detroit, and her profoundly embarrassing confirmation hearing–but with a Republican majority in the senate and Trump’s tendency to take dissent personally, I had resigned myself to her confirmation. But the Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Susan Collins have broken rank, leaving Democrats one vote away from blocking DeVos. And though Senators Jeff Flake and Dean Heller, two of the likeliest Republicans to say no to DeVos, are sticking to the party line, flipping another vote isn’t impossible. If you have a Republican senator, please, annoy the hell out of them.

While it’s good to see pushback on one of Trump’s more controversial nominees, it’s frustrating that Republicans are only willing to stand up to inexperience, not malice. There’s a lot to indicate that Jeff Sessions is a real bastard, and Rex Tillerson has some very questionable connections with Putin, but neither of them are in any real danger of defeat. And when Democrats boycotted hearings for Steven Mnuchin and Tom Price–after the nominees lied to the committee–Republicans pushed forward with the vote anyway. Even if DeVos doesn’t make it to the cabinet, there will be a bunch of candidates who do.

Still, DeVos is such a threat to education that her denial would be very good news. I’ll take all of that I can get.

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In a perfect world, I’d be a professor who teaches poetry using episodes of mediocre sci-fi procedurals, but for now, I’m just a tutor who watches a lot of TV. I got my BA from Kalamazoo College in English with a focus on creative writing, and someday soon I’d like to go back to academia.

Most of my formal teaching training was as a creative writing TA, but I’ve used those skills professionally more to tutor math and write data entry training materials. And though I’d like to focus my work on what I’m really passionate about (which is Netflix binges and outdated video games, mostly), it’s the craft of teaching and writing that keeps me coming back. That’s why I’m excited to be a part of High Faluter: I’m finding that academia doesn’t just stay in academia. And if I can bring crappy midbrow entertainment into academia too, well, all the better. You can find me on Twitter: @StewartFinnegan

(Photo of Betsy DeVos possible cursing out a young child. Courtesy of US Department of Education.)


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