Chicago: Public Education At Risk

…At the rallies organized by the union, virtually nothing is said of a political nature, and members are left in the dark as to the progress of negotiations. When the union officials say anything, it is to criticize Emanuel while seeking to obscure the fact that the mayor is carrying out a policy that is supported by the Obama administration and the entire political establishment. Both the American Federation of Teachers—the CTU’s parent organization—and the rival National Education Association have enthusiastically endorsed Obama’s reelection campaign.

Since coming to office, Obama has relentlessly promoted charter schools, merit pay and the mass firing of teachers at “failing schools.” As school districts throughout the country have been starved of money, the federal government has tied its meager rationing of funds to reactionary “reform” measures such as the Race to the Top program.

What is at issue in the Chicago teachers’ strike is the future of public education itself. The ruling class, with the support of both big business parties, is seeking to utilize the economic crisis to undermine an institution whose origins go back to the American Revolution.

Teachers, face the reality: Obama is NOT in your corner.


As the Presidential campaigns begin to heat up, it is thoroughly apparent that the vast majority of Americans will once again fall into the trap of political bickering, party affiliation, and personality cults.

One only needs to talk with their friends and family, watch social media sites, or listen to the callers of talk radio to understand that 2012 will be yet one more year where the populace is further divided and conquered by a force that spans both political parties.

Although the reason for the effectiveness of the steam valve known in the United States as elections goes much deeper than the mere greed and corruption of political parties and the complicity of the mainstream media, the fact is that, if we are to avoid a repeat of every other election year in American history and a continued dominance of the status quo, the American people must soon take drastic steps to ensure it.

This, however, is much easier said than done. Most Americans are not truly aware of the levels to which they are controlled as pawns on the political chessboard, much less the lengths to which they are controlled in their culture and personal lives. Yet, even those individuals who are largely awake to the forces directing society are both consistently and easily pulled back into the counterproductive game of political debate and supporting candidates whose best description by their supporters can only be that they are “the lesser of two evils.” Thus, individuals who are aware of larger conspiracies regarding 9/11, world government, Zionism, corporate finance oligarchy, and many others are caught in a web of pointlessly defending a candidate who is wholly owned by the very forces they seek to overthrow.

Generally, this reaction is produced by the inherent evil of the progression of events having taken place during the tenure of the current President or other elected politician briefly in the crosshairs of the exasperated voter. The tragedy of the Bush years was itself enough to produce a revolution of “swarming youth” weary of eight years worth of economic degradation, war, imperialism and a growing police state who now yearned for the “change” they were told would come if they would throw their faith and support behind the supposed opposite of George W. Bush. Yet, after four years of not only a continuance of these very same policies, but an acceleration of them, many are confronted with a similar non-choice in 2012.

While it is true that many on the left will simply not vote for Mitt Romney, it is also true that many on the right – mainstream republicans, conservatives, and even some libertarians – will inevitably go to the ballot box and support a man who embodies the same finance oligarchywar machine, andausterity measures as the President they so despise. They will, as they put it, vote “NoBama” in 2012. Indeed, after the dismal past four years, it will seem to many of these individuals that almost anything will be better than the current administration.

On the left, however, after watching numerous speeches made by the Republican candidate crying for genocidal spending cuts, confrontation with Russia, and praise for the wealthy, a sizable portion of mainstream Democrats, Liberals, and Greens will be thoroughly frightened into voting for a man who represents what they perceive as an enormous threat. What may have, at first, prompted many of these individuals to simply stay home on Election Day will prompt them to run to the polls and support “their” President who, in turn, embodies these very same principles

Also related:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the pesky little ankle-nipper charged in the first years of the Obama administration with dissing the left (“f…ing retards”), empowering Blue Dog Democrats and killing the public option in the Affordable Care Act, is Barack Obama writ obnoxious.   It is of the utmost importance that teachers in Chicago win their strike against his administration.

Theirs is the first battle in what will be a protracted war, during the second Obama administration, to save public institutions, public education especially, from the anti-worker, pro-corporate, privatizing predations of Democratic presidents.

To be sure, it is Republicans who prattle on about Ronald Reagan and advocate the retrograde policies associated with his name.    But while they are relentless in praising that villainous old actor, they are terrible at implementing the Reaganite agenda. This is understandable: when they are in the White House, their efforts inspire Democrats to fight back — not so much from conviction but because it plays well with the base and therefore pays off at election time.

Democratic presidents, on the other hand, are good at implementing the Reaganite agenda, whether their hearts are in it or not.  No one, so far, has been better at it than Bill Clinton.  This is because, as we saw again in Charlotte, he is adept at winning Democratic hearts and minds, and therefore at neutralizing potential opposition and even bringing it along.

This is how that old horn dog was able to win more for the Gipper than either Bush.  He did more even than Reagan himself to end the New Deal and Great Society “as we know it,” and to give Wall Street free rein.

Obama might have bested him had he not been stymied by Republican obduracy.  Now that obduracy is coming back to haunt the GOP.  By pandering to God-fearing, ignorant and stupid white men – and the women who stand by them — they have made themselves scary enough to assure a second Obama term.

Barring unforeseeable developments, therefore, it will be Obama, not Romney, who will be wielding the Reaganite cudgel in the next four years; and therefore Obama, the lesser but more effective evil, whom we will have to fight.

Obama is poised to leave the Clintons standing in the dust.  Hizzoner Da Mare is showing the way.  Workers be damned, and let the Grand Bargains begin!

*  *  *

Even before the Occupy movements of last fall, public workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere were beginning to fight back.  In Wisconsin, their efforts were unsuccessful, thanks in part to the indifference or connivance of the national Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

It isn’t just that Obama was AWOL throughout the winter and spring of 2011, when workers and their allies occupied the state Capitol in Madison, mobilizing tens of thousands of supporters.   When it came down just to a recall election a year later, the hope and change President couldn’t even be bothered to campaign for Tom Barrett, the anodyne Democratic rival to the execrable, Koch-funded, Republican governor Scott Walker.  All he could muster was a tweet at the final hour.

With the election less than two months away, Team Obama must realize that it will cost the President to betray the Chicago Teachers’ Union similarly.  But count on him to give it his best shot – the Obama-Emanuel tie is tight, and Emanuel’s anti-union, pro-corporate “reforms” are in line with Arne Duncan’s, Obama’s Secretary of Education.

Expect him therefore to remain aloof for as long as he can.  After all, who will stop him?  Not organized labor.  They’ve pledged their troth unconditionally to Democratic presidents so many times that they’ve forgotten how to do anything else, even when the object of their servility poses an “existential threat.”…

And this sums up the sitcheation:

…Caught between Romney and Obama, the American people may soon pay a terrible price for their failure to support a programmatic alternative to the two morally and intellectually bankrupt parties of Wall Street.–obama-in-service-of-wall-street/

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