Democrat urban politics is often a case of trying to figure out who is blackmailing whom. That’s definitely a tough call in this case.
Facing ruinous polls, Dems decided to pivot from pandemic to endemic messaging, imposing vaccine restrictions, but mostly trying to reopen. Virginia and New Jersey sent a pretty clear message about the anger simmering in the suburbs about the public school situation.
And, at least initially, the teachers’ unions seemed willing to go along. But that lasted about all of 5 minutes in the interim between the Randi Weingarten makeover as an advocate for reopening schools to unions pushing for mental health days and then outright returns to Zoom classes.
The question is whether there’s a larger strategy here or just greed.
The unions that are the worst abusers, especially CTU in Chicago, prey on Dems because who else are they going to prey on? They’re used to taking their own hostage and extracting maximum benefits. And so wrecking the electoral chances of their own party may not matter to them. Whatever happens in 2022 and 2024, Dems will still be running SF, Chicago, and Atlanta. Not to mention NYC and Detroit.
Even if state governments go Dem, there’ll still be plenty of money to play with in urban areas because no Republican is going to have the guts to end this charade, pull the funding, and actually decentralize education and break up the rotten public school system monopoly.
Alternatively, this may be a way to set up Dems as the saviors of public school parents, riding in on a white horse while the unions play the heavies.
Is that a possibility? We’ll find out soon enough.