Friday, March 19, 2010

Speaking of union hypocrisy, here’s a message from DFER’s Joe Williams:


I was struck by the comment that appeared in the NY Times over the weekend from Zeph Capo, a union boss with the Houston Federation of Teachers.

The story, if you didn't see it, looked at growing frustrations with President Obama among teacher union bosses nationwide.

"I ripped the Obama sticker off my truck," a pissed-off Capo told America's newspaper of record.

Hmmm. What do you suppose was underneath this Obama sticker??? Could it have been a... Hillary sticker?

The Houston Federation of Teachers, like many teacher union locals around the country, did NOT support candidate Barack Obama in the primaries. It is important to remember, despite attempts to re-write history that are in full swing in teacher union HQ's all over the country, that teachers unions spent MILLIONS trying to make sure that Barack Obama did not become president. The prolonged presidential primary where the unions were decidedly trying to keep Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations on life support, lawsuits to close down Obama-friendly polling places, etc.

By the time candidate Obama survived these prolonged AFT-NEA attacks, he had also built the most incredible INDEPENDENT fundraising machine we have ever seen in American politics.

If you think back to candidate Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention, the symbolism was rich: Obama chose to address the public, in a stadium that was a long hike from the Pepsi Center where the party convention had been held. There was a clear break between the party's convention, and the candidate's acceptance speech. Obama was Obama. At that moment, he didn't need the traditional party apparratus as much as it needed him.

How could someone running for office on a "change" agenda have done anything different - especially when a lot of the people running the party never wanted to see him as the nominee anyway?

The next time you hear a teacher union official whine about how hard they worked for Obama, make sure you give them an aggressive "crazy eyes" kind of look. Ask them what sticker is under the Obama sticker on their truck. (Remind them that President Obama basically gave them $100 billion to save their asses/jobs in the stimulus package last year. And that if anything, it is the union leaders who owe Obama at this point.)

Seriously - practice your crazy eyes look right now in the mirror. It's fun and doesn't cost anything.

Have a great Friday. We'll be sending out our March "Education Reformer of the Month" in a few hours. Stay tuned.


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