Federal agencies are prone to politicization and that’s especially true where they wield power that can advance some aspect of the “progressive” agenda. The Department of Education has been a leftist tool since Jimmy Carter pushed for its creation. Under Obama, the Department’s Office for Civil Rights was egregiously political, using and abusing regulatory powers to impose a host of mandates on colleges and universities subject to federal control. (Only the very few schools that refuse federal student aid money are free of the Department’s reach.)
In today’s Martin Center article, Kursat Christoff Pekgoz and James Moore detail the OCR’s leftist offensive under Obama. They liken it to the Ministry of Love in Orwell’s 1984: “This agency was so devoted to its ideological mission that it never presented its unconstitutional rules to the American public to consult their opinion, considered itself to be a superior alternative to the criminal justice system, granted itself universal jurisdiction, threatened many colleges with financial death unless they punished constitutionally protected speech, sought to abolish the ‘reasonable person’ standard, and created a class of imitative bureaucrats in academic institutions to perpetuate an industry of victimhood.”
Pekgoz did an analysis of all the OCR’s resolution letters between 2011 and 2019 and found that they overwhelmingly favored female complainants. Supporting the “women are victims” ideology suited the Obama administration and the OCR was gung-ho.
Okay, but the Obama years are behind us. Unfortunately, the authors report, the current OCR has not done a complete about-face. And we must always keep in mind that with another Democratic administration, we’d get a new infusion of leftist zealots in the Education Department.
Pekgoz and Moore conclude, “Unsurprisingly, some politicians want to abolish the entire Department of Education. Representative Thomas Massie has introduced a bill to do just that. While we cannot predict whether the Department will ever be abolished, we must never cease our vigilance against our very own Ministry of Love.”