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..."