Monday, September 3, 2018

McCain was no 'hero' for labor or for public education

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney at the memorial service for Sen. John McCain.
Okay, I understand why liberal pols, former presidents, congressional colleagues and union officials are being "civil" and paying their respects to Sen. John McCain. Some, like AFT Pres. Randi Weingarten, are spreading McCain-love around right now, in order to take shots at Donald Trump, his hated Republican competitor.

Others like neocon warmongers, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman spoke adoringly at McCain's funeral in order to try and salvage something of what's left of the old GOP.

I'm okay with trying to take advantage of splits in the enemy's camp. I will even give McCain credit for being a voice for mild campaign finance reform and against the use of torture ("enhanced interrogation") of prisoners.  But gushing and going overboard in praise of McCain on the part of Democrats and union officials only makes them look like opportunists.

Case in point...Weingarten, who's not even running for office, lavished unnecessary praise on McCain, calling him "a hero of America". His heroism being all about his role as a village-bombing Air Force pilot and then a POW in Vietnam. I hope she can understand why those of us who fought so hard against that genocidal war, including many members of her own union, will take a knee on that one.

But the great irony here is that Randi's "hero" spent a career making war on organized labor, and teacher unions in particular. This piece from the N.C. AFL-CIO in response to the McCain/Palin 2008 presidential campaign, lays it out pretty well.

McCain rarely met an anti-union or anti-public-school bill he didn't like. He was the main sponsor of legislation supporting privately-run charters and vouchers. In his 2008 debate with Barack Obama, he called it, "the civil rights issue of the 21st century".

 And all this while more than 50,000 Arizona teachers were wildcat-striking for union rights and decent pay in one of the most anti-union states in the nation.

He was also okay with school districts opting to teach creationism. Supported the ban on teaching ethnic studies. Voted against the King holiday. And then there's his lifetime support of war, the greatest enemy of children and education along with massive defense spending, which takes billions of dollars directly out of American classrooms.

No, John McCain was no "hero" when it came to schools, teachers or their unions. Pay respects to the McCain family if you must. But no more B.S. please.

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