Sometimes, it’s really hard to choose the most appalling news of the day.
I could begin with the continued embarrassment that is Dick Lugar’s campaign.
Yesterday, Lugar was one of 31 (male) Republican Senators who voted against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act; evidently, “true Indiana conservatives” consider laws against wife-beating an infringement of their liberty. Today, we learn that Lugar has invited aging crooner Pat Boone to campaign for him. Whatever his merits as a singer, Boone is primarily known today as a right-wing crank. He is a creationist. He has compared gay activists to terrorists. He is a “birther” who insists that Obama was not born in the U.S. and is not a Christian. He is exactly the sort of person the Dick Lugar I once admired would have avoided like the plague.
Granted, Mourdock is a toad. But watching Lugar frantically shed what is left of his integrity in an effort to appeal to the baseness of the GOP base has been endlessly disheartening.
Lugar is hardly the only public figure who has allowed his ego to trump his judgment. Today’s news also focuses on Eugene White, who seems equally intent upon disgracing himself.
It seems that White is doing everything he can to torpedo the impending State takeover of several IPS schools. He’s refusing to turn over student information, spreading misinformation to IPS parents, removing equipment from the targeted schools and otherwise making the transition as difficult as possible–all without any apparent regard for the children whose education is supposed to be his first concern.
I am no fan of State Superintendent Tony Bennett, who clearly has an ego problem of his own, and I harbor grave doubts about the wisdom of the state takeover. But White’s response is infantile and destructive–a description which, come to think of it, has characterized his entire tenure at IPS. A school board that took its responsibilities to children seriously would have fired him long before this.
Whatever happened to public servants who wanted to–you know–serve the public?