CHRIS POWELL: Biden's cognitive decline, Murphy's crocodile tears

Published on Wednesday, 31 March 2021 15:56
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Just as Hillary Clinton and the sleaziest elements of the Democratic Party gave the country Donald Trump, Trump and the sleaziest elements of the Republican Party now have given the country Joe Biden.

Also a gift of Trump is the press that has fawned over Biden even as he stumbled up the stairs to Air Force One, doddered and cheat-sheeted through his first presidential news conference, and imposed silly but politically correct policies by executive order, insofar as Trump caused Trump derangement syndrome.

Of course the country well may be relieved that disgraceful tweets no longer emanate from the White House around the clock and that there now are days when the country is not embarrassed by its president, if only because he is kept out of sight.

But Iran is getting closer to nuclear weapons, the southern border has been flung open again, the futile war in Afghanistan is being extended, and trillions of dollars are being created and distributed to states and municipalities as spectacular slush funds in the name of remediating the self-inflicted damage of virus epidemic lockdowns,

While Trump, unpredictable except for his vulgarity and ignorance, alienated this country's allies, his recklessness also kept its adversaries off balance. News organizations don't have to acknowledge Biden's cognitive decline for this country's adversaries to see it, and it may embolden them into making challenges we are not prepared for.

Soon there could be worse things than mean tweets, and then what? Will God still be looking after fools, drunks, and the United States?

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Having visited immigration facilities at the southern border the other day, Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said he "fought back tears" as he saw hundreds of migrant children being detained on their own.

Murphy's tears might as well have been those of the crocodile variety, since, having long been indifferent to security at the border, the senator shares responsibility for the renewed disaster there, along with Biden and other Democrats in Congress.

Vulgar and cruel as Trump could be, at least he declared that the border should be secure and he scared people out of entering the country illegally or making bogus claims for asylum. But during his presidential campaign Biden promised a change in policy, and potential immigration lawbreakers are taking him at his word.

Now the president is telling them not to come here, but a more persuasive message is being conveyed by admission of the many people who are coming anyway, especially the kids about whom Murphy professed to get teary.

People would not be heading for the border if they did not expect a good chance of admission. Indeed, most of the children have been sent across unaccompanied because everybody knows that while parents with children may be turned back, unaccompanied children eventually will be forwarded to relatives or friends living in this country, many doing so illegally, while the children's cases await disposition.

Anything short of a policy of blocking all illegal border crossings and requiring asylum claims to be made outside the country will constitute a broad invitation to the people of impoverished and violent Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua to keep taking their chances on a long, dangerous, and sometimes fatal journey.

That's why the bigger cruelty here hasn't been Trump's at all but that of the Democrats who put immigration enforcement in doubt as they strive to erase the borders and proletarianize the country.

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WHAT'S TO EVALUATE? Teacher evaluation has never been very serious in Connecticut and legislation is pending in the General Assembly to make it less so. The bill would prohibit school systems from using student test scores in teacher evaluations for the next three years.

The rationale for the bill is that the extended interruption of schooling by the virus epidemic will set back education for a long time. But of course school administrators know this and will handle evaluations accordingly. In the meantime test scores still will continue to signify something.

After all, if teacher evaluations can't take student learning into account, what else is there? Classroom decoration? Blackboard penmanship? Or just a teacher's usual cooperation in promoting students from grade to grade even as they fail to learn anything?


Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Columns on Wednesday, 31 March 2021 15:56. Updated: Wednesday, 31 March 2021 15:59.