Palast is to domestic policy what Seymour Hersh is to international
policy. They are both paranoids, and their psychoses is usually
based on nothing. I've known Hersh for 41 years since he ran Gene
McCarthy's press operation in New Hampshire and then quit because the
anti-war presidential candidate was a racist. Most of his scoops
since then have been on that order of authenticity.
Palast is sloppier because he doesn't write for anyplace that edits. At least, David Remnick at the New Yorker has standards of credulity. This means that Hersh has to obey someone's standards, even if they are someone else's. Palast's last piece of hysteria was published today in the Huffington Post, whose standards are the standards of Arianna's mouth, which are no standards at all.
Now, I do understand the hysteria in the hard left flanks. They had campaigned for Obama as if he were truly a comrade of Bill Ayers. But this expectation was doomed to collapse. Yes, Obama is a committed liberal and an idealist, to boot. But he doesn't want to fail in world affairs which is why he recognizes that America actually had enemies. And he doesn't want to fail in national policy he either. Not in reconstructing our shattered economy, which explains why he has appointed Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and Paul Volcker, that realistic symbol of financial rectitude and prudence.
I don't know whether it is true that Obama will designate Joel Klein, the chancellor of the New York City school system, as secretary of education. But rumor has it that Klein is one of two people -and the more likely one, at that- whom the president-elect is going to appoint to that post. This has driven Palast bananas.
Really bananas. Klein has no experience, says Palast. Everything he's done with education has been a failure, Palast continues. Yes, Klein is a reformer. And Palast comes from that part of the left -frankly, extreme left- that is satisfied with the ongoing tyranny of many unqualified teachers and self-satisfied principals. If students can't be freed from these bureaucracies the country will be indentured to functional illiteracy, virtually absolute deficiency in quantitative skills and grotesque standards of intellectual and moral reasoning.