Malaka Of The Week: Mitch Daniels

Remember when the fools at Politico were jonesing for then Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to run for President in 2012? He broke the hearts of the gang at Tiger Beat On The Potomac and finished out his term as the Grand Poohbah of Hoosierville. He is now the President of Purdue University and is this week’s selection as malaka of the week.

Why pick on a has-been former GOP pol in higher ed drag?In theory, Daniels should believe in academic freedom. He does not:

In a separate round of emails in April 2009, Daniels called for an
audit and possible funding cut for a program run by Charles Little,
executive director of the Indiana Urban Schools Association and a
professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Little
had been highly critical of Daniels’ education overhaul in internal
emails and he often critiqued the governor’s performance at public

On Tuesday, Daniels stood by his demand that Zinn be excluded from
Indiana classrooms but said his request was limited to K-12 schools,
where the state has control of the curriculum.

“We must not falsely teach American history in our schools,” he said
in the email. “We have a law requiring state textbook oversight to guard
against frauds like Zinn, and it was encouraging to find that no
Hoosier school district had inflicted his book on its students.”

Daniels made no mention of Little in the email, and it wasn’t
immediately clear if the audit went through. But he repeated his
contention from the Zinn email exchanges that “there is need for a
cleanup of what is credit-worthy in teaching of our professions.”

Censorship is a word that is frequently misused. What Daniels was up to was classic censorship; guvmint bringing the hammer down because it dislikes the content of a book, movie, or whatever. It’s also irksome for a right wing pygmy such as Daniels to go after a giant like the late Howard Zinn. It is the essence of malakatude.

We here at First Draft traffic in irony, and there are few things more ironic that someone who doesn’t believe in academic freedom heading up a major university. It’s best to leave education to the educators and leave creeps like Daniels out of it. This whole story has me craving a boilermaker;particularly because the inside the beltway media insists that guys like Mitch Daniels are moderates. A wingnut is a wingnut is a wingnut even when they’re not wild eyed. Mitch Daniels is a bore, not a moderate. He’s also a world class malaka.

2 thoughts on “Malaka Of The Week: Mitch Daniels

  1. Calling Zinn a “fraud” is why I really wish the Democratic leadership would at least occasionally go to the mattresses…or — at the very least — call out the media for not noting what an ugly remark that is.
    And it is ugly. Howard Zinn was a giant in his field. Whether you agree with him or not, calling him a fraud questions not his point of view, but his credentials, his research methods, etc. Fuck Mitch Daniels.
    I was lucky enough to see Zinn speak once, and even got to briefly say hello at a reception that followed. He was very gracious — the kind of person who wouldn’t even call out Mitch Daniels for the obvious fraud HE is.

  2. In some quarters, Zinn’s great sin was pointing out America’s inherent imperfections. His work was meant to be an antidote to the braggadacio that always seems to accompany the exceptionalists. He was the guy at the party going around puncturing balloons. I think he also knew that empires on a trajectory similar to ours always ended badly, because the victims of imperialism tend not to forget their ill treatment, and eventually fight back, and there’s every indication that, from his books and his lectures, he didn’t want to see that happen, and thought that, by dint of better ideas and change in political will, there could be a better United States.
    Which is why it’s understandable that a skeevy little book-burning intellectual half-pint like Mitch Daniels would find him so odious.

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