“Big Deal! It’s Not Like You Old People Vote Anyway!”

I wonder if the GOP realizes that the crop of candidates they’ve been grooming all these years—the guys and gals who truly believe Ayn Rand was on to something, and think perpetually steamrolling austerity over the middle- and lower-classes is not only a good idea but also a NEW one—are hollow-headed, starry-eyed morons; dare I say it, the right-wing equivalent of anarchist hippies? I’m pulling Rahm and his ilk into the mix as well. These folks seem to think you can rise to power by telling your underlings and constituents, “I’m the boss, see? And what I say goes, see?” without:

1. Engaging in any sort of quid pro quo.

2. Knowing that if they piss off a large enough segment of the population, those people will eventually organize and vote their ass out of office.

3. Understanding that government employees aren’t necessarily cult members. The lower ranks will fight you in small but slowly effective ways if you mess with them. Like termites nibbling away at a bridge.

4. Frankly, becoming a dangerous tyrannical lunatic. Fortunately, as yet, the system doesn’t allow for that (we mostly get dangerous dummies and calculating greedbags), but who knows what will happen when a real True Believer gets elected?).

I remember the journalistic trend back in the 90s and 00s of interviewing young conservatives. The “Isn’t he/she CUTE?” pieces that should have spent most of their ink badgering and battering the little freaks until they cried and gave up. As it stands, we’ve got a slew of nimrods and nimronnies coming up, filled with excessive self-esteem; a lack of comprehension about diplomacy and tact; an embarrassing pride in their lack of education and empathy; and the sick, sick, sick belief that leadership means screaming at people and kicking them when they’re down.

Get ready, Republicans and Democrats. We’re going to be sifting through this chaff for the next 20 or so years.

“Henceforth, Down Will Be Defined as Up”

With a wife, sister, sister-in-law, cousin, and many friends working in teaching and/or the CPS, I’m fairly familiar with what their day-to-day lives and jobs are like. Consequently, it’s amazing to read or hear the avalanche of not only negative but also grossly uninformed reactions to the strike. I’d compare it to going outside one morning and discovering a polka-dotted sun rising in the north.

Truly, I can say without qualms that the anti-union folks are either Emanuel flacks, professional liars, or embarrassingly misinformed citizens. Frankly, it is ASTONISHING how few journalists (not to mention their newspapers) have bothered to perform the most rudimentary research about actual teacher’s pay, classroom sizes and conditions, lesson plans, and the rest. Whenever they’re confronted by the teachers, they mostly waffle or say they don’t want to argue, they’re just thinking about the KIDS, MAN. Nah, what I suspect they’re doing is regurgitating press releases and summaries of think tank white papers.

Sadly, the teachers are facing a hugely powerful and despicable opponent. They’re not just facing off with Rahm. They’re dealing with the Powers That Wish to Continue to Be—people who would lie and cheat to screw a child out of a nickel.

Which is pretty much what they’re doing.