Ralph Reed Still a Fraud

January 27, 2011

Ralph Reed speaking on school choice.
©2011 W. L. Doromal
When I heard that Jack Abramoff's buddy and a co-defender of CNMI's dysfunctional labor system, Ralph Reed was in Orlando, I had to go hear him speak. He was featured at a Tea-Party backed "town hall" on education reform with fellow conservatives Dick Morris, and Mike Gallagher, a conservative radio talk show host. (You may remember that Morris was a member of the Clinton Administration who allegedly was forced to resign because of sex scandal involving a prostitute.)

When people speak on reform, they usually have related credentials or are experts in the field that they are talking about. That is unless the subject is public education, and you can bet that educators will be excluded from that conversation, while self-appointed experts spout off endlessly.  Many education talking heads have never taught in public schools, and know little or nothing about the economic, social and political circumstances that influence what happens in our public schools. (All things well beyond the control of even the best teachers.) 

Dick Morris and Ralph Reed spoke about public education with the confidence of those who knew what they were talking about. They did not. They promoted school choice and merit pay.  They both trash-talked public schools and shared some propaganda and unfounded generalities with the conservative, mostly white-haired, over age 60 audience.

I teach in a Florida high school that is ranked as an A school. We have the highest graduation rate in the school district (97%). Our school is ranked among the top schools in the state, besides being nationally recognized for academic achievement across the board. These self-proclaimed experts mocked the fact that Florida schools are currently ranked 5th in the nation saying that the ranking meant nothing in one sentence, and then crediting former Governor Jeb Bush (not the teachers, parents or students) with raising the state's academic standing from 35th to 5th in another sentence.
Ralph Reed in Orlando ©2011 W. L. Doromal

Ralph Reed, once director of the Christian Coalition, and founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said he supports prayer in public schools. He said, "Education is about the formation of character and the work of the soul... school choice is a moral and civil rights issue."

Odd words coming from a guy who backed a system that supported coerced abortion, forced prostitution, and human trafficking. Reed vocally backed Abramoff and his pal Tom DeLay to block reform legislation that would have ended civil rights and human rights abuses in the CNMI.

Reed is just another morally bankrupt talking head who makes money by word-smithing and truth bending.  I studied him for the entire time he was on stage.  My conclusion is that Ralph Reed viewed this "town hall" meeting as just another gig.  There was a lack of conviction or connection to his words. Several times when other panelists were speaking, Reed could be seen glancing at his cell phone. Reed is paid to toss out the Right's rhetorical lines and sound bites.  It is his job. He reminds me of a snake oil salesman. 

Reed checking his phone. W. L.  Doromal ©2011
Some teacher protesters who joined the meeting reacted loudly to some outrageous remarks from the stage. At one point when Reed was speaking about Newt Gingrich's Contract with America and the welfare system that Reagan dismantled, a couple repeatedly shouted, "Liar!"  Several others asked the speakers to reveal who funds Americans for Prosperity, the sponsor of the event, which was one in a series of events held across the nation. There was no response.  Actually, the anti-Obama, Americans for Prosperity is funded primarily by big oil and the Koch brother. (Read more in The New Yorker.)

Reed ran for lieutenant governor of Georgia in 2006. His loss was linked to his Abramoff connections and the fact that Reed, the self-proclaimed religious conservative who said he opposed gambling, had actually accepted millions of dollars from one Indian tribe to defeat another tribe from opening casinos.

Ralph Reed ©2011 W. L. Doromal
It seems that Ralph Reed just can't stop hanging with and defending the bad guys.  In a recent editorial in the National Review, Reed defended felon and his good buddy, Tom DeLay. Previously he defended Jack Abramoff and sweatshop abuser/owners. He went to work for Enron after his Christian Coalition gig unraveled.  They say it takes one to know one. In this case, it takes a bad guy to know a bad guy. Under the slick outer baby-faced shell, Ralph Reed is one of the bad guys. Despite his claims to be religious, his actions suggest that he is a hypocrite. It doesn't look like it's in the tea leaves for Reed to ever be truly "born again" or "see the light" in time to join the ranks of the good guys.


Anonymous said...

Ralph Reed is scummier than Delay Abramoff put together. His false piety just puts a fine coat on his already slithery personality.

By the way Wendy. Could you post something about the Shawna Forde trial in AZ? It seems like the murder of a young hispanic girl and her father by a minuteman fanatic would be quite relevant for your blog.

I'm not normally for the death penalty, but if found guilty, Forde deserves it.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately there are no Minutemen in the CNMI.