Meet The New Monkey, Same As The Old Monkey

Last year, when the Strib went through its big show of cost-cutting in the Columnist Corner at Strib Tower, some of us dared to hope that with Nick Coleman being eased out (maybe), things might change.  That the “city columnist” slot might turn into something other than a relentless shill space for the DFL.

But then they brought in Jon Tevlin.  In other words, same old thing.

How little have things changed?  Read yesteday’s piece.  Everything we grew to know and “love” about Coleman? The selective omission of context?  The bending of facts to fit a poltical agenda?  The “say something outrageous, secure in the knowledge that I know stuff and the peasants daren’t gainsay me!” school of opinion writing?

It’s all still there.

Oh, it starts out benignly enough:

Why do our children always disappoint us? We spend 18 years carefully teaching and molding our kids, hoping they avoid the mistakes we made, praying they become upstanding, hard-working adults…Still, we lecture: Join the Army, don’t join the Army. Become a doctor, not a teacher. And for heaven’s sake, don’t go into journalism.I heard that one, and like many kids, ignored the wisdom of my parents.

Because newspaper journalism has always been the career equivalent of wearing a nose ring?I digress; Tevlin is writing about the decision by Harrison Bachmann – son of Representative Michele Bachmann, CD6 congresswoman and target of the left’s most unseemly permanent rage – to join “Teach for America”, an affiliate of “Americorps”.

Maybe it’s the Lord’s way of keeping the world upright?…So it has to sting right now for Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Here’s what Bachmann said about President Obama’s plan to expand AmeriCorps, a program that puts young adults to work making the world a better place by teaching disadvantaged kids and helping the poor:

“[It’s] under the guise of quote, volunteerism, but it’s not volunteers at all,” she said on the Sue Jeffers radio show in April. “It’s paying people to do work on behalf of government. There are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people get trained in the philosophy the government puts forward and then they have to go work in these politically correct forums.

“As a parent, I would have a very, very diffiult time seeing my children do this.”

In other words, Tevlin sees this as Harrison sticking a thumb in Mom’s eye.  Why?  Because it fits the template; Jon Tevlin and everyone he knows hates Michele Bachmann and everything she stands for; therefore, everyone must hate her, and everything Rep. Bachmann does must be suffused with perfidy.
Really.  Everything.  Including the workings of her family life – because we all know that the family of every family-values-flogging Christian Conservative, especially the women, look more like an episode of Moral Orel than anything like the rest of our lives!  Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant!  Larry Craig – wide stance wide stance wide stance hahahahahahah!  And Harrison Bachmann has signed up with something Michele criticized!:

The last application deadline was in February, and successful candidates were notified within two months, according to Kerci Marcello Stroud, national communications director of TFA.So when Bachmann issued her screed, her son might have already been accepted, and certainly would have applied. Ouch.

<>“Ouch”.  Because of course any decision Harrison makes just has to be a political dagger aimed at his mother’s heart.  Just like young Jon mortified his parents by becoming a newspaper reporter.  It all fits!Except that it doesn’t.  Listen to the Jeffers broadcast.  I transcribed the relevant part – badly, but it should give you the right idea:

The original language of the bill was “Mandatory service” for government. right now, the language is voluntary, but just last week a Democrat colleague introduced language to make it mandatory. I believe when it’s all said and done that there’s a very real chance that young people could be put into mandatory service, and there’s a real concern that there are provisiions for what I’d call “re-education camps” for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosphy that the govenrment puts forward, and then they have to go and work in some of these politically correct forums…it appears there’s a political agenda behind all of this, and if young poeple are mandated to go into this, I’d have a very, very difficult time watching my children do this. Again, it’s a huge power grab, and at a cost of billions of dollars.

Listened to in context, it’s fairly clear that it’s not “volunteerism”, much less the volunteers or the jobs they do, that Bachmann is attacking; it’s the politicization of the program.  She would hate to see her, or anyone’s, children used as raw material in a politicized compulsory service scheme.

Which the Democrats want to make it.

In the future.

Thank you, Harrison, for your service. Here’s hoping you inspire kids to dream, and get inspired in the process.

Who knows, maybe you’ll even have an opportunity for a teaching moment with some political leaders, but I doubt it.

And who knows, Harrison; maybe you can teach a high school journalism class.  Where you can teach young kids to get their facts straight and refrain from superimposing their mindsets onto other people, in order to skew and caricature them.  But I…

…no, that would be a cheap shot, wouldn’t it?

12 thoughts on “Meet The New Monkey, Same As The Old Monkey

  1. I dunno. I’m glad you didn’t go with the silly notion that this was a slap at Bachmann’s kid; it clearly wasn’t that, but a slap at Bachmann, herself. And, given some of the stuff she’s been the target of, a pretty mild one, by comparison.

    (That said, I think that she does bring some criticism on herself. I’ve said, repeatedly, that while I like her voting record, I’m bothered by the belief that she really does wake up on the morning haunted by the fear that, someday, Al and Bob down the block will be able to have a marriage license in their fire box, and I find that kind of weird. If you were to tell me that there are Democrat reps who have stranger beliefs and weirder fears, I wouldn’t disagree for a moment. It’s still kinda strange, as is the BDS — Bachmann Derangement Syndrome — of the folks over at DumpBachmann.)

    I think it’s a nice little — and I emphasize little; bizarre that the Huffers splashed it — piece, and, I like it. I think it speaks well of both Bachmann parents and their kid — they raised a son who manifestly makes his own decisions, and he did, and I’d find it hard to argue that a stint in AmeriCorps (as it is, now, and not as it might become) isn’t a fine thing to do, and I hope that Harrison Bachmann learns and teaches a lot during his time there.

  2. Good post, Mitch. Tevlin is a somewhat better stylist than NonMonkey, but in the end he ends up in the same place.

    In the end, the mistake Harrison Bachmann made was picking the wrong mother. He should have known better; too bad he couldn’t get prenatal counseling from Bill Prendergast or something.

  3. Troy — absolutely. I think it’s good policy; others think it’s bad policy. I, obviously, think they’re wrong, and while it’s not one of my key, hot-button issues, I’m certainly willing to discuss it in policy terms . . .

    When it comes to Bachmann, though, it’s not just a matter of her thinking it’s bad policy — it was, when she was in the Minnesota lege, a (if not quite, as the Bachmann-haters would have it, the sole and only) focus of her legislative work and advocacy. And that, I maintain, is weird.

  4. So, the next time one of Senator* Frankens spawn drops their change into the “March of Dimes” can we should expect a flood of newspaper and blog posts delighting in their schadenfreude.

    Ohhh, *donating* money to a children’s charity? Ow, man that has really got to sting, eh?

    Boy I bet there have been some really quiet dinner tables at the Franken house lately!

    Who says the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree?

  5. Joel, off topic, but many of us believe marriage is a very precious thing that is being eroded, It has little to do with sexual orientation, and is primarily about preservation.

  6. “I think it’s good policy;”

    Spoken like a true liberal; any other benefits you want to hand out, Joel? Free healthcare for polygamists? Tax exemption for transvestites?

  7. Haha, look at sore-loser-douchebag Shiftee putting an asterisk after “Senator.” Doncha know Franken got hisself a court opinion appointing him to the office, fair and square, just like a regular Republican?

  8. Franken got hisself a court opinion appointing him to the office, fair and square

    Yeah, and so we should all shaddapaboutit, just like the Dems did after Bush V. Gore!

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