Domestic Policy

Teachers’ Union Shamelessly Exploits Newtown Tragedy to Intimidate Bloomberg

The American Federation of Teachers, rather than trying to actually  improve student achievement, is trying to extract an apology from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg for daring to criticize their intransigence to impose actual standards!! And how will they do this? By shamelessly and opportunistically trying to latch their failures onto the terrible tragedy at Newtown Connecticut.

The emotional blackmailing began when Bloomberg compared the teachers’ union to the National Rifle Assocation:

The mayor had embarked on a lengthy stream of consciousness on the need to negotiate a new teacher evaluation plan with the United Federation of Teachers. Toward the end, Mr. Bloomberg, almost as an aside, likened the teachers’ union to groups like the National Rifle Association and others in which he said a few leaders were out of sync with large numbers of rank-and-file members.

“It’s typical of Congress, it’s typical of unions, it’s typical of companies, I guess, where a small group is really carrying the ball and the others aren’t necessarily in agreement,” Mr. Bloomberg said to the program host, John Gambling. “The N.R.A. is another place where the membership, if you do the polling, doesn’t agree with the leadership.”

The comparison drew somewhat of a muted response. Michael Mulgrew, the president of the union, issued a one-sentence statement later on Friday saying the remark was “completely inappropriate” and indicative of the continuing difficulty in the union’s relationship with the mayor.

Wow! How dare he?!?! Of course the essential distinction that completely confounds liberals is that the NRA is not a compulsory organization the way that unions are – that is, the very fact that the members of the NRA bought a membership of their own free volition shows that they support it, whereas teachers are forced to be in a union, and the unions negotiate for the appropriation of the earnings of people who do not participate in the union whatsoever.

So even in this fake outrage we see how liberals stupidly equate statist compulsion with individual voluntary association.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers and the former president of its New York City affiliate, wrote a separate letter to the mayor, noting that two of the adults killed in Connecticut were members of her union. She said that despite Mr. Bloomberg’s “great work” on gun safety, he owed the city teachers and its union leaders an apology “for making such incendiary and insensitive remarks — especially coming on the heels of the tragedy in Newtown.”

In a rational world, we would rather be offended that Bloomberg would deride the NRA by comparing it to the unions, and Weingarten would be excoriated for shamelessly trying to gain union concessions by invoking the horrifying tragedy at Newtown.

Randi must be a shining product of the failed school system she defends, since she sincerely believes that the actions of an insane and evil madman should have any bearing on student achievement evaluation!

But hey, it’s easier to decry our constitutional rights than it is to actually teach students better, right?


Randi Weingarten took exception to my description of her emotional blackmailing, but only impugned my motives, without answering the charge:

By the way, Randi is also one of those Union leaders that Bloomberg news identified as earning so much she makes it into the “one percent” of the wealthiest Americans: