Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hillary and Randi

 BREAKING--AFT poll turns out to actually be one of those famous 10-foot poles we've all heard so much about. We will keep you updated here at NYC Educator.

Update: AFT link states polling entailed telephone Town Halls and a web survey, a survey I never knew about or saw. They also mention surveys about which no detail whatsoever is provided. They then mention a "scientific poll" but give no evidence to support that. 

How on God's green earth did the AFT survey one million of its 1.6 million members and I don't know a single one who was asked a question?

For anyone who hasn't heard it yet, the American Federation of Teachers has just endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. Randi Weingarten is tweeting about how they polled members and they prefer her a zillion to one (approximately). Did they ask you? No? Well, they didn't ask me either.

There's a lot of talk on Facebook about how Randi is expecting to be Secretary of Education. Personally, I doubt that will happen. Hillary seems awfully pragmatic to me, and will likely "triangulate," or whatever it is they call it when you don't actually take a position on issues. There is no way Hillary is going to make a national teacher union leader Secretary of Education, and she'd stab Randi in the back in a New York minute. That, IMHO, is as predictable as the AFT endorsement.

It's a great honor to pay dues to the AFT, of course, but it would really be kind of nice if we lowly teachers had a vote, or were asked our opinions in some meaningful way. Instead, the AFT is dominated by NYSUT, NYSUT is dominated by the UFT, and each and every representative of UFT in either body has signed an oath promising to support leadership. Despite this, Punchy Mike Mulgrew has no reservations whatsoever telling people who disagree with heavily orchestrated union endorsements that they don't believe in democracy.

A lot of people are shocked by this endorsement, but it was entirely predictable. Expect to hear it rationalized by things like, "Hillary said this," or, "Hillary said that." This, in fact, was how Obama's second term was rationalized by union leaders. Obama just said he opposed too much testing. Obama just said the world would be better if people were nicer. Or whatever.

Don't believe a word. Obama said when labor was in trouble, he'd find a pair of comfortable shoes and stand with us. Where the hell was Obama when Scott Walker decimated union in Wisconsin? What did he do during the recall vote? Was he looking for those shoes? And why didn't he get union card check as he promised,  one of the primary things he fooled me with the first time he ran?

When they say, "Hillary DID this," or, "Hillary DID that," we'll have something to discuss. What we know now is what Randi Weingarten DID. She endorsed a candidate without asking those of us who pay dues whether or not we thought it was a good idea.

We can do better.

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