Two Facts

1. David Brooks thinks Mitch Daniels should run for president because he has been an excellent governor for Indiana and would make an excellent president for the nation.

2. He is wrong.

Of course Daniels "spoke of the program he started that provides health insurance for low-income residents" and touted it as a success, because he is a privatizing machine and his program "successfully" managed to privatize Medicaid. But Healthy Indiana is not a success for Indiana's low-income uninsured residents, nor Indiana's healthcare providers: "There is no evidence that Healthy Indiana beneficiaries are getting better care than Medicaid beneficiaries. However, the care they are receiving costs more, and leaves less for reimbursing uncompensated care for the remaining 95 percent of the uninsured." Whoooooooops.

And naturally Daniels proudly "spoke of...the education program that will give scholarships to students in failing schools so they can choose another." And while he talks a good game about how students from low-income families should have the same chance to attend a private school as students from wealthy families (as if a scholarship program for some poor kids really levels the playing field), the Indiana Coalition for Public Education has quite rightly noted that "taxpayer money shouldn't be directed to private schools, which can deny admission to certain students." The proposal thus stands to "reverse the state's progress on desegregation efforts."

Mitch Daniels' policies are consistently rooted in the conservative pipedream (which Brooks sooooooo loves) that there's no such thing as institutional bias and everyone can achieve precisely the same things if only they work hard enough. Just give poor people the same opportunities, and failure can thus be regarded as unassailable evidence of laziness.

Except: Shitty healthcare they can't afford and competition for education vouchers that favor low-income students who come from home environments that already give them a good chance of success, despite poverty, does not the same opportunities as wealth provides make.

Especially when rerouting tax dollars to private institutions that may select for existing biases means marginalized students may end up with the choice between shitty private schools and a shitty public school system. Swell.

Further marginalization of the already marginalized is, of course, not a bug but a feature, despite anything Governor Daniels may say that sounds like he gives a shit about anyone but straight white men who work for corporations that make hefty campaign contributions.

But that's not something the believers in BOOTSTRAPS! will ever concede.

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