Thompson: Blaming Arne Duncan For Scott Walker
I have been slow in realizing that the Obama Administration has been distancing itself from the anti-Walker campaign.
But then again I was also slow in realizing that Arne Duncan was willing to attack the hard-earned right of teachers. By coercing teachers to give back negotiated rights such as seniority, and incentivizing the mass dismissal of educators through SIG, Duncan helped open a Pandora's Box which, predictably, led to the assaults on collective bargaining in the swing states of Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida. As far I am concerned, Duncan provided aid and comfort to the Scott Walkers, John Kasichs, and Rick Scotts, and their attacks on unions as much or more so than Michelle Rhee, whom a recent Mother Jones story notes was recruited to help in Wisconsin (Walker Aide Wanted Union Foe Michelle Rhee to Counter Teacher Protests, Email Shows).
In our gut, teachers may be just as angry at Duncan as we are at the Republicans who took his corporate-style "reforms" and ran with them. In our brains, teachers in those states should know that it makes no sense to stay home in November. I hope the Obama administration's failure to come to our aid in Wisconsin is not the last straw. If Walker wins, however, the Obama re-election campaign runs the risk of a rebellion by the rank and file, with Duncan as the lightning rod.- JT (@drjohnthompson) image via.