07 January 2009

Education: F(uture Fail)

So I take a few days off for holiday cheer and angst and when I get back, I find that The Larva is in power... and powerless. Over the past month, I told several people that The Larva--current near-nongovernor Luis Fortuño--was facing a severe economic downturn, a health care crisis and an Education (hahaha) system about to roll over and play possum. I pointed out that unless The Larva handled those three aspects well, his term would end in 2012.

Why? Because he would face not only public rejection as "another loser," but also internal rejection from "his" party, where candidates such as Thomas "S.S. Don't Mean Social Security" Rivera (soon to be Senate President) and Jenniffer "Gluttonny" González were already plotting to challenge for the governorship.

I even wrote a post about the need to find an Education Secretary and the downside We face in this crucial government sector. Now imagine My surprise when not only did The Larva wait longer than I expected to name his candidate for that post, but nominated a man who'd been Education Secretary 30 years ago.

Disclosure: I have met and briefly worked with nominee Carlos Chardón. He once told Me that one of My presentations was "the most gripping thing he'd ever seen." Kudos to him for his perspicacity. But knowing him doesn't blunt the sense of surprise bordering on horror that his nomination makes Me feel. Add to that the fact that The Larva waited until that same time to nominate "pre-used" candidates for Health and Hacienda (Treasury) and you can see that not only am I right about his dire needs, but that he's already on the path to failure in 2012, a loser almost from the starting gun.

Focusing on Education for now, the problems The Larva has with candidate Chardón are threefold:

1) Chardón was--at best--an ineffective Education Secretary from 1976-1980, known mainly for offering teachers a chance at post-bachelor degrees that went nowhere as their pay remained the same. Though well-connected, his performance was more defensive (staying out of trouble) than pro-active, a workstyle that would speed up the death of the local Education system.

2) Chardón is known far and wide as a political animal, even since his first Education tenure. His prominence within the U.S. Republican Party (as local spear-carrier) and his frequent forays into backroom politics--perfectly legal, but tainting--make him a knee-jerk target for the minority parties to vote against him. And even though his own party (Chardón has long been associated with the statehood party, now in power) carries a commanding majority in the Senate, Chardón will not be approved by the Senate...

3) ...Because the S.S./Larva power struggle I predicted in My earlier post will happen over Chardón's soon-to-be-dead political body. He is too much a political animal, too much out of touch with the current reality of Education and too vapid in his past performance in the same role 30 years ago to be allowed to sit in the hottest Cabinet chair going. "Tantrum" Rivera will make sure that The Larva gets the message loud and clear: This one's shot down and you're always the next target. The S.S. ruled by fear; Rivera lusts to do the same.

By having to look beyond "the obvious," (The Larva) is forced to find a Secretary who is more manager than teacher, more worker than bootlicker, more results-oriented than politically-motivated. If nothing else, it will at least represent a step up from crass fundraisers and air-headed theorists.

Now let's sit back and see who's nominated. The next thing to watch is whether s/he will get past the Senate's crapfest of a nomination review process: it could turn out to be the very first legislative/executive power test. 

That's what I wrote on December 15th. It holds true 25 days later... and maybe more.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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