The perfection caucus.


Back in the last Illinois election I caught hell from leaders and former leaders of the Illinois Education Association for refusing to vote for any politician who had voted for the unconstitutional theft of my pension.

I refused to give them a dime.

I voted in the IEA endorsement hearings against our PAC money going to their campaigns.

I included then-governor Pat Quinn, who claimed he was put on this earth to gut my pension.

The union leadership attacked me for being a one-issue voter.

I wasn’t being practical, they said.

Former IEA President Bob Haisman derided me for being part of the “perfection caucus.”

Here comes President Obama who writes in the New York Times, “I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform.”

We all get to choose the issue about which we demand perfection.

Welcome to the Perfection Caucus, Mr. President.

Just the other day a recent candidate for alderman in Chicago who says he is a progressive justified his endorsement of the Machine candidate for State Rep by telling me that it was easy for me to stand on principle because as a retired teacher I had “nothing to lose.”

Nothing to lose?

Watch out for folks who have nothing to lose.

6 Replies to “The perfection caucus.”

    1. I wish Obama would have said “additional cuts to Social Security or Medicare are off the table and non-negotiable”. Instead, early on in his first term, referring to budget negotiations, he said everything is on the table, and the Republicans have been chipping away at the benefits in each budget since then.
      What worries me is if and when the Republicans get in the White House, they have big plans to slash not just Obamacare, but Medicare as well. They want to turn Medicare over to HMOs with very restricted access. A better grade of a PPO will be available, but at a sharply increased cost. An even better VIP grade will be available for 1%ers. We are so screwed!
      Meanwhile, NAFTA is coming back to bite the Democrats in the ass. The Keystone pipeline people are suing for 15 billion and will probably win. That’s more money then the government has “saved” by stealing our earned Social Security via WEP/GPO. On top of that, they likely get a NAFTA court order allowing the pipeline. That’s assuming the Democrats hang on to the White House. If a Republican gets in, they will reverse Obama’s orders and allow the pipeline with no court order needed. Then they will abolish fair share, eliminate prevailing rate on federal projects, and amend the Bankruptcy code to allow cities, towns, and school districts to declare bankruptcy without having to get state approval. They will use it to bust unions of teachers and other public employees and get out of their contracts. Dark days are ahead of us. Unions need to do all they can to prevent this. Don’t let any Republican win, and get some strong pro-union commitments before supporting a democrat!

  1. Dear Fred,

    The bottom line is every voter is a “one issue” voter. The issue is, “Can I accept this person as a leader?” Those who vote to cut earned and owed pensions are NOT and WILL NEVER be acceptable leaders!

    What our union and political leadership seems angry about is the refusal of some to blindly follow leadership directives. They view the relationship as “top down”. Leadership directs and we are expected to follow, even when it harms us.

    To others, the relationship is “bottom up”. Leadership has no power without the “consent of the governed”. They must serve the interests of the rank and file if they want to continue to lead. Refusing to obey is the consequence we impose when these “leaders” sell us out to protect personal interests. They are not our friends, however they may “spin” it.

    That is why leadership is angry. They don’t like the message. Our message is, “Sell us out and we will NEVER support you in the future. That is EXACTLY how it should be.

    If we lose our benefits and rights, does it matter if it was our “friends” or “enemies” who took them from us? Do we even want to send a message that it is OK to stand by and do nothing? When we lose, those who harmed us (through action or inaction) should lose too. No exceptions. I don’t vote for liars or thieves. If that makes me a “one issue voter”, so be it.

  2. if pensions aren’t sacrosanct, if evaluations based on test scores aren’t a core belief, if weakening tenure and bowing down before corporate reform isn’t a problem, what is?

    What will our union fight for?

    What’s our core belief?

    What’s non-negotiable?

    I’m afraid that in Illinois everything is ‘on the table’ so we can say we had ‘a seat at the table’.

    That’s unacceptable

  3. Exactly, everyone. Put quite simply,
    “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.”
    –Frederick Douglass
    So what have the AFT & NEA–Randi & Lily–demanded from HRC prior to giving her the (actually, OUR) endorsement? Nada, zip, zilch.

    Bernie 2016! Yes, he CAN because yes, WE can…& WE WILL!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s