James Taranto And The Non-French-Looking Democrat

James Taranto`s Best Of The Web Today had a link to this recently on WSJ.com:

“A DeKalb County school administrator has agreed to serve a 10-day suspension for selling a book he wrote about himself to five local schools, including two that were under his direct supervision,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

“In July 2010, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Ralph Simpson wrote a book about himself in 2007 and found a ready-made market to sell it in the DeKalb school system.

Simpson sold more than $12,560 worth of copies of the book, “From Remedial to Remarkable,” to five schools, including 605 to Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, where he had once been principal.[DeKalb administrator-author agrees to 10-day suspension, By Nancy Badertscher, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , June 29, 2011][Links added]

For reasons best known to himself, Taranto is using this story, plus some egotistical quotes from the book`s website, to attack John Kerry, and the item uses Taranto`s trademark Kerry-bashing tag-line I Coulda Been a Contender, Instead of a Haughty, French-Looking Massachusetts Democrat, Which Is What I Am.

But when I read it,  I thought to myself, “What kind of public school administrator in DeKalb County is going to pull something like that?”

And when I Googled “Ralph Simpson DeKalb County”from my iPhone, the first result I came up with was on the website The History Makers, devoted to notable African-Americans who are “History Makers” because they`re the “first black” whatever. What I mean is, not French-looking at all.

Simpson turns out to be an African-American public official, earning $122,195 annually, exclusive of book sales and speaker fees. Taranto points out that Simpson`s website describes him as “a nationally recognized motivational speaker”–that is, nationally recognized by other high school principals who get him to come to their assemblies and speak to the students.

I think Simpson is several kinds of phony, but really, he has little in common with John Kerry except for probably belonging to the same political party–USA Today wrote in 2009 that“The challenge of dealing with minority officials who run afoul of the law is a pre-eminently Democratic problem…”