Thursday, June 9, 2016

On UFT and Other Elections - Time to Think About 2019 and 2020?

I wrote my upcoming column for The Wave on Tuesday, June 7, morning before the primaries -- we had celebrated our 45th anniversary the night before and I may have still been feeling the effects of a cocktail, beer and the champagne on the house from Park Avenue Summer. We are a house divided - my wife supports Hillary and maybe my anniversary present will be some movement on my part as a Bernie supporter, though not as avid as some of my friends. My sense is that Bernie is not an organizer and that after it all is over there will need to be people who can either reform the Democratic Party (doubtful) or build an effective alternative. The time to start is NOW.

Let's assume that it is Hillary vs Donald (though I can see alternative scenarios for both -- like I still believe that somehow Paul Ryan will end up being the Republican candidate.) What next? If Trump wins - then who can predict what might happen with either party?

But let's look at a Hillary victory? The very same people telling the Bernie people to cool it will be telling them the same thing for the next 4 years as they look for the 2020 re-election campaign against possibly even a worse candidate than Trump - I consider Ryan or Cruz worse in the long run. So get on the bandwagon once again even though nothing has changed -- except maybe the entire nation has been charter schooled to death.

The time to think about 2020 is now. Make Hillary a one-term candidate with a  decent alternative. Primary her once again even if she is president.

My feelings are that there is a point where Bernie people need to think more long-term than this summer and fall. I know there is a meeting in Chicago coming up -- but my sense of history is that there will be so many different points of view that there can be no clear outcome. One of the good signs is that many Bernie people are going to get involved in their local politics - a tea party from the left -- and we will hopefully see the center right Democrats primaried.

Friday, June 10, 2016
School Scope: UFT Elections: MORE Won (Something)
By Norm Scott

I am free…The triennial UFT election season ended a few weeks ago and freedom tastes of reality – the reality of not winning the entire election but a small slice of the UFT Executive Board. The MORE caucus I work with challenged Michael Mulgrew’s Unity Caucus and we actually won something – the 7 high school executive board seats. And our presidential candidate, Jia Lee, received almost 11,000 votes to Mulgrew’s 38,000, but we managed to make a dent – a small dent - by cutting his victory margin to 75%. Let’s see now – at this rate we might see victory when by the time I am 100. This was my 5th election cycle since 2004.

I hear there is another election going on. I’ve been a Bernie supporter. He is not a socialist in the Cuba or Soviet Union mode but in the social democratic tradition of the Scandinavian countries. His politics pretty much line up with mine, though he doesn’t have much to say about education and has not taken a clear position on the disruption of public education by the ed deformers. I don’t hate Hillary or consider her any more distrustful or untruthful than most politicians – have you checked out Governor Cuomo lately? My problem with Hillary has been her politics. She and Bill moved the Democratic Party to the right and Obama has not varied much from their policies. This is especially true about education where they pretty much match the Republicans step for step. In a sea of criticism directed at Obama and the Clintons you will hear few words of criticism of them on educational issues.

That other guy running for the other party is appalling and I don’t get how people see him as a savior of this nation – unless they think we need a lying scam artist to run this country. Since so many think Hillary is just that why not her – she is a woman, not a womanizer. Bernie supporters may have to live with Hillary as the lesser of two evils but must start organizing some alternative to the Democratic Party in time for the 2020 election when lesser of two evils should no longer be acceptable.

Trump is an embodiment of the Know Nothing Party of the 1850s. Is bringing back slavery on the agenda yet? Would you be shocked? Republicans too are shooting at 2020 and many are positioning themselves for a run. They may feel they have to jump on the Trump bandwagon in order to stay viable for a run at Hillary in 2020. Some are ambitious and would be happy to see Trump go down. Paul Ryan, who will have an easier time as House leader with Hillary than with Trump as president, is the embodiment of that attitude. Make Hillary a one term president. Ryan might as well be anointed the day after the election and save the party the trouble of primaries. The best thing that can happen to the Republican Party is a Hillary win and a big loss for Trump – as long as the down-ticket doesn’t get hurt too badly. Remove the Trump cancer and re-establish order though there is still a chance there might be a split in the party at some point.

Unless something goes wrong for Hillary in terms of an indictment – there will be a bigger post election war in the Democratic Party than in the Republican Party as the Bernies take the Occupy movement deep into the Party. (There is already a meeting taking place in Chicago after the convention). Or pressures for a 3rd party will grow and leave the Dems and maybe the moderate wing of the Republicans to come together. We might even end up with 4 parties.

I love a good – or a bad - party.

On Phil
I’ve had my disagreements with Phil Goldfeder on education policy over his support for charters and a tax credit for people who send their kids to private schools but it is sad to see that he is leaving as our State Assemblyman. No more chasing around or fund-raising. He’s a guy who takes his job seriously which put him all over the place and with a young and growing family he made a choice. There seem to be a hell of a lot of crooked politicians who find ways to milk money by using their political influence. Honest politicians like Phil Goldfeder must go into the private sector to make a good living. I’m guessing he will be back one day as his kids get older. You don’t do the kind of job Phil did without having politics in your blood.

Don’t forget to catch up with the RTC production of Follies over the June 10 and June 17th weekends.

Norm blogs at

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