Friday, February 21, 2020

NYC Educator Endorses AFT's Multi-Endorsement

Last night I got a phone call from AFT, which evidently had something to do with a presidential endorsement. Sensing near-certain disappointment, I decided to walk my dog instead.

Upon my arrival home I got a few questions about it, and went to AFT's website where I found this. I will cut to the chase in case you don't want to read the whole thing:

RESOLVED, until the American Federation of Teachers decides to make a national endorsement in the primary process or at the AFT convention, the AFT urges the affiliates, members and leadership, including the three AFT national officers, to be actively involved in supporting and helping Vice President Biden, Sen. Sanders, and/or Sen. Warren.

For me, this was not a bad surprise at all. It's vital that we defeat the criminal Trump, who has no regard for union, who pushed through SCOTUS candidates that don't represent the will of the people, who hurt us with Janus and continues to stifle union wherever possible. I don't think Biden, in particular, would succeed, but he nonetheless has a chance at the nomination.

Four years ago I was upset about the AFT poll, the one that no one I knew had even received. I have to say that this year I was polled, and I am and have been a Bernie supporter. I had wavered between Bernie and Warren right up until Warren opened attacks on Bernie. Personally, I think that's precisely what caused her decline in the polls. However, she has renewed energy after her withering  attacks against Michael Bloomberg Wednesday night. Bloomberg, incidentally, has his paid goons working to nullify the will of the people and anoint him king.

Bloomberg, who said a few years back that Sanders would've beaten Trump, is a particularly flawed candidate. For one thing, he's hopelessly out of touch. Saying he worked hard to earn his billions is an insult to each and every hard-working American who hasn't made that kind of money. Bernie pounced on this, saying a lot of people helped him. Delusional megalomaniacs like Bloomberg and Trump can't acknowledge others. Then, in true Scrooge McDuck fashion, Bloomberg said he couldn't "use Turbo Tax" to do his taxes, because, you know, he's got all that cash. This was an insult to almost all Americans. Michael Bloomberg has got a geranium in his cranium, and all the charisma of a number two pencil. He's not gonna beat Donald Trump.

Mayor Pete is a good candidate if you're aiming for the white, over privileged frat boy vote, but ideally we're gonna need to aim for a broader constituency. I believe his appeal will melt away very soon, particularly given the distasteful interchange between him and Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday. While I personally like Amy more than any of all the so-called moderates, I think she also shot herself in the foot the other night, with both her bumbling explanations for not knowing the President of Mexico's name and getting down in the dirt with Pete. Anything can happen, but I don't think she will recover.

I don't like Warren nearly as much as I like Bernie. She's dropped her commitment to not rely on super-PACs, (so much for her wine-cave criticism of Pete) and I find her treatment of Bernie, who asked her to run before doing so himself in 2016, to be reprehensible. She's shown a ruthlessness here I had not anticipated. Yet ruthlessness is not a bad thing when facing a lying sack of crap like Donald Trump.

I'm happy that AFT has not decided to do what it did four years ago and jump on a "sure thing." A month or two ago, all the media seemed to agree that was Joe Biden. When he fell on his face in two consecutive states he looked a whole lot less inevitable. Hillary didn't stand for things Americans wanted and needed, like universal health care, a living wage, and available college. Four million Obama voters didn't get off their asses for her, and likely wouldn't do so for Biden, let alone the execrable billionaire Bloomberg.

I say Bernie is our best bet to take back our country. Warren is the second best bet. I know there is support in AFT for Biden. Michael Mulgrew, for example, is running to be a Biden delegate. I'm focused on winning, and I see 2016 as the burden, not 1972. When people hear what Bernie advocates, they support him.

If you have doubts about Medicare for all, watch this. I'm tired of hearing about people who love their insurance. I have great insurance, but it doesn't remotely match Medicare for All. No one with half a brain would choose copays and possible huge payouts over this system. And as for the potential tax increase, you get what you pay for. UFT, alone in the state, does not require payroll deductions for insurance. This, ultimately, is an unsustainable model. I'd like to see health care as a right and off the negotiating table. Show me the money instead.

AFT's stance in 2020 is much improved over 2016. It's not precisely what I'd have wanted, but it's not precisely what Biden supporters would've wanted either. It's a thoughtful move, and in 2020 we need thoughtfulness more than ever.
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