February 23, 2004
Defining terrorist down

Remember when no one paid any attention to Rod Paige? Boy, weren't those the days.

Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" today, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year.

Paige's comments, made to the nation's governors at a private White House meeting, were denounced by union president Reg Weaver as well as prominent Democrats.

The education secretary's words were "pathetic and they are not a laughing matter," said Weaver, whose union has said it plans to sue the Bush administration over lack of funding for demands included in the "No Child Left Behind" schools law.

Paige said later in an Associated Press interview that his comment was "a bad joke; it was an inappropriate choice of words." President Bush was not present at the time he made the remark.

"As one who grew up on the receiving end of insensitive remarks, I should have chosen my words better," said Paige, the first black education secretary.

What an utter moron. That's also possibly the lamest use of the "just a joke" defense I've ever heard. Here's a hint for the future: Try your jokes out before a sympathetic test audience before going on the road with them. Anything that makes these people flinch or recoil should be immediately dropped.

I was going to write a long indignant rant about how using the word "terrorist" indiscriminantly strips it of all meaning, but honestly, is there anyone (besides Paige) who doesn't already know this? Haven't we all been inundated with the same sort of rant about terms like "Nazi" and "fascist" these past few years? You know what I'm saying, so I'll spare you the verbiage.

I just have one question: How long will it be before President Bush declares Rod Paige a "tolerant person" and never speaks of the matter again?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 23, 2004 to National news | TrackBack

If we defeat Bush in 04, the Terrorists (NEA division) will have won!

Posted by: Michael on February 23, 2004 10:55 PM

Aparently, his brain is having an under-reported absentee rate.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on February 24, 2004 12:07 AM

Bush never fires anyone who's been "loyal", even if they deserve it.

Posted by: Greg Morrow on February 24, 2004 12:48 PM