Friday, November 6, 2009

Election Post Mortem: John Liu is the Bomb

I'm not all that big on the voting process, given the fact that the choices we have are so narrow and the people who run need to raise so much money.

Voting is the least involvement (choose from amongst the very poor choices being offered by the wealthy oligarchy and go away for the next 4 years) and it is just not enough.

But given the election results, there is already speculation about the 2012 mayoral election.

Quinn? A Bloomie suckup. DeBlasio has a history of accommodating Bloomberg. Liu gives no quarter. And has the guts to do it. He showed up at the CPE founding convention and seems willing to lay waste to Bloomberg on education and other issues.

How gratified to read in yesterday's Times: ...when the mayor tried to meet with John C. Liu...Mr. Liu could not find time on his schedule, a highly unusual slight.

Liu told the reporter, "A long time ago, the people of New York decided there would be no king nor a monarch in New York City."

DeBlasio, on the other hand, who will be a major rival of Liu in jockeying for position, did meet with Bloomberg, despite the fact Bloomberg had called for the abolition of the office of Public Advocate.

Thus the landscape of the next 4 years was laid down the day after the election. I'm betting on Liu being smart enough to be as tough as anyone could get on Bloomberg, while DeBlasio already showed Bloomberg will have an easier time with him.

Watch the attacks on Liu start real soon. Anthony Weiner caved at the first hints of a Bloomberg assault. Liu will not be such an easy mark.

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Educate, Organize, Mobilize

From some of my young radical friends, the themes of educate, organize, mobilize (when necessary.) The first 2 are ongoing.

I take the same view of lobbying by individuals and groups with small constituencies. One of my friends talks about going to Albany to lobby against the charter school cap. Sure, why not try and compete with billions of stimulus funds. On the other hand, have thousands behind you with the ability to educate, organize and mobilize and you have another thing altogether when you try to lobby. Call it "muscle."

The UFT has all the elements in place to do this effectively but they don't educate their members or the public on the major issues (what they do is propagandize). They do minimal organizing in terms of the long term. An educated and organized membership would look at the operation they run and laugh. And they only mobilize for a narrow agenda once in a while. The UFT "muscle" in terms of results for members and the schools is fairly tiny.

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