A lighter take

Betsy DeVos plays ‘$50,000 Pyramid’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos joins employees on stage during her first day on the job at the Department of Education February 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos was confirmed by the Senate after Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Host: Welcome to “$50,000 Pyramid.” Today’s special “Back to School” edition features Education Secretary Betsy DeVos playing for the College Football and Fraternity Association Defense Fund and A Voice For Men. Helping her is Vice President Mike Pence who says he is, as always, playing for God and “Mother.” They’ve made it into the Winner’s Circle. Betsy has consented to receive clues from Mike, although she believes knowledge is in God’s hands, mostly. Put your hands in the straps, Mike, and here’s your first topic, go!

Mike Pence: OK. Um. Books. Teachers . . .

Betsy DeVos: Unnecessary things, boring things?


Mike Pence: Students.

Betsy DeVos: Greedy things?

Mike Pence: Books, teachers, students. An American flag . . .

Betsy DeVos: Implements to influence the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s kingdom?

Mike Pence: Let’s try the next one. OK. I have a spine.


Betsy DeVos: Things Paul Ryan can’t say?

Mike Pence: I have a spine and people keep me on the shelf in their homes and take me down . . .

Betsy DeVos: Oh! Duh. Things an inscribed crystal Bible platter might say!

Mike Pence: Pass. OK. Pencils . . .

Betsy DeVos: Wooden things? Things you put under a table to keep it from wobbling? Things that contain healthy, all-natural lead?


Mike Pence: Notebooks?

Betsy DeVos: Things you carry around to hearings?

Mike Pence: Pencils, notebooks. Um, let’s see. Rosary beads! Crucifixes.

Betsy DeVos: School supplies?

Mike Pence: Yes! OK. I’m young and I don’t yet have a job.

Betsy DeVos: Things a lazy kindergartner would say?

Mike Pence: I don’t yet have a job, so I fritter away taxpayer money by sitting on my behind all day and you have to shell out for me.


Betsy DeVos: Students!

Host: Go on to the next one.

Mike Pence: Let’s go back. I’m overpaid. I do nothing. A computer could do my job.

Betsy DeVos: Oh, things a public school teacher might say?

Mike Pence: Good! OK.


Host: Oh, I am sorry. Out of time. And on that other one, Betsy, Mike here gave an inappropriate clue.

Betsy DeVos: Inappropriate. Who says?

Host: Our Office of Judging.

Betsy DeVos: But it wasn’t inappropriate.

Host: Well, it’s more of a he said, she said.

Betsy DeVos: What are you talking about? I know what happened.

Host: We want to be fair to both sides.

Mike Pence: There was a tape!

Host: Well, you say there was a tape, and we take all accusations of a tape very seriously, but we have to be fair and consider what our judge says happened also.

Betsy DeVos: This is ridiculous. This is a failed system! You’ve weaponized them!

Host: If you disagree, we welcome you to come back next season.

Betsy DeVos: To live through the trauma of re-playing? Mike did not give an inappropriate clue. I’m telling you. People applauded! I heard a ding!

Host: Are you saying there was a preponderance of evidence that you got the answer?


Host: Betsy? Ms. DeVos? OK. I’m sorry you didn’t win today, but since there was an absence of opportunity for you to win here, we’re sending you off with a home edition of the game, established from the fact that there are too many contestants who do not have access to winning this game.

Tune in next time, everybody! We’re going to have Steve Bannon here for tolerance week!

Get Arguable in your inbox:
Jeff Jacoby on everything from politics to pet peeves to the passions of the day.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Debra A. Klein is a writer in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter @IWishIHadTyped.