Thursday, September 12, 2013

Give Up the Ghost, UFT

The UFT, despite what people may say or think, played a pivotal role in the recent primary. While Thompson didn't win, he pulled a strong second. Had the UFT not placed its full support and relentless phone banks behind him, it's unlikely that would've been the case. Perhaps more importantly, UFT pushed the execrable Christine Quinn, she who enabled Emperor Bloomberg's seemingly endless third term, out of the running altogether.

The question now is where we go from here. With de Blasio hovering around the magical 40% mark, should we support Thompson in a runoff? Should we even support a recount if Thompson requests one?

I don't suppose anyone will be much surprised when I say the answer is absolutely not. It was probably a mistake to endorse so early in this process, and that's underlined by the primary results. While I too thought Thompson was a good idea when endorsed, my buddy Reality-Based Educator was predicting the other shoe was going to drop on Carlos Danger. If he knew that, why didn't UFT leadership?

 Does the UFT want to stick to its guns and risk the embarrassing spectacle of having to then endorse a candidate we've twice opposed? Does UFT want to risk alienating yet another mayoral candidate, as it did four years ago when our good pal Thompson announced to the Daily News that raises for teachers were too costly to be a priority in our fair city?

Clearly it's time to give up the ghost, as several other unions have done. Now I don't expect UFT leadership to fret much over my opinion. After all, I'm not in Unity Caucus, so I don't know the secret handshake or possess the coveted decoder ring. And if I did, of course, there would be no blog anyway. It would be my duty, as per the loyalty oath, to shut the hell up and do as I am told.

Later today I will go to the Brooklyn Marriott and join a small army of chapter leaders who've solemnly pledged to shut the hell up and do as they're told. I'm hoping Mulgrew will announce we've come to our senses and decided to endorse de Blasio. If that's the case, I'll join the union phone banks, hand out pamphlets, recruit others, and do whatever I can to enable a victory for a mayor who doesn't appear to be insane, a mayor endorsed by Diane Ravitch and Leonie Haimson, among others.

If not, well, it looks like there will be just a little more "me-time" for your humble correspondent.
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