Rightbloggers Denounce the Wealthy, Treasonous Schoolteachers of Wisconsin

tomt200.jpg The effort by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-led state legislature to deprive the state's teachers of collective bargaining rights was catnip to rightbloggers last week. This is because it involves two of their traditional objects of hatred: Unions and public education.

You know things are serious when the intensely rightwing Andrew Breitbart's Big Government and the Washington Times actually use the famous communist President Franklin Roosevelt as a stick to beat the teachers' union. (Real Clear Politics even added, "FDR's Ghost Is Smiling on Wisconsin's Governor," perhaps in admiration of his nerve.)

Liberals suggest that Walker deliberately blew a hole in the state budget so that he could claim an economic necessity to deprive the local union of its traditional right to bargain. (This became easier to believe when the union offered concessions on wages -- it had made others previously -- and Walker ignored them.)

The apparent goal is to destroy the teachers' union. (See Joshua Treviño's Guardian column, accurately summarized by him as "my Guardian piece on the need to smash Wisconsin's public-sector unions.") But long acquaintance with conservative rhetoric suggests that their ultimate goal is to "smash" all unions, via anti-union front groups and legislation.

As we have seen in our own Labor Day coverage, and in countless excoriations of "Big Labor," rightbloggers are on the union-smashing case. The Wisconsin controversy has only strengthened their resolve against "international socialist labor unions." Some, like The Anchoress, admit that unions were perhaps useful once -- that is, back when their parents relied on unions to help them earn enough to feed and clothe their kids -- but now "unions have overplayed their hands, and we've reached a point of unsustainability."

greedyteachers.jpg
In my day, we paid teachers with dried leaves and bread crumbs. Now they all want "decent wages" and "health care." Oooh, right away, Your Highness!
Since they hate unions, rightbloggers seemed to feel, they ought to hate the people who belong to them, too. So they heaped abuse on teachers.

National Review's Jay Nordlinger denounced teachers as "some of the most petulant, greediest, nastiest unionists around." While once upon a time, he said, "teachers were rather like missionaries. You practically had to take a vow of poverty to be a teacher," now they are "well paid," which Nordlinger considered an outrage.

Bookworm of Right-Wing News, while generous toward his own, underpaid teacher-father, called current teachers "well-paid cogs benefiting from the union's depredations," said that "because of tenure, too many incompetent teachers occupying America's classrooms, bringing the whole profession into disrepute" (he also blamed "women's lib"), and called the Wisconsin standoff "the public sector's Gettysburg or Midway or Battle of the Bulge." (We're sorry we couldn't summarize his argument more coherently, but look what we had to work with.)

Rightbloggers also claimed that teachers were outrageously highly-paid. Does this contradict your actual experience of teachers? Ours too. Rightbloggers had to play around with the numbers to make it look more convincing.

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fred
fred

Teachers are greedy?Sure, and Wall Street bankers are known for their altruism and benevolence.

LFR
LFR

The attack on Pell Grants, Obama's healthcare reform, existing federal healthcare programs, and even veteran's benefits, are all part of the same project as the attack on public unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

And Ezra Klein is right; it's not about money. It's ultimately about power. But it's certainly not over the sliver of state budgets that these benefits represent. It's ending the bargaining power of unions, which is tantamount to ending unions.

We collectively admitted in Fall 2008 that we don't have a capitalist free market system when we infused disintegrating investment banks with free money. (Try blowing up your finances and see if the federal government recapitalizes you.) The last two years has been a Fed-driven market, fueled by money printing. The free market is bunk. Capitalism is a fairy tale. (Socialism, too, is a fictitious unicorn.)

So in post-free market America (and face it, we never had one, no one does) why the demands that the belt tightening be centered on the middle and working classes? It's not going to end there.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could have been an opportunity to increase the safety net of the working class, to update and expand the social compact represented by the New Deal. Whatever Americans thought about these wars, most believed that soldiers and their families had earned a modicum of economic security and benefits. But even that has been challenged by so-called cost-cutters and belt-tighteners who fixate on programs for the poor and middle class rather than tax breaks for the superrich and corporations, other forms of corporate welfare, and Wall Street bailouts.

Esteev
Esteev

http://www.godlikeproductions....

I honestly don't know how these people sleep at night...

Insanity: "Oh and Fuck you greedy union assholes. Too scared to compete in a normal job market!"

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

I'm one of the folks who's been protesting against Walker's anti-union agenda. We've been going strong now for about eight straight days, but it looks as if Walker is still intent on passing his 'budget' bill which of course is designed to eviscerate public-sector unions. We're ground zero in this initial GOP attack on public-sector unions. If they succeed here in WI they're coming to other states. This is a well funded campaign by the billionaire Koch brothers and of course the rightwing mouthpieces on AM radio/Fox News, etc.

We need all the help we can get. Please do anything you can to help us out. Tonight our governor is going to deliver a "fireside chat' that statewide media is going to broadcast throughout the state. This is going to be a key propaganda initiative tonight for Walker and the GOP to sway the Wisconsin public. Right now most Wisconsinites support public workers collective bargaining rights and want the verbiage relating to the elimination of collective bargaining removed from Walker's 'budget' bill. After tonight's 'fireside chat' the propaganda could have an effect on the public.

Please New York City, help us out in any way you can. I believe you are holding a protest this evening in front of Fox News headquarters in Midtown in solidarity. Thank you.

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

I should add that us demonstrating against his draconian 'budget' bill have readily conceded to certain cuts. The Governor now wants to make us pay 9% into our retirement and 12% into our health insurance, we're on board with those two concessions in order to help him shore up the budget problem the GOP created.

What we're dead set against, and what the protests are all about, is his attempt to eliminate collective bargaining for public-sector workers. This is the fight, will New York City stand with us?

douglaswatts
douglaswatts

As Roy alludes, every few decades the populace becomes so stupid on cheetos they can be convinced the person taking their $$$ is someone next door with the same sized lawn and cat, not the dood in the giant, gated mansion whom they wish to work for.

Julia Grey
Julia Grey

I just can't get over how these people think that $49,000 a year is some kind of highway robbery.

Here are just a few private sector jobs that pay more than that, on average. Sometimes 6-9,000 more:

Hotel ManagersBuilding InspectorsAircraft MechanicsSurveyorsLegal Support techsClaims adjustersForensic techniciansFuneral DirectorsMedical Lab techniciansTransportation inspectorsSales repsRespiratory therapistsRadiology techniciansPile-driver operatorsDieticiansetc. etc.

Matt Thompson
Matt Thompson

For your average modern American conservative, anyone who makes under six figures is "grossly overpaid" and anyone who makes over that amount is "unfairly taxed". Unless, of course, the latter disagrees with right-wing dogma. It's simple when you think about it.

shortell
shortell

Attention right-wing mouth-breathers: when you finish building another Gilded Age on the orders of the new Robber Barons, keep in mind that in this little historical re-enactment you will not be starring in the role of the new Carnegie.

I'll see you on the soup lines, dumbasses.

Jay B.
Jay B.

We may have lost our middle class, a competitive economy and the vast majority of manufacturing jobs, but America still produces the most small-minded, greedy, vicious assholes in the entire fucking world. What a farce. For a corporate whore like Hindlicker to bemoan the greed of teachers is like ARod going to a Little League game and bitch about the commercialism. It's goes so far beyond hypocrisy that the word hasn't yet been invented.

MaryAnn
MaryAnn

My niece is a grade school teacher in Virginia. She uses her own money from that "fat" paycheck she gets to buy classroom supplies so she has the tools she needs to teach her kids appropriately. She works long hours and she works hard to see her kids progress. And she works on lesson plans at home. Am I with the WI teachers? Hell yes!

StringonaStick
StringonaStick

I find the support by Wisconsin firefighters and some police to be an interesting thing, even though they aren't targeted by Walker's plan. At least not yet; their unions will be in line to be busted next year, and apparently a few of them have figured that out.

Apparently this is what it takes for the middle class to figure out that their wealthy overlords have long since stripped the furniture out of the US and are now going for the walls and copper wire just so the richest can get a taxpayer bailout every time they blow up the banks & Wall Street. Well, some of the middle class anyway; the low-info haters who watch Faux Spews are more than willing to futher assist the Galtian overlords in their plans, because... freedom!

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

A word / phrase here a rider or amendment there and the all the collective bargaining could be gone for every covered employee.

Josefina
Josefina

"Plus they get free apples!"

So when they have to start selling them on the sidewalk, it's PURE PROFIT!

mommadillo
mommadillo

And I had to laugh at a lawyer calling someone else "overpaid, underworked and greedy." There should be a picture of Hindy in the dictionary next to the word "gall."

Robert
Robert

"Who is John Gall?"

mommadillo
mommadillo

The part I really like is how fifty thousand a year is outright extortion when you're talking about working people's pay, but when the subject changes to estate taxes or any other method of forcing the well-off to shoulder their fair share of the burden, suddenly a quarter-million a year is right at the poverty line.

R. Porrofatto
R. Porrofatto

The right wing should drown in its own transparent bullshit.

- The previous governor, Democrat Jim Doyle, passed a budget that left the state ready for a surplus this year.

- Those greedy Wisconsin's public sector workers have already experienced 16 unpaid furlough days, no pay increases, and taken a 3% cut in wages over the past two years.

- Wisconsin ACT/SAT scores rank 2nd among all states.

- Of course, the exemption of the police and firefighters puts the lie to the entire assault. Unions are the last remaining source of any middle and working class power. The Kochsuckers want to break all or them, not just the public sector unions which are the initial targets of the attack, but they are too smart to include traditionally Republican voting constituents.

"It is beginning to look like the Republican party, a party that I have supported all of my life, has lined up, solidly against the working class."

Barryeod: Take a closer look at their history, and you'll find that the Republican party has always lined up solidly against the working class. I'm sorry you're only discovering this now, but please, tell your friends.

linus
linus

I guess your lobotomy didn't work....lolol.Doyle damn near bankrupted the state

OhioOrrin
OhioOrrin

well porrofatto - as the godhead reagan said "facts are stupid things". so w all those stupid facts, one must conclude ur the stupid victim of public education taught by commie organizers.

Barryeod
Barryeod

When I left the military, I considered the "Troops to Teachers Program". Even with my retired military pay, I simply could not afford to teach. I was shocked by how poorly teachers are paid, It is beginning to look like the Republican party, a party that I have supported all of my life, has lined up, solidly against the working class. They were quick to pass tax breaks for the bankers and hedge fund managers while eliminating the Making Work Pay Tax Credit. That will cost most of us between $400 and $800 this year.

Dirk
Dirk

"Beginning"? Ever heard of trickle-down economics?

douglaswatts
douglaswatts

Some of the worst teachers I had were teachers. So there.

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