I find it quite amazing that Ken Blackwell is so widely sought after as a columnist given that he is really a pretty crappy writer.
Sure he can form a complete sentence and he knows how to use the spell check function. But someone who gets paid to write for the New York Sun, Townhall.com, etc. should be able to do quite a bit more than just master the basics of essay writing 101.
For starters, he should be able to make convincing arguments supported by relevant facts. This, however, is not one of Mr. Blackwell’s talents.
I’ll give him some credit- he usually has a hell of an opening. He’ll start out strong: identifying some well-known “problem” (education, healthcare, etc) and then he’ll immediately jump into an attack on some “liberal” who wants to “waste taxpayer dollars” to solve said problem.
I guess for most Townhall or NY Sun readers this is enough. No need to read the article all the way through. Liberals want to raise my taxes. Got it. Next.
Unfortunately, Blackwell’s got no follow-through. He can’t close the deal. And for anyone who does decide to read on… well… disappointment awaits.
That’s because the point about liberals raising taxes is usually followed by the results of some random survey or a listing of obscure statistics that really have nothing to do with the problem he started out discussing.
If you make it past the first half of a Ken Blackwell article it quickly becomes obvious that he’s lost course and is pretty unlikely ever to return home. And don’t even get me started on his conclusions.
But enough with the vague generalizations. You want to see an example?
Check out his most recent piece for The Buckeye Institute. It’s a great illustration of the Blackwellian format outlined above…
1. Identify the Problem: Our public school system is broken.
2. Reveal Liberal, Tax-Raising Solution: Barack Obama wants to “put a lot more taxpayer money” into education.
3. Quote Random Statistic: “Students who live with their married biological parents carry the highest combined GPA”
4. Provide Completely Unrelated Conclusion: “the foundation for healthy children’s education is institutional strength in the family and church”