It’s becoming more and more clear that America’s institutions of higher learning are failing, even unto the hallowed halls of the Ivy League. President Bush somehow managed to get a bachelor’s degree from Yale back in the 1960s. Of course, as a multiple-generation legacy of the nation’s blue blooded class, that was only to be expected.
In 1993, a bushy-tailed youngster named Peter Beinart graduated from the same facility of education. I have no idea what his family connections may have been, but he was apparently a Rhodes scholar so I’d have to assume that his grades were impeccable.
However, his New Republic column on the US response to the Asian tsunami reveals something about how — perhaps — he managed to maintain the kind of academic record that would get him to Oxford, and how Bush got through school at all.
We all know the story of the official response to the disaster: nothing for two days, while Bush reportedly cleared brush, then a miserly response followed by progressive racheting up of promises. Never mind that in a disaster on this scale, a couple of days’ delay in food and medical supplies could mean death for hundreds or thousands of survivors.
Beinart’s first sentence: “Give the Bush administration a B.” Sure, it’s initial reaction was awful, he says, but “when the pressure grew stong enough…they reversed course and did the right thing.”
Wow. That kind of work gets you a B at Yale? Talk about grade inflation!