Deny, Delete, Destroy

I feel a bit bad for Governor Haslam, as I’m sure that he didn’t intend for his “Running the state more like a business” strategy to mean that the state would be run more like Enron an hour before the Feds moved in. But here we are, learning that, when the going gets tough, the tough get deleting.

First DCS just left out whole swaths of information that was supposed to be public. And now Tennessee’s Virtual Academy, which was supposed to save us from the horrors of public school-dom, just deleted low grades so that it wasn’t immediately obvious how much they’re not doing what they’ve promised to do.

I have a theory that part of what’s going on in this state right now is that we’re living with an unfortunate error in judgement by Republicans. Rather than assume that most Democrats had been operating in good faith, most union leaders, most public workers–you know, most everyone who’s been on their boogeyman list over the years–they really did come to believe that those people were bad and that therefore the things they were doing were bad. And, as a result, whatever their buddies wanted to do that had been thwarted under the decades of Democratic rule must be good ideas unjustly denied.

Now, we’re getting their buddies put into positions of power–say at DCS–and their buddies’ “good” ideas enacted–like the Tennessee Virtual Academy. And their ways of doing things suck, much to the unpleasant surprise of Republicans. After all, they’re the good guys. How can good guys have bad ideas?

I think we’re going to continue to see this kind of shit until Republicans come to realize that even people ostensibly on their side can be doing the wrong thing.

The question then becomes whether Haslam is willing to concede that point and start coming down hard on this crap.

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4 thoughts on “Deny, Delete, Destroy

  1. we’re living with an unfortunate error in judgement by [X]. Rather than assume that most [Y] had been operating in good faith . . . –you know, most everyone who’s been on their boogeyman list over the years–they really did come to believe that those people were bad and that therefore the things they were doing were bad. And, as a result, whatever their buddies wanted to do that had been thwarted under the decades of [Y] rule must be good ideas unjustly denied.

    What you’re describing isn’t an error in judgement; it’s a character flaw. I’d go so far as to say that having a “boogeyman list” in the first place indicates at least a tendency towards having that sort of character flaw, because it suggests that whoever has a list of Bad People also has a list of Good People whose strengths aren’t going to be critically assessed and whose flaws are going to be ignored and excused. And when that character flaw becomes instrumental in administration of any sort, it’s going to lead to problems.

  2. Yes, I think that’s right. It’s a belief that “people like me are good” and “people not like me are bad.” And it comes with all the usual problems associated.

  3. I’m afraid the DCS scandal/cover-up is just the tip of the iceberg. Since this became a one-party state in 2010, we have seen the “take a gun to the playground” and “drunks with guns” legislation; the neutering of the teacher’s union; and now the “take a gun to work” law that will violate private property rights–something that stands to lose the state the proposed Volkswagen plant to Mexico. In 2011 we saw the destruction of Civil Service rules and protections–a roll-back of reforms to the good ol’ days of Tammany Hall nepotism, cronyism and corruption. Now we see the forced privatization of public schools at taxpayer’s expense, which will do nothing but loot our tax dollars and make our educational system even worse. Look for more of the same in the next few years. There is a massive corruption scandal festering in this state that will make the “Tennessee Waltz” probe look like a Junior Prom. Tetris is not just a video game anymore–if you know what I mean. But enough said; just sit back and watch it all get worse; after all who’s going to stop them. The Republicans have all the power and they intend to abuse it to the hilt. Nothing succeeds like excess.

  4. “The question then becomes whether Haslam is willing to concede that point and start coming down hard on this crap.”

    Ha. Hahahahahahahahaha! Sorry. That just struck me as completely hilarious.

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