Friday, March 17, 2006

Heil Bennish! Heil Bennish!

The Colorado "Bush is Hitler" flap had a drearily predictable epilogue:

There were no surprises in the resolution of the Bennish affair. He kept his job and Cherry Creek Schools paid lip service to the virtues of balance and fairness in a platitudinous official statement issued last Friday by Superintendent Monte Moses.

In fact, I offered my radio listeners a near-verbatim prediction of it several days earlier. I was wrong in one element. I thought Bennish would at least get a slap on the wrist. If he did, Moses refused to disclose that when asked during his news conference. He finessed the issue with this bit of fancy footwork: "Some think Mr. Bennish should be fired. Others think he should be praised. In my judgment, the answer is neither." This is known as a false dilemma: firing or praise. There was another alternative: He gets to keep his job, on probation, with a formal letter of reprimand placed in his file for violating the district policy requiring a balanced presentation to students. Furthermore, his classroom behavior is to be closely monitored in the future.

If anything like that happened, Moses refused to divulge it, citing the district's "personnel policy." Why such a policy should be allowed to defy the public's right to know wasn't addressed. What can you expect? Public education is a government monopoly far more responsive to the teacher unions than to parents, students or taxpayers. The outcome was both unsatisfying and inevitable.
The reaction of Comrade Bennish himself shows that he knew he was bullet-proof from the start:

Bennish, himself, was smugly remorseless, refusing to acknowledge any wrongdoing on his part. When asked if he regretted comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler, he smiled and arrogantly replied, "I think next time I would've said Mussolini."

It's a shame that no pound of flesh was forcibly extracted from this crypto-Marxist asshole. But if he can serve as the newest poster boy for a school choice tsunami that sweeps away the socialized education monopoly once and for all, his slanders will not have been endured in vain.