We remember Molly Ball as the writer for The Atlantic who tried to persuade us in 2012 that Michelle Rhee really truly is a liberal and was taking over the Democratic Party. Of course, since then, we have seen StudentsFirst make campaign contributions to rightwing Republicans and to a handful of Democrats who support vouchers. We even saw her select a Tennessee legislator who sponsored notorious anti-gay legislation (“Don’t Say Gay”) as “reformer of the year.”
Now the same Molly Ball has another article, also in The Atlantic, plaintively wondering why liberals “hate” Cory Booker. I don’t hate Cory Booker.
I don’t agree with his views on education, but I don’t hate him.
But education is the issue that is missing from Molly Ball’s article, except at the very end, when she acknowledges the reasons that liberals have a Cory Booker problem:
“Nonetheless, it seems clear Booker will not be riding to Washington on a wave of esteem from national progressives. Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and a former communications director for the New Jersey Democratic Party, said there’s still time for Booker to earn liberals’ esteem. “There’s a healthy skepticism, given his record of cozying up to Wall Street donors, defending corporations like Bain Capital, and supporting Michelle Rhee’s extreme school-privatization agenda,” Green said. “That said, there’s a real willingness to take a second look, given his airtight commitment to oppose any Grand Bargain that cuts Social Security benefits and his openness to actually increasing those benefits.” Booker, he said, would “earn a lot of goodwill” if he committed to the PCCC-backed proposal to expand those programs. For now, though, the skepticism remains.”
At least, Molly Ball is now willing to concede that Michelle Rhee has an “extreme school-privatization agenda,” which is not exactly representative of the Democratic party.
But she never acknowledges that Booker has views that are closely aligned with Rhee. He supports privatization via charters and vouchers. He was chair of the board of the Wall Street hedge-fund managers’ Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), which pushes for privatization and high-stakes testing. He brought Mark Zuckerberg to Newark and welcomed Teach for America, the Goldman Sachs’ construction of a special housing village for TFA, etc. etc.
Critics of Cory Booker don’t “hate” him. But they wonder why he hates public education and the people who teach in public schools.