Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sanders Lite Cooks Up a New Position

In an effort to reframe his image, Andy Cuomo is backing single payer health care. During the last year or two, Governor Andy has been edging back from the corporate scumbag persona he's been cultivating ever since he first ran for Governor. You'll recall that he ran on a platform of going after unions. It was a priority of his to make sure that working people didn't end up making too much money. You can take stands like that when you're running against a frothing at the mouth lunatic like Carl Paladino.

Andy's father Mario was famous for taking a principled stand against the death penalty. New Yorkers got tired of that and swept him out of office in favor of George Pataki. Andy took a different tack when he came in and took a principled stand against a millionaire's tax. After all, someone has to stand up for all those poor millionaires who don't feel like contributing to the public good. Of course, as Andy put his finger up to the wind to see which way it's blowing, his opinion has shifted. Because what are principles if you can't adjust them to suit the situation?

As for education, Andy Cuomo always knew what side his bread was buttered on. When the suitcases of cash came in from the various astroturf groups, Andy took his cue and stood with Moskowitz at some rally or other. After all, with all that money, they must be doing something right. And everyone knows it's expensive to buy yourself another term as governor. So you do what you have to do.

Another thing readers of this blog will remember Cuomo for is the evaluation system we all endure. Now there are two versions of this system. The first, of course, was the one Cuomo brought forth when Bloomberg was pushing a bill to kill teacher seniority in NYC. This was sponsored by our much-beloved Senator Flanagan, who felt it was important to stop this scourge. Not in his district, of course, because he needs votes out there. Cuomo came riding to our rescue, with the promise that this system would fire a whole bunch of teachers anyway.

Of course that didn't work out the way Andy had hoped. Not enough teachers got fired, and it's well-known that the only way to improve the world is to fire a bunch of teachers. I mean, who the hell do they think they are going out day after day and trying to help children? In America, we have no respect for people who not only do that, but also have the audacity to want to be paid for it. For goodness sake, they're the reason those millionaires have to pay taxes, and it's an outrage to take money from them. After all, they're very sensitive, and if you touch them they might break.

So Andy called it "baloney" and sought a more vindictive approach. Because he was a "student lobbyist" and what student doesn't want to see teachers fired? But much to the disappointment of the New York Post editorial staff, the wind shifted and Cuomo stopped trashing teachers as much. UFT leadership, for my money, was too cozy with him the last time he ran. We declined to support Zephyr Teachout in her twin attempts to oppose him.

More recently, Cuomo has backed off from reforminess. The wind shifted, and it's likely UFT and NYSUT will support his next bid. With Cuomo's limited free college program, and with his support for universal health care, he's positioning himself for a 2020 presidential bid. UFT leadership doesn't ask for my advice, but here it is nonethless--Cuomo has no moral center. He'll take any position that's convenient.

I'm glad he's pulled back from overt hostility, but I know he sways any way the wind blows. Counting on Cuomo is folly. He'll smile to our faces and stab us in the back in a New York minute. Trust him as far as you can throw him, or face the consequences.
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