Jake Tapper’s Political Punch blog reports:
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans” because it gave the city a chance to rebuild and improve its failing public schools.
In an interview to air this weekend on “Washington Watch with Roland Martin” Duncan said “that education system was a disaster. And it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that we have to do better. And the progress that it made in four years since the hurricane, is unbelievable.”
The Education Department confirmed the quote to ABC and Duncan released the following statement in response: “As I heard repeatedly during my visits to New Orleans, for whatever reason, it took the devastating tragedy of the hurricane to wake up the community to demand more and expect better for their children.”
Read the full exchange at that same link.
Hey, did I tell you that 9-11 was the “best thing” that ever happened to NYC? It’s given them a chance to build some really nice, modern structures that give the city a whole new look.
Seriously, though – it’s tempting to say right now “imagine if someone in the Bush admin had ever said something like this,” but what the Ed. Sec.’s comments brought to mind for me was Obama COS Rahm “Rahmbo” Emanuel’s post-2008 election remarks that echoed a similar theme:
This opportunity isn’t lost on the new president and his team. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s new chief of staff, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives this week.
He elaborated: “Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”
Rob Port nails it:
We should perhaps not be surprised that big-government liberals such as Mr. Duncan view disasters such as Katrina (or the financial market meltdown, etc.) as a net positive for them. Because as another Obama administration member put it, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
Meaning that every bad thing that happens to the country is an excuse for government take over. Whether it be schools or banks or auto companies.
Once you’re locked into the view that everything should be run by the government, then everything becomes an excuse to expand the size and scope of government.
But, as Bastiat taught us with the parable of the broken window, there is nothing good about disasters.
Except if you’re a rabidly socialistic liberal …