President Moonbeam.

It was the old Chicago columnist Mike Royko who back in the day called California Governor Jerry Brown, “Governor Moonbeam.” That was when Brown was serving his first terms as governor, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, doing yoga and dating Linda Ronstadt.

Of course, I was doing those things too. Except for the yoga and Linda Ronstadt.

These days Brown’s statements about schools and testing make him sound positively grounded compared to Newt Gingrich and Willard Mitt Romney.

Frankly, it makes Brown seem positively grounded compared to Education Secretary Arne Duncan and President Obama.

Although Obama paid lip service to having less emphasis on testing, there’s nothing coming out of the Department of Education that would lead you to believe that the administration has plans to change much other than the names of things. For example, there was no mention of Race to the Top in the State of the Union address.

But when it comes to Obama, the Man was born with good electoral karma.

When Obama ran  for Senate in Illinois, he had opponents who were discovered to have had sordid secret sex lives or were so far to the right that they would make Michelle Bachmann seem reasonable. He won in a landslide.

When Obama ran for President the first time he had the good fortune to have as an opponent a guy who acted like an old geezer chasing kids off his lawn and who had a running mate named Sarah Palin.

And now he has “No tax” Willard and The Grandiose One.

While Obama doesn’t have a lock on November, the Republicans are sure making it easier.

Yesterday The Grandiose One proposed establishing a colony on the moon and Willard hinted at invading Cuba.

How does Obama manage to get guys like this as opponents?

A CBS poll done after the State of the Union found that 91% of those responding liked Obama’s speech.  91% of the American people don’t like much of anything at the moment. Such is the power of the Republican Party to unite people.

Against them.

I can only wonder what Mike Royko might have said about those two moonbeams.

9 thoughts on “President Moonbeam.

  1. Fred, you are right about his election karma.

    Kind of makes you wonder just how a guy gets that lucky time and time again, doesn’t it?

    But anyway, Chicago parents are hopping mad about sticking their kids in school for 7.5 hours a day — longest in the nation by far. In one week thousands of signatures against the 7.5 hour day were collected and present to the Board yesterday.

    Our Mayor 1% is pushing for a vote at the next Board of Ed meeting on Feb. 22.

    No money for specials like art.
    No money for after-school clubs.
    Just more seat time, test prep and tests, only this time delivered by a computer or tablet.
    It’s so macabre.
    (Would you consider coming to speak with parents?)

  2. Obama’s antipathy towards public employees right to organize among themselves is the bane of academics, non-prods, thugs, political big shots and managerial types large and small, and could still be his undoing, whereas it has driven free public education nearly to ruin. I recall that when Jimmy Carter fired the wildcat postal workers in 1978 that it could cost him his re-election. Big labor has always had great power in modern U.S. politics, due to our superior internal cohesion, and short lines of communications, and the democrat who pisses on our heads too much won’t begetting any extra votes from us. Sadly, his pay to play, and chartered education vendetta continues apace and is his Achilles heel.

  3. Hi Fred — just for the record, Royko wrote a column apologizing for the Gov. Moonbeam moniker and recanting. I don’t know if I can find it online. My husband is a big Royko fan and we have several of his column collections.

    1. Sorry to hear that. I thought it was somewhat appropriate. And as immigrant from California, I took a certain pride. I don’t think I will recant calling Willard and Newt Moonbeams, however.

      1. New York Times, 2010:

        “I long ago gave up trying to figure out what Gov. Moonbeam stands for or believes in,” Mr. Royko wrote in April 1979, “besides getting his pretty mug on TV and confusing people into voting for him.” He added that Mr. Brown was an “intellectual hustler,” who “can jabber so nimbly that no one can figure what he’s talking about.”

        All of which made Mr. Royko’s epiphany even more striking. It came in 1980, at the Democratic National Convention, where Mr. Royko said that the best speech had come from — you guessed it — Governor Moonbeam.

        “I have to admit I gave him that unhappy label,” Mr. Royko wrote. “Because the more I see of Brown, the more I am convinced that he has been the only Democrat in this year’s politics who understands what this country will be up against.”

  4. Yes, election karma–or talk about being in the right place at the right time!

    Unfortunately, the S.o.t.U. Speech was S.O.S.O.–“Teachers matter. Instead of bashing them…let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, & reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility-to teach with creativity & passion; to stop teaching to the test…”

    Yes–“to teach with creativity & passion”–something that regularly occurred & was valued BEFORE NCLB & RttT, & something that every hard-working, student-loving teacher would like to do now, wants desperately to do again.*NOT ONE GOOD TEACHER WANTS TO BE CONSTANTLY TEST PREPPING!!!*

    “To stop teaching to the test…” WHO is perpetuating teaching to the test Mr. President and Sec. Duncan?! Teachers are not good teachers unless their students do well on the test. Teachers also do not wish to contribute to the unemployment rate. *See above.

    “Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job…” In most cases (if not all), the resources are given to schools AFTER they are turned around and, generally, the most experienced and–dare I say it?–BEST of the good teachers are the ones who are cast out of the schools.

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