All of sudden, after four years of complete devotion to the Trump administration, former secretary of education Betsy DeVos is speaking out against the former president. She was never equipped to do the job to which she was appointed, and has zero experience in education, so she should feel loyal to him. But DeVos’ latest claim that she left the administration after seeing Trump’s reaction (or inaction) on Jan. 6 leaves me wondering where she was for the other four years he was in office.
In an exclusive interview with USA Today to promote her book, Hostages No More: The Fight for Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child, DeVos says that her Jan. 7 resignation came after realizing that Trump was obsessed with his presidential loss, and his repeated false claims of a bogus election. She adds that she even began discussions with former Vice President Mike Pence and others in the Cabinet about using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
The 25th Amendment of the Constitution “provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.”
When Pence told DeVos, a significant contributor to the Republican party, that he would not support using the 25th Amendment, she told USA Today, that’s when she knew it was time to leave.
“I spoke with the vice president and just let him know I was there to do whatever he wanted and needed me to do or help with, and he made it very clear that he was not going to go in that direction or that path. … I spoke with colleagues. I wanted to get a better understanding of the law itself and see if it was applicable in this case. There were more than a few people who had those conversations internally,” DeVos says.
Of course, DeVos did not directly implicate Trump on Jan. 6 or call out the fact that he incited the insurrection, but admits that the former president should have acted to help stem the tide of rioters on the U.S. Capitol.
“When I saw what was happening on Jan. 6 and didn’t see the president step in and do what he could have done to turn it back or slow it down or really address the situation, it was just obvious to me that I couldn’t continue. I was thinking about the kids I was there to represent, and what they are seeing and what they are taking away from this—it was not defensible in any way.”
Alright, Betsy. Let’s come clean about your concern about “the kids.” To which kids are you referring? Obviously not public school kids. We know how you feel about public schools.
As Daily Kos staff writer Laura Clawson wrote in 2020, after DeVos begged other Education Department career employees to “resist” working under President Joe Biden, she was clear about “what’s right for students.”
“Privatized education, at Christian schools where possible, with those schools having the right to discriminate against LGBTQ kids. In higher education, it’s expanded protections for alleged rapists and fewer protections for victims, as well as weaker oversight of for-profit colleges and universities,” Clawson wrote. “That’s what she’s asking the career employees of the Education Department to ‘resist’ on behalf of.”
In 2017, DeVos made her mark when she rescinded former President Barack Obama’s guidance on transgender bathrooms, sparking Liz King of the liberal-leaning Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to describe DeVos’ decision as “heartless, cruel, reckless and irresponsible,” NPR reports.
In 2020, DeVos’ press secretary, Angela Morabito, cited DeVos’ greatest accomplishment—the Education Freedom Scholarships, insisting that the proposed voucher program was “the most transformative K-12 policy in our nation’s history.” But, As NPR reported, thanks to a lack of bipartisan support and the fact that neither she nor Trump could bridge that gap, DeVos’ school choice idea never got off the ground.
Now, there’s a reasonable president in office, a first lady with actual education experience, and an administration that supports public schools.
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