Archive for the ‘TEA Parties’ Category
Bill Kristol’s article misses the point of Rand Paul’s filibuster. First, here’s part of what Kristol wrote about Paul’s filibuster:
On the other hand, Paul’s political genius strikes us as very much of the short-term variety. Will it ultimately serve him well to be the spokesman for the Code Pink faction of the Republican party? How much staying power is there in a political stance that requires waxing semihysterical about the imminent threat of Obama-ordered drone strikes against Americans sitting in cafés? And as for the other Republican senators who rushed to the floor to cheer Paul on, won’t they soon be entertaining second thoughts? Is patting Rand Paul on the back for his fearmongering a plausible path to the presidency for Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz? Is embracing kookiness a winning strategy for the Republican party? We doubt it.
This totally misreads what Rand Paul did. Sen. Paul’s filibuster was about defending the Constitution, nothing more, nothing less. Had Eric Holder said that presidents don’t have the constitutional authority to use a drone-fired missile on a US citizen on US soil, the filibuster never would’ve happened. If Mr. Kristol thinks that that qualifies Sen. Paul for the “Code Pink faction of the Republican Party”, he’d better quickly rethink that opinion.
The rest of Kristol’s paragraph is based on his misreading of Sen. Paul’s filibuster. Actually, it isn’t implausible to think that playing to the TEA Party “faction of the Republican Party” is a smart tactic for winning in 2016. That’s what Sen. Paul’s filibuster was about. Finally, there’s someone willing to stand up for the Constitution. Finally, there’s a Republican who’s willing to cut spending.
The past 2 weeks have been horrific weeks for President Obama. He tried intimidating the Republicans into another tax increase. He tried peddling the notion that reducing the size of the increase by $44,000,000,000 would cause poor children to starve, airplanes to drop from the sky and meat inspections to end until further notice.
And that’s before he cancelled White House tours that he said were the result of sequestration’s draconian cuts. Sen. Coburn and Sen. Lee have done a masterful job of highlighting the billions of dollars of wasteful spending in this year’s budget. While they were challenging President Obama on sequestration, Sen. Paul was challenging the Obama administration on the commander-in-chief’s authorities granted by the US Constitution.
As a result of these senators’ challenges, President Obama looks weaker than he did a month ago. His job approval ratine shows it, having dropped from 55% to 46%.
As for Sens. Cruz, Lee, Rubio, Toomey, Paul and Johnson, I’d argue that they’re part of the ‘picking smart fights faction of the GOP’. That’s the wing of the GOP that I’ll enthusiastically associate with.
Tags: Drone Strikes, President Obama, Eric Holder, Code Pink, Democrats, US Constitution, Rand Paul, Tom Coburn, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey, Sequester This, Not That, TEA Party, GOP, Election 2016
It was 8 years ago today that I started blogging. Rathergate caught my attention but it was the freedom movement that inspired me. The first big subject that I wrote about was the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. That’s how I first learned of a certain economics professor at St. Cloud State. I’ve been privileged to call King Banaian my friend since then.
I wrote about the massive protests that gathered in Independance Square, the Purple Thumb elections in Iraq, followed by Hezbollah’s assassination of Rafiq Harriri in Lebanon. Harriri’s assassination triggered the Cedar Revolution.
It’s been fun writing about the TEA Party movement. I’ve even helped put a couple of them together with the help of Leo Pusateri, another important conservative ally in the fight against progressives. As helpful as Leo has been in the fight for conservative principles, I appreciate his friendship the most.
I’ve learned from some outstanding bloggers along the way. Captain Ed’s (that’s what he was called in his pre-HotAir days) posts from CQ were awesome reads. When Ed published his lengthy posts, the thing that stood out for me was the depth and detail of his research.
Mitch Berg’s literary skills still continue to amaze me. Mitch isn’t just a talented writer, either. He’s a topnotch reporter, too.
Early in my blogging career, I learned about the Minnesota Organization of Bloggers. Today, many MOBsters are friends of mine. If you aren’t a MOBster, you should join ASAP. The comradery is great.
Finally, I’d like to thank the people who faithfully read my blog. Over the years, I’ve been amazed at who reads my blog. Sitemeter statistics have shown lots of state legislators read LFR. That’s why I’m proud to say LFR has had a serious impact on the policy debates in St. Paul.
With the DFL now in control, temporarily, of the Legislature and with a DFL governor, I pledge to step up my reporting.
The DFL started setting up a phony storyline to propel them back into the majority in the Minnesota legislature during Gov. Dayton’s State of the State Address in 2011. At a time when nobody was thinking about a possible special session to pass the budget, Gov. Dayton asked the legislature to pledge not to shut government down.
By early May, it was clear that Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen were hoping for a government shutdown. At midnight, July 1, 2011, the Dayton/DFL shutdown became reality.
Along the way, the DFL and ABM started talking about the do-nothing legislature. What’s interesting is that the DFL legislature didn’t submit a budget nor did they submit a set of redistricting maps. The DFL won’t talk about that because that cost Minnesota taxpayers $188,000 in exchange for…nothing.
Here in Central Minnesota, the goal is to go 12 for 12 in ’12. The goal is to elect Jeff Howe, Jim Newberger, David Fitzsimmons and Nick Zerwas to their first terms in the House. We expect to re-elect Tim O’Driscoll, Steve Gottwalt, King Banaian and Sondra Erickson to the House. We expect to send Michelle Fischbach, John Pederson and Dave Brown back to the Senate while adding Mary Kiffmeyer to the Senate.
While I haven’t studied the entire state, a couple of races caught my attention. John Carlson is matched against Tom Saxhaug in SD-5. I’m picking Sen. Carlson to win by 8-10 points. Carolyn McElfatrick is paired against Tom Anzelc in HD-5B with Larry Howes matched against John Persell in HD-5A. I expect McElfatrick to win by 4-6 points. I expect Howes to squeak out a victory against Persell.
When the dust settles, I expect Republicans to keep control of the Legislature, mostly on the strength of their recent candidates. The fire-breathing zealots that Tom Bakk and Paul Thissen whined about will be returned to torture Mssrs. Bakk and Thissen. Republicans will have a 71-63 majority in the House and a 38-29 majority in the Senate.
As for the congressional races, John Kline, Erik Paulsen, Michele Bachmann and Chip Cravaack will win re-election. Rumors from Tuesday night that Alida Rockefeller-Dayton-Messinger is demanding Ken Martin’s head on a platter shouldn’t be taken seriously, though understanding why nobody’s heard of his whereabouts should be taken seriously.
The quality of the GOP legislative candidates will be a major reason why Republicans did so well. The leadership at the BPOU and congressional district levels, with a couple exceptions, will be a GOP strength, too.
Tags: John Carlson, Carolyn McElfatrick, Larry Howes, Jeff Howe, Jim Newberger, David Fitzsimmons, Nick Zerwas, Michele Bachmann, Chip Cravaack, GOP, Tom Saxhaug, Tom Anzelc, John Persell, Ken Martin, Alida Messinger, DFL, Election 2012
Though recent polling shows Michele Bachmann with a solid lead, the DCCC has decided to assist Jim Graves:
Buoyed by internal polling that shows hotel magnate Jim Graves within striking distance of tea party favorite Michele Bachmann, House Democratic leaders are set to pump resources into the race to help the Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate knock the three-term incumbent off her perch.
The DCCC’s definition of “within striking distance” is interesting:
Israel cited internal poll numbers from Graves’ campaign showing he trails Bachmann, a former presidential candidate, by just two percentage points. The poll also shows Bachmann with a 57 percent unfavorable rating and a 20-point swing against her among independent voters.
“Voters are experiencing buyer’s remorse with Congresswoman Bachmann and her relentless desire to put ideology over solutions,” Israel said.
A KSTP-TV poll released Monday suggests Graves still has some ground to make up between now and Nov. 6. The poll conducted Oct. 9-11 of 598 likely voters shows Bachmann up 50 percent to 41 percent, with 9 percent undecided. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.
Graves has talked endlessly about being competitive. The KSTP-SurveyUSA poll shows what’s reality. When Graves attended a fundraiser hosted by Barney Frank, he lost 2-4 points in the polling. That’s because people know that Frank is the man who brought the housing market to its knees.
The KSTP-SurveyUSA poll is an extremely reliable poll. In 2010, their final polling showed Tim Walz with a 9 point lead and Jim Oberstar with a tiny 1 point lead. Walz won by 9 and Oberstar lost by 4,000 votes. In 2006, they predicted a 9 point victory for Rep. Bachmann. Michele won 50-41 against Patty Wetterling.
Let’s dispel some myths about the internal polling. First off, the 57% disapproval rating for Michele is utter myth. Thanks to redistricting, the district is more conservative this time than 2010, when Michele won with 53% of the vote. Michele’s supporters are just as committed today as they were in 2010.
For the 57% figure to be true, Michele’s approval would have had to drop 10-12 points in 2 years. That’s BS. The business community is just as solidly behind her this time as they were 2 years ago. She’s still the TEA Party’s darling. Those two groups comprised 90+ percent of Michele’s support.
Second, independents aren’t as big in the Sixth as in other districts. A 20-point swing of independents isn’t as big a swing of actual votes as it would be in the Third, Seventh or Eighth.
Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, announced Monday the DCCC has elevated Graves’ campaign to its “Red-to-Blue” program, which targets the most highly competitive challenges to Republican-held seats.
That’s pure spin from Rep. Israel. A 9-point Bachmann lead isn’t competitive, especially when she’s reached the magical 50% mark. In 2010, Michele campaigned hard in the district. This year, she’s campaigning harder this time around.
It’s obvious that Ryan Winkler is either the most ignorant, loud-mouthed DFL legislator or he’s totally dishonest. Rep. Winkler tweeted this during Thursday night’s speeches:
First time tuning in to RNC. Romney speech seems fine but it occurs to me GOP wants to go back to Founders: white, male property owners.
I believe Rep. Winkler when he said that Thursday night was his “first night tuning into the RNC” because he doesn’t have a clue about the racial and ethnic diversity within the GOP. Chuck Todd appreciates the GOP’s diversity:
Anyone who watched this convention knows that the GOP is filled with tons of talented newcomers and that there’s tons of diversity within this group of newcomers. Brian Sandoval and Susana Martinez wowed crowds with their speeches. That they’re Hispanic just adds to their appeal with the general public. Add them to Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, the first governors of Indian descent, and it’s pretty obvious that the GOP is a principled big tent political party.
That’s before talking about soon-to-be US Senator-Elect Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. That’s before talking about rising rock star Mia Love, who should defeat Jim Matheson in Utah’s 4th District.
Had Rep. Winkler paid attention to the delegates in the hall, he would’ve seen a hugely diverse crowd. It’ll be difficult for the Democrats to be more diverse than the GOP’s delegates.
The TEA Party has helped grow, not to mention energize, the conservative movement. They’ve attracted men and women into the movement. Apparently, the TEA Party’s principles of limited, constitutional, government resonates with people of all ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds.
Rep. Winkler hasn’t figured it out that ABM’s charicature of the TEA Party doesn’t match reality. The Left’s charicature of the TEA Party isn’t even close to reality.
When it comes to the national stage, the so-called party of diversity are more like the Neanderthal Party. Their image of the GOP is severely outdated.
Ed has a great post up about MSNBC’s racist behavior. Here’s part of Ed’s commentary:
Why did they just happen to block all of these speakers? Obviously, it’s not a coincidence. They’re afraid of two outcomes by showing these speakers, the first of which is the exposure of the intellectual vapidity of their repeated accusations of raaaaaaaaaaaacism. The second is the possibility of acknowledging that conservatism appeals to a broad, diverse section of the electorate, which might encourage more people of color to consider its policies, especially with the powerful personal stories told by Mia Love and Ted Cruz. Instead of dealing with that reality, MSNBC chose to deliberately misinform their
15 1412 viewers. Fortunately, the MSNBC lineup (with the apparent acquiescence of Comcast) is so busy marginalizing themselves that it really doesn’t matter any more.
Ed’s point that MSNBC might be frightened of the thought that “conservatism appeals to a broad, diverse section of the electorate” is worth closer examination.
This past June, I attended the RightOnline conference, where I had a fantastic time. At the Saturday night banquet, I joined Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft at a table that included at least 5-6 women, including several women of color.
The point is that the TEA Party movement has appealed to Americans from a wide array of backgrounds. This isn’t Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party, though there’s no doubt that he’d approve of it.
This is this generation’s conservative movement, a movement represented by TEA Party favorites like Michelle Malkin, Mia Love, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin.
The racist myth that MSNBC is peddling was discredited before most people read their morning papers. Their dishonesty was that blatant.
Charlie Crist used to be known as a rising star in the GOP. When he endorsed Sen. McCain right before the Florida Primary, it essentially doomed the GOP to Sen. McCain being their nominee. Just 9 months later, the United States was shackled with President-Elect Obama’s disastrous economic policies.
Crist’s stock has fallen mightily since then. The minute he announced his intention to run for the open Florida Senate seat, John Cornyn and the NRSC endorsed him, expecting him to be the presumptive next senator from Florida.
Instead, Crist ran into a genuine rising star in the GOP in Marco Rubio. Despite his massive advantages in fundraising capabilities and statewide name recognition, Sen. Rubio crushed Crist.
Pretending to still be a national leader, Crist penned this op-ed to endorse President Obama:
We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation’s calm through a historically turbulent storm.
The president’s response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them.
He knew we had to get people back to work as quickly as possible — but he also knew that the value of a recovery lies in its durability. Short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run. And he knew that happens best by investing in the right places.
President Obama’s stimulus was directed at his biggest political allies, his campaign’s most prolific bundlers. The result was the worst economic recovery since FDR’s, the biggest annual deficits in our nation’s history and the worst economic future since the Great Depression.
President Obama owns the worst economic trifecta in US history: the biggest deficits, the worst regulatory overload and the bleakest economic outlook.
Economic growth in a second Obama term will be as dismal as they are now. Businesses won’t invest their capital because of this administration’s hostility towards capitalists. The ACA will continue to depress job creation. President Obama’s EPA will continue their attempt to kill the coal and natural gas industries.
The PEU bailouts included in the stimulus didn’t create jobs. The loans to President Obama’s most prolific bundlers didn’t create jobs at Solyndra. They just created the environment for the greatest electoral rebellion in recent history.
On Nov. 2, 2010, the American people booted the people out because they’d had enough of politics as usual.
Thanks to President Obama’s deficits, we can’t afford ‘cronyism as usual.’ Charlie Crist’s always been an unprincipled politician. Thanks to Sen. Rubio’s victory, he’ll be remembered as an unprincipled politician.
Jonathan Alter is one of the least persuasive opinion writers because he passionately believes in an Alter-native reality. Alter’s latest column is filled with that type of BS:
Some Democrats now dare to wonder if Romney’s pick for vice president could even undermine Republican control of the House of Representatives. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said for months that the Democrats can take the House; no one believed her. Although it’s still a steep challenge, Ryan’s addition to the ticket makes the climb easier.
The Democrats retaking the House isn’t “a steep challenge.” It’s impossible.
First, Democrats would need a wave election to swing 25 House seats from red to blue. There isn’t proof that this is a wave election, mostly because Democrats suffer from a significant enthusiasm gap.
In 2006 and 2008, there was a 100% chance that Democrats would’ve run through brick walls to get their candidates elected. This year, there’s only a 50-50 chance that they’re willing to walk across the street to get their candidates elected.
Another important factor that Alter didn’t consider is the 2010 election. A significant number of seats that Republicans won that year were seats that Democrats had only held for 4 years. Republicans won back Republican seats because voters realized that the newly-elected Democrats weren’t the centrists that they campaigned as.
Reality matters except if you’re living in an Alter-native universe.
A third factor that Mr. Alter ignored is the fact that the 2010 midterm flipped a ton of legislatures into GOP control. This article lays that out nicely:
Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the most in the modern era. To put that number in perspective: In the 1994 GOP wave, Republicans picked up 472 seats. The previous record was in the post-Watergate election of 1974, when Democrats picked up 628 seats.
The GOP gained majorities in at least 14 state house chambers. They now have unified control, meaning both chambers, of 26 state legislatures.
That control is a particularly bad sign for Democrats as they go into the redistricting process. If the GOP is effective in gerrymandering districts in many of these states, it could eventually lead to the GOP actually expanding its majority in 2012.
Republicans now hold the redistricting “trifecta”, both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship, in 15 states. They also control the Nebraska governorship and the unicameral legislature, taking the number up to 16. And in North Carolina, probably the state most gerrymandered to benefit Democrats, Republicans hold both chambers of the state legislature and the Democratic governor does not have veto power over redistricting proposals.
That means many of the seats the GOP won in 2010 were made stronger GOP districts through redistricting. The Democrats will likely retake some of the seats they lost in 2010. It’s also likely that the GOP will take new seats in 2012.
At this point, it isn’t unreasonable to predict the House to be close to a wash, with a few seats switching hands in either direction possible.
This sentence made me laugh uncontrollably:
The Obama camp is guarding against overconfidence and still betting the U.S. presidential race will be close.
Guarding against overconfidence? That’s like the Germans saying they were guarding against overconfidence in north Africa after a string of Patton victories.
The recent spate of polling of likely voters from Purple Strategies and Rasmussen indicates that President Obama should be worried. Here’s Purple Strategies’ polling:
Mitt leads President Obama in Ohio, Florida and Virginia while President Obama leads Mitt in Colorado. Each of those polls is within the MOE, with Virginia being Mitt’s biggest swing-state lead and Colorado being President Obama’s biggest swing-state lead, both at 3% points.
The latest Rasmussen polling has Romney-Ryan leading President Obama in Wisconsin.
At what point will Jonathan Alter consider the possibility that the House will stay in GOP control and that President Obama is in trouble? Will there be a point when Jonathan Alter will admit those things?
Some Republicans lament that Ryan’s emergence makes it easier for the Obama campaign to keep the campaign focus away from jobs by shifting it to entitlements. Republican strategist Mike Murphy posted on Twitter that someone should do a Nexis search to see whether “economy” or “Medicare” appeared more often in the news media in the 72 hours after the Ryan announcement. His point was clear: Any day the country is talking about Medicare instead of unemployment is a good day for Democrats.
That’s why it isn’t a good idea to trust idiots that haven’t left DC for any appreciable amount of time. All that needs to be said about Murphy’s credibility is that he’s a former McCain campaign insider. We saw what kind of campaign that was.
Outside the DC echochamber, Medicare solvency is a big issue, not by itself but because it’s a way to attack the ACA. With the ACA being hated by a significant majority of voters, attacking the ACA is almost as good as attacking President Obama on the economy and jobs.
In fact, if put together properly, it’s a way to to tie the ACA together with the economy and unemployment. Small businesses across the country aren’t expanding to stay under the 50 employee threshhold. I spoke with 2 St. Cloud businesspeople this week that confirmed that fact.
Alter is a DC creature. He wouldn’t know anything about America’s heartland if his life depended on it. That’s why I usually ignore his columns. I couldn’t ignore this one, though, because some BS just has to be destroyed. This was one of those times.
Tags: DC Beltway, Jonathan Alter, Media Bias, Mike Murphy, John McCain, Establishment, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Democrats, Mitt Romney, Redistricting, House of Representatives, Mediscare, GOP, Election 2012
Yesterday, I read a fascinating article by former Reagan administration member Jeffrey Lord, which he titled Why Ryan terrifies the Left. This was one of the first things that I noticed:
The admiration for Reagan has become such a part of American historical bedrock that even President Obama and likeminded professional leftists have essentially given up the ghost. When they mention Reagan at all, it is generally to play a sly game of casting Reagan as a moderate, pretending to salute him while taking a shot at some Republican for not being more like Reagan. Obama played this game four times in one speech back in April, effusively praising Reagan while casting Mitt Romney as some sort of wild-eyed extremist.
That’s a game Democrats love playing. Unfortunately for them, it’s another game they play poorly. They love arguing that President Reagan wouldn’t be welcome in today’s GOP.
That statement is so devoid of credibility, you’d think Joe Biden wrote it.
Reagan cut taxes, deregulated the oil industry, pushed a robust domestic energy production plan and frightened the former USSR into history’s dustbin of failed experiments.
More importantly, he championed the guy who started innovation. Bill Gates and Michael Dell got their starts during Reagan’s time in office, starting in humble settings before growing their businesses into the gigantic success stories that they are.
Most importantly, President Reagan trusted We The People with every fiber of his being.
What part of that agenda would this administration enact into law?
The simple answer is that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid wouldn’t consider adopting anything from President Reagan’s agenda.
Militant environmentalists would shut off the campaign contribution spigot to the Democratic Party and their politicians if they voted for a robust domestic energy production program.
The OWS wing of the Democratic Party, the dominant part of the party, would throw a hissy fit if Democrats supported tax cuts for small businesses. Their heads would explode if they voted for capital gains tax cuts.
That’s the truth about the progressives’ alleged fondness for President Reagan. The truth is that President Obama’s administration has balked at these things in President Reagan’s agenda. In fact, he fundamentally disagrees with Reagan’s agenda:
“He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision but it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with,” said Obama.
There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Reagan’s vision for America and Paul Ryan’s vision. They’re fantastic advocates for maximum individual liberty, free market capitalism, free trade and American exceptionalism.
The Left hates Paul Ryan for the same reasons they hated President Reagan. It’s sad that American citizens don’t believe in the foundational principles of our Founding Documents.
Tags: Ronald Reagan, Paul Ryan, Optimism, Conservatism, Free Markets, Liberty, Capitalism, Deregulation, Oil, Tax Cuts, GOP, President Obama, Militant Environmentalists, Progressives, Socialism, Democrats, Election 2012
Naomi Schaefer-Riley caught people’s attention with her book The Faculty Lounges: And other reasons why you won’t get the college education you paid for. This time, she caught my attention with this NY Post article:
In fact, a whole lot of 20- and 30-somethings across the political spectrum now believe something’s seriously flawed in our public-education system. (You can bet Gyllenhaal wouldn’t have taken the role otherwise.) But why the sea change?
Start by “blaming” Teach For America, which for decades now has placed recent graduates from top colleges as teachers in some of America’s worst public schools.
This year, TFA has 10,000 corps members working in 36 states and the District of Columbia. It has 28,000 “alumni,” more than two-thirds still in education-related fields. But even those who’ve left for other lines of work have had a glimpse of how bad our inner-city schools have become. The incompetence and corruption are hard to forget.
I think of this movement (make no mistake; it’s a motivated movement) as the TEA Party meets Bill Clinton’s soccer moms. This isn’t a movement based on political ideology. It’s based on people getting fed up with unions, underachieving schools and the status quo:
In New Orleans for a few days this spring, I kept tripping over TFA alums and charter-school organizers. They’re marrying each other, having kids and staying in the city. The heroes of this burgeoning education-reform community are people like Michele Rhee and her husband (Sacramento Mayor and former NBA star) Kevin Johnson; their efforts are funded by upstart Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
The teachers unions, meanwhile, are looking like dinosaurs. Hip urbanites don’t need to read Cato Institute white papers to find out how bad unions have made things. They can tuck into stories like Steven Brill’s now-infamous New Yorker piece on the the city’s “rubber rooms” to see just how the unions are preventing kids from getting a decent education.
If the unions aren’t careful, they’ll drive people away in droves from supporting conventional government schools. These “hip urbanites” know they aren’t getting their money’s worth from government schools. They’re noticing that things dramatically improve when they take a bigger participatory role in shaping school policies.
Based on the conversations I’ve listened to, parental participation from a union standpoint has meant accepting their policies. These “hip urbanites” think parental participation means setting high standards for teachers, curriculum and, to a lesser extent, facilities.
Meanwhile, union leaders like AFT’s Randi Weingarten continue losing touch with parental demands:
Last week, American Federation of Teachers boss Randi Weingarten actually resorted to a sexist canard to “rebut” a Wall Street Journal oped.
Campbell Brown had written a Journal piece charging the union with protecting teachers accused of having sexual relationships with students, something it clearly does, as part of fighting any attempt to get rid of any teacher, no matter how bad or perverse.
Since there is no defense for such reprehensible actions, Weingarten complained on Twitter that Brown is biased because she’s married to Dan Senor, who serves on the board of StudentsFirst, a Michele Rhee-headed reform group.
It’s clear that unions are wedded to a) LIFO and b) protecting teachers regardless of their behavior. Those policy positions will ultimately destroy unions or they’ll cause genuine reforms. Right now, the unions are dangling by a thread:
A survey released last week by the Fordham Foundation shows that public opinion is firmly against “Last In, First Out,” the signature union policy that rewards seniority over teaching ability.
By a 74 percent to 18 percent margin, respondents believe that teachers with poor performance should be “laid off first and those with excellent performance protected” rather than have “newcomers laid off first and veteran teachers protected.”
The unions have every right to push their LIFO agenda. It’s just that parents will have the final say because they aren’t satisfied with their children’s educational outcomes. If AFT and the NEA want to stand with the 18%, that’s their right. It just isn’t that bright.