Tuesday, August 16, 2005

So What's a Democrat Anyway?



Since Democrat Day, aka Governor's Day, at the state fair is tomorrow, I figure now is as good a time as any to take on this topic. There is always a lot of chatter about advancing 'Democratic' ideals now that Democrats control both chambers and the Mansion. But defining what that is can prove to be tricky.

I can differ greatly with my downstate Democratic colleagues on issues such as choice, gun safety, and even environmental issues. And as a reflection of regional differences in the people whom we represent, it is readily understandable. One of the beauties of our party is its diversity of ideals and tolerance of that diversity. But at the same time, it can make the formulation of a 'party' position akin to herding cats.

As a result, the agendas advanced by the Leaders are often based on political realities more than policy beliefs. Don't get me wrong, I understand it and truly appreciate being in the majority. I just wonder how you harmonize the two concepts. Case in point, the State Party has a pro-choice plank in its platform. But in 1998, the party powers went with Glenn Poshard for Governor, who I really respect and think is a great and sincere guy, but who did not subscribe to this position. As a result, many Democrats found themselves uncomfortable with the party choice and George Ryan did much better than he should have up in my neck of the woods.

Now, I understand the flipside as well when downstaters say "Why should we have to put up with all of these 'liberal Chicago candidates?" But this gets to my point, I guess.

What do you think the guiding principles of our state party should be? And is it justifiable to stray from those policies to win elections and maintain power?

And for you Republicans out there, do you see analagous issues on your side? (I do, to an extent.)

And lastly, which party does a better job of handling these issues?

42 Comments:

At August 16, 2005 at 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah. Anyway, maybe you're over-thinking things. Try this.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice ass.

Sorry, tried to resist, but you threw us a softball with that one.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 12:13 PM, Blogger Judy said...

I think it depands on the issues. The problem right now is that we do not deal with issues enough. Most time is spent attacking each other instead of talking about how we would take care of issues.

If bot sides would talk more about isseus we would be able to define democrats and republicans by their positions, of course that could be overgeneralizing.

I think the better question to answer John and anyone else is

"What does being a Democrat mean to you?"

Answering this question will answer the question about what a Democrat is on a personal level. To understand the party it helps to articulate what your membershipn in the party menas to you.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 12:19 PM, Blogger Judy said...

John--

Formulating a general position statement is difficult for any group. It is always like herding cats. There are differences based on many factors.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 1:19 PM, Blogger Dan Johnson-Weinberger said...

This is a great question. I think the principle of the Democratic Party should be the greatest good for the greatest number. I think that principle leads to higher taxes than a flat 3 percent on high incomes to invest in all of us through education and infrastructure.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 1:20 PM, Blogger Rep. John Fritchey said...

Agreed Judy. But many people self-identify with one party or another. In so doing, they are acknowledging an affinity for that party's philosophies.

So maybe what I'm getting at is this - if you are a Democrat in Illinois, on what do you base that decision? Family history, local politics, national politics, economic issues, social issues, etc.

And on a related note, what's more important, your parties adherence to those philosophies, keeping your party in power, or keeping other parties out of power?

 
At August 16, 2005 at 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my analysis, it seems that the core philosophy of the republican party is that those with money and power should maintain it, regardless of the effect upon others.

Democrats, conversely, believe that all, regardless of background or history, should have equal opportunity.

Although I may agree with the republicans on specific issues, the above is why I nominally identify as a democrat.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 2:50 PM, Blogger Bill said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 2:56 PM, Blogger Bill said...

I'm a life-long Democrat. To me, the Democratic Party is the party of the working class and the under class... The party that supports public schools and the people that learn and work in them... The party that strives to provide for the less fortunate among us... The party that believes that all citizens deserve quality health care regardless of their financial resources....The party that believes in separation of church and state...The party that believes in a woman's right to choose...
I will always vote for the Democratic candidate despite some differences with individual issues, although I really did have a hard time voting for Poshard. I know what side of Pat Buchannan's culture war and class war I'm on so I vote for the Dem to keep the other side from gaining power and influence.I guess Im just not rich enough to be a Republican.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 4:34 PM, Blogger Judy said...

John--

Agreed that we must decide if we are Democrats on what we base that decision. It is the same question I am asking in analyzing my own afinity with the GOP.

Bill--

you answer my question very well. I appreciate that response.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 8:26 PM, Blogger respectful said...

In a two-party system, as opposed to a multi-party system, each party is a broad coalition. Differences on most issues are vague, which is frustrating to those on the left or right of the spectrum (ask Nader and Buchanan).

 
At August 16, 2005 at 8:30 PM, Blogger respectful said...

Given the nature of a two-party system, most members of both parties agree with generalities such as equal opportunity. They may prefer a different method of pursuing that goal.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 8:45 PM, Blogger respectful said...

I used to think that med mal caps was the one issue that clearly separated the two parties. I was disabused of that notion in May.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 9:45 PM, Blogger ndpotus said...

I think that has a party we need to establish broad definitations of what we stand for. I think that by being broad we can we do our best to unite Democrats from the Lincoln Park to Carbondale. These are things I believe in...

--Creating better schools so our children can have a better life then we had...

--Preserving the environment so that it can flourish for generations beyond our own...

--Establishing rights for all Americans so that everyone can live the lives envisioned by our founding fathers...

--Fighting for health care. No person in our state should be able to live their life without the fear of getting sick and not being able to pay to get better...

Those four points are the four post important reasons why I call myself a Democrat. I believe our mantra should be: "to create a better life for our children, they deserve better than we had..."

Thanks see you all at the fair tomorrow...

--
===
NICK

 
At August 16, 2005 at 10:17 PM, Blogger Judy said...

Nick--

I agree with your ideas because we do need all those things to be competitive as a state and country. The question is how to reach the goals.

Now before anyone jumps on me, vouchers are out of the question because they are unconstitutional. We need to find a way to attract high quality teachers in to inner-city areas and also attract those with the know-how to teach math and science. Then if we are satisfied give them the option of going through either a training program like Northwestern offers or going through a full teacher education program. Provide tax incentives for teaching. If a teacher has to buy supplies or text books fro students then they should be allowed to take the money as a deduction on thier taxes.

I also think we need some kind of law to prevent bad teachers from being granted tenure and keeping it. Teacher tenure should be based on not only time in service and level of education but the success of the students. Tenure should be revocable if a teacher stops performing and they should be evaluated every two years to make sure they meet the standards to maintain tenure. Standards would be time in service, performance of students, level of formal education, continuing education units, etc. This would prevent illequipped teachers from being promoted or staying in the employ of districts. Sure we can have a probation period for a teacher to meet the standards, but only one chance. This is the future of our childeren and we cannot mess around with that.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 10:24 PM, Blogger Extreme Wisdom said...

Democrats want to impose good outcomes (giving you huge benefit of the doubt here), while Republicans want to adhere to good processes.

In a (admittedly generalized) nutshell that is the philosophical divide that seperates the two parties. All the other "commie" and "fascist" name calling is evidence of immaturity.

The Constitution says no 'race based' hiring, but desired Dem outcomes say "equalize", so...toss the Constitution. (A Republican example would be the silly flag amendment)

Both sides lose their underpinnings when the really emotional issues hit. We conservatives get a kick out of your "little guy" rhetoric as you support the sucking of 1.5 million little guys (and girls) into sinks every year. (look where its gotten you)

Regardless, I break it down to the "collectivist/individualist" divide. Because mandating outcomes is easier under a collectivist regime, Dems lean toward collectivism.

Because individualist processes do less damage to individual rights, Reps. lean toward more individual autonomy (protected by process).

As a conservative who shares the liberal goals of a more educated, more empowered, and more healthy populace, I chuckle at your attempts at "serious introspection".

Individually, all of you are decent people asking questions about how to arrive at a better society.

Collectively, you support;

*a corrupt education bureaucracy over school choice,

*a top down health system that costs more but does less, (single payer being the most insipidly stupid scheme of all)

*a "pay as you go" retirement/ponzi scheme that damages the poor and the disadvanteged most of all (and can't work under the demographic trends that are written in stone)

____

You can't let go of your patrons to meet the needs of your putative constituencies. Which is why we conservatives are slowly stealing them from you.

Insulated by Illinois supposedly "blue state" status, you are missing what is slowly happening. Sooner or later Illinois will revert the the red state trend. Like the stretched rubber band, it will snap back harder the longer it is stretched.

If you dodge 2006, you'll get ripped even worse in 2008.

___

As I've been posting these ditties to Capitol fax, DJW and IlliniPundit, I've been noticing the deafening silence re: responses.

Y'all are great at calling the Republican party to the carpet for it's political ineptitude and bi-annual circular firing squads, but won't engage in a substantive policy debate to save your life.

It will work for a little bit longer.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 10:35 PM, Blogger Judy said...

extreme wisdom--

I agree. I am moderate Republican. We need to change the way the education system runs. We need both outcome and process. I beleive that we need to have a desired outcome in order to design an appropriate process to achieve the goal of, say, better schools. We need strong definitions of better schools before any of this can happen. Less bureaucracy is one measurable step toward better schools. Another would be putting in place a solid process to decide which students need special education services and after that what type of service. This would allow us to seperate the students that truly need it and not hold back those who do not. Home situation should determine need for special education.

I could go on and on, but won't. I have seen just about everything that is wrong with our schools from a students point of view and want to fix it, but do not always know how. More money is not necessarily the solution, although it may be part of it in the long run.

Any more ideas?

 
At August 16, 2005 at 10:38 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

extreme wisdom, I think you raise some points worth discussing. I don't have the time to take it on tonight or tomorrow, but will try to get to it before the week is out.

 
At August 16, 2005 at 10:51 PM, Blogger ndpotus said...

Judy,

Can I say that I agree with you 110%, VOUCHERS ARE NOT THE ANSWER...

Gery Chico when he was running for US Senate put it best. "Vouchers are unamerican, they are simply giving up."

I believe that we should never give up on our teachers or on our students. Teachers should be paid like lawyers and respected like doctors.

The government needs to continue to promote programs like Teach for America. The inner-city schools need to go into colleges and recruit young teachers to come aboard and those young teachers need to be mentored by experinced teachers...

Our schools need to become cathederals of learning and as long as the government turns it back on these students it failling our whole society...

 
At August 17, 2005 at 9:26 AM, Blogger Judy said...

ndpotus, I could neve give up on the system that I graduated from. I have problems with things that happen. I am not being flip either when I say that vouchers actually stituional. Illinois and many other states ave what are called Blaine provisions in their state constitutions. These provisions prohibit public funds from being given to private schools weather they are sectarian schools or not.

Teach for America is a wonderful program and should be promoted. I t is part of Americorps. We need to encourage people to utlize this program. There are positions in Chicago ad many other cities.

Our schools need to be made safe for learning and should be havens from the danger outside. I would support a law that required school uniforms because it would make it difficult for gang members to represent the school as part of their turf.

 
At August 17, 2005 at 11:36 AM, Anonymous Edward Bryant said...

This really turned out to be a more interesting question the more I thought about it. I started to consider not only my motivations for being a democrat but how those motivations were different at the state and national level.

Nationally, my choice to identify and vote democrat is easy. I find that the republicans are on the wrong side of just about every cultural issue out there--issues like the teaching of intelligent design in science classes, abortion rights, separation of church and state, and gay rights. I like government policies that make progress toward a society that is more tolerant, fair, inclusive, transparent, and open. Most republicans and conservatives seem to be trying to revert society to some 50's style ideal of a white christian patriotic flag-waving America that never really existed. Both may just be an ideal that will always be out of reach, but there are many Americans that simply don't have a place in the republican conservative's ideal world. The gay, the minority, the out-spoken, the atheist, the pacifist, and the non-comformist don't have a role to play in the conservative narrative, they just need to not get in the way. A view of America that doesn't include all Americans isn't something I will ever agree with.

At the state level, however, I feel the middle-of-the-road nature of the midwest and Illinois own blend of politics has isolated me from some of the threats posed by the wider republican party. Without that kind of direct local struggle on the same issues (e.g., we are gladly not fighting about intelligent design in Illinois), my image of a democrat has had the ability to become a bit more detailed and focused on issues more relevant to Illinois. Growing up in Chicago, I have seen democrats as representing entrenched interests that don't have much interest in change or innovative policies. I may share many values with the local democratic party, but I feel it has become too stagnant. Because of this, in state and local politics, I favor outsiders and a rare republican that I feel will act more independantly. My main concern with the democratic establishment in Illinois and Chicago is that it has betrayed values of fairness, openness, and inclusion when its own power is at issue. There are numerous examples of this including Chicago city hiring (how is this a display of fairness), Lisa Madigan's campaign (how is supporting her over a more-qualified rival in the democratic primary show inclusiveness and openness). Chicago itself has a mayor that only got his job because of who is father was. These are not things that make me proud to be an Illinois democrat. If I was trying to define what Illinois democrats should be, I would urge us to be more reform minded, supporting more openness and transparency in government and to have the bravery to objectively apply those principles on ourselves.

 
At August 17, 2005 at 11:36 AM, Blogger respectful said...

The four "Democratic" position ndpotus lists are perfectly acceptable to this Republican. That's my point: Since both parties are such broad coalitions, it's difficult to find sharp ideological differences. Who's not for a clean environment?

 
At August 17, 2005 at 11:54 AM, Blogger respectful said...

Here's an issue that tends to divide the parties: The Chief at U of I and the Seminoles at FSU.

 
At August 17, 2005 at 11:55 AM, Anonymous edward bryant said...

The real issue is how do you balance clean environment with economic development. I think its a spectrum and I think its clear that, on average, republicans fall farther along the economic development side than a democrat would. We all want both but faced with where to strike the balance, we would probably find quite a bit of difference.

 
At August 17, 2005 at 11:58 AM, Anonymous edward bryant said...

Is that even partisan?

Most of the people I know have wildly different views on the use of Indian sports names, regardless of there politics.

 
At August 17, 2005 at 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Individual Democrats can stand for a lot of individual things--same with Republicans. Privacy rights is one thing--"pro choice" and "pro life" are almost meaningless now, considering how many exceptions and addenda there are.

But when it boils down to it, "Extreme Wisdom," your ridiculous, ass-backward talking points have nothing to do with anything. You want to know what defines Republicans and Democrats? It really only takes two sentences:

Democrats value work.

Republicans value wealth.

The End.

Demcorats think that if you work hard, even if you aren't the smartest fella or the most connected lady, the infrastructure system we all pay for should not keep you from some level of comfort.

Republicans think that if you are wealthy, through whatever means, the system we all pay for should reward you by restricting any mobility by lower classes into your class.

All those bla bla about school choice and single-payer whatever is meaningless. Republicans as a party (perhaps not as individuals) want to have their cake and eat it, too. They hate "big government" and "handouts," but perpetuate a complex tax code, give tax favors to make th wealthy wealthier, and allow insurance companies to extract ridiculous premiums that keep the poor poor and the middle class middle class. Republicans hate fair competition in the marketplace because it means the rich will have to work harder. Republicans hare happy to see the rich get richer, and maybe let some crumbs reward the lucky few.

Democrats as a party see that working hard is the greatest virtue, and so in a market system with truly free competition, hard work is rewarded with at least a minimum of security guaranteed. Cheap access to good public universities. Cheap healthcare. Public transportation. Consumer's rights. Things that directly benefit the masses of humanity.

-Ramsin

 
At August 17, 2005 at 6:45 PM, Blogger ndpotus said...

Respectful,

I am glad that I could say something that both Dems and GOPers can agree on. Here is the issue that you that you did not address...

I believe that Dems and GOPers want the same thing. The issue is we have different ways of getting there and is what divides us...

 
At August 17, 2005 at 9:25 PM, Blogger Judy said...

ndpotus, I agree it is the approach to the issue taht divides GOPers and Dems. However, I believe if we tried more we woudld find common ground.

 
At August 17, 2005 at 10:25 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Hey Folks,

Just got back from the State Fair and taking my family to the Lincoln Museum, so I'm pretty wiped out.

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate the insightful and intelligent discourse on the thread. It makes me think that this little blog has some real potential to it.

 
At August 17, 2005 at 10:31 PM, Blogger Judy said...

John, hope you enjoyed the fair. The blog does have potential and I wish more elected officials would have blogs like this.

 
At August 18, 2005 at 7:30 AM, Blogger Mary Fioretti said...

Extreme Widsom: in regards to education and what we all want as a people. (I'm a moderate Republican.)

At Rockfish Gap, VA, Thomas Jefferson was asked to define a university system. In order to do so he defined Primary Education first. With the exception of technology, the following is what we want for all of our children.

"The aim of his plan was to make education widely available to the masses, to make the people worthy and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens."*

*****

The objects of this primary education determine its character and limits. These objects would be,

To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business;

To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express and preserve his ideas, his contracts and accounts, in writing;

To improve, by reading, his morals and faculties;

To understand his duties to his neighbors and country and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either;

To know his rights; to exercise with order and justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciary of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence, with candor, and judgment;

And, in general, to observe with intelligence and faithfulness all the social relations under which he shall be placed.

To instruct the mass of our citizens in these, their rights, interests and duties, as men and citizens, being then the objects of education in the primary schools, whether private or public, in them should be taught reading, writing and numerical arithmetic, the elements of mensuration (useful in so many callings), and the outlines of geography and history.*

* Our Sacred Honor, William J. Bennett, Simon and Schuster, 1997, pgs. 254-257

 
At August 18, 2005 at 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ramsin,

I want to bolster your comments and throw another log on the fire. Yes, I think (we) Democrats reward hard work. We support our unions and protect the collective bargaining voice of its members. I think it's also important to note the Dems' commitment to our most vulnerable neighbors - those that need help rehabilitating, those plagued with mental illness, those who need a "hand-up, not a hand-out." Those, who if they had access to cheap healthcare, good schools, and safer communities, probably wouldn't end up at the bottom of the social barrel. I guess I'm just putting another spin on it: often, the ultraRepubs aren't just protecting their place at the top of the food chain; they're not just keeping others from dilluting their caste - it's that they don't always acknowledge that they're down there.

 
At August 18, 2005 at 12:42 PM, Blogger Bill said...

It is pretty interesting and ironic to read Bennett's words after he did everything in his power during his tenure as Sec of Ed. to prevent any of those things from happening to all but the rich, elite, non-minorities in our society.

 
At August 18, 2005 at 2:19 PM, Blogger respectful said...

ramsin and anon 9:20: As far as the work vs. wealth dichotomy, does teacher tenure exist merely protect the hardest workers? Are unionized craftsmen typically better off in salary/benefits than their non-unionized competition?

 
At August 18, 2005 at 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respectful,

Teacher tenure was created to remove the people educating our children from the patronage process.

As for craftsmen, having a union is a bargaining chip. It's smart economically.

Do half of the senior vice presidents and CEOs and hot-shot executives in this country deserve their job? How many people do you know in private enterprise who survive through nepotism, favoritism, cronyism, or worse? Please. The rich get richer because of decades and sometimes centuries old social networks.

Big corporations like Wal-Mart use their market strength to drown out competition and essentially command entire parts of the economy. Defense contractors have built networks for years to wine-and-dine elected officials to keep defense spending inefficient. The oil cartels get a president elected. The biggest corporations in the world funnel millions through the Chamber of Commerce, but the second workers get together to improve their market strength, and protect their jobs, the Right mewls and rends their garments. Unfair! Unfair! C'mon. That dog won't hunt.

Forming a union is a conscious economic choice by working people. Are there some union members who exploit their union's strength? Sure. But I'll tell you what: I grew up around a lot of union members, and I was around a lot of upper-management types. Guess who was more often on vacation, skipping off to the links on a weekday, or coming home in the middle of the day?

Democrats value work. Republicans value wealth. That's it.

 
At August 18, 2005 at 10:11 PM, Blogger respectful said...

You keep repeating that Dems value work. Yet you sidestepped my question about whether tenure protects the hardest workers.

 
At August 18, 2005 at 10:13 PM, Blogger respectful said...

BTW, anon, are you asserting they got rid of patronage in the Chicago Public Schools? And does patronage Chicago style value work (not counting work in the precincts)?

 
At August 19, 2005 at 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respectful-

I'm not sidestepping anything. Are you asserting that the fact that tenure exists means our state's teachers don't work hard? That's ludicrous and insulting. For 90%+ of teachers, seniority means something. It means experience on the job, it means a dedication to the students, and it means a passion for the work. So, in a way yes, tenure protects the hardest workers. Don't act as though teaching is some plum, cushy profession. The vast majority of teachers don't make it past five years, despite this "promised land" of tenure you're imagining, where once reached teachers lay around class in satin robes eating grapes and not giving a shit.

Your assertion that tenure just protects the lazy at the expense of the wunderkinder is insulting and based purely on your dislike of organized labor.

Your "patronage Chicago-style" is a straw man, too. You're picking out a small group of people who exploit the system to degrade literally millions of people. Been to any other big cities recently? Chicago works hard. Great services, clean, beautiful, always evolving. Where this myth of the lazy Chicago patronage army came from I'll never know. Are there many patronage workers who do little work? Sure. Are they anything approaching even a plurality of Chicago's city workers? Not even close.

If you live in Chicago, you have to agree--our city is clean, our streets gets shoveled, and (granted, in most neighborhoods) potholes get filled and streetlights get replaced. That takes hard work.

Just surrender the fantasy. Republicans hate working people. You'll feel a lot better once you admit it: you think people who work hard for a living are losers, and the leisure class are worthy of public largesse.

Democrats value work; Republicans value wealth.

 
At August 19, 2005 at 1:36 PM, Blogger Extreme Wisdom said...

Let's take a look at this simplistic tagline...

"Democrats value work, Republican value Wealth"

This piece of pabulum is about as useful as "America, love it or leave it" and other such political sloganeering.

I could spend time pointing out that most people who have wealth actually had to work for it.

I could also point out that most humans on the planet value wealth, and that some "vote to expropriate other's wealth" (socialists, the corrupt UN) while others "work for it." (Democrats & Republicans)

I could also point out that the headlines are full of Democrats & Republican who lie, cheat, and steal to gain wealth while other Democrats & Republicans work for it.

I live in the increasingly Democratic (and very rich) suburbs, where soccer moms persuade their emasculated husbands that abortion and wasteful school spending are the only important issues.

I also notice that the exurbs and more blue collar areas are becoming increasingly Republican, perhaps because they've seen through all the rhetoric and noticed that all that tax money is going to connected contractors and protected monopolies, and not to the "little guy."

A look at the 2004 election demographics will tell you all you need to know. The left is strong & getting stronger among the very rich and very poor, while the right is make inroads virtually every where else.

But contemplating these things would probably be an exercise in futility for you, given your use of "Deaniac" nonsense and other examples of the "Pelosification" of a once great party.

I'll simply point out once again that you (Ramsin mostly) did nothing but roll out shopworn class war rhetoric.

You didn't make a decent policy argument against any one of my points. In fact, you didn't even try.

Your post was pretty much a playground style "You're wrong" / Am not! Are so!" rant that might be great for rallying the converted, but adds nothing to rational debate.

___

Judy wrote:

"I have seen just about everything that is wrong with our schools from a students point of view and want to fix it, but do not always know how. More money is not necessarily the solution, although it may be part of it in the long run."

Extreme Wisdom response:

Money is the problem! In Illinois in particular, the amount of money spent on Education Bureaucracy has been absurd. The student population in IL increased 13% from 1985 through 2003. The spending increased 157%.

There is no rational reason for that run up. Class Size games, pension schemes, and adminstrative bloat do not "educate" any one.

Yet, the corrupt (I call tax dollars extracted due to sheer political clout "corruption" - even if it is legal) education bureaucracy does not deserve the support of decent people like you.

There is no saving it. It cannot be "reformed" in its present context.

Fund the child, not the system.

There is no intellectually sound argument against that simple statement.

Of course, if you are a member of the politically powerful and protected class that makes up "Public Education", there certainly is a powerful economic argument to "fund the system, while pretending to educate the children."

_____________

To Ms. Fioretti (who used Jeffersonian rhetoric to defend "public education"....)

Extreme Wisdom response:

If you vote for the Charter plan in D300, (or something like it) you'll be fostering Jefferson's vision, but if you vote it down...

...(and replace it with a massively expensive referendum that locks more dollars up in a bureaucratic wasteland)...

you'll be doing all you can to make Jefferson's vision of "an educated populace" impossible.

The fact is that we don't need a protected monopoly to attain your putative goal of an "educated populace." In fact, our current system has been doing a darn poor job of "educating the populace".

But I notice from many many many articles, that the system does a wonderful job of:

*showering actuarilly unsound pensions on teachers & administrators

*allowing some Superintendents to stash bundles of cash in their homes while using district funds to pay their kids' tuition

*while other Superintendents retire with six figures of accumulated sick days. (on top of their absurd pensions)
____

Tell me how this is 'for the children.'

Tell me how the entire protected enterprize isn't a public version of Enron.

You can't. It is.

 
At August 19, 2005 at 5:39 PM, Blogger respectful said...

anon: please don't put words in my mouth. I asked you a question about tenure. I did not attack it for say most teachers are lazy, which I don't believe.

 
At August 19, 2005 at 9:32 PM, Blogger Q-Ball said...

Where are all the Democrats and their righteous indignation over the rampant corruption in the City of Chicago??? i.e. taking advantage of Minority Contracting, Trucks for Hire and now we have Hiring of unqualified personnel (son of Labor boss for Dept of Bldg Inspections). Regrettably, the Democrats seem to be following the legacy of George Ryan.

 
At August 19, 2005 at 10:40 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Q-

I agree with you to an extent. It seems to me that it's not so much a party issue as it is a generational issue. A lot of the folks, from both sides, that are products of the old way of doing things are reluctant to take that system on.

Accordingly, we need to look to the independents and newer members to have the courage to rage against the machine. That courage will come as soon as their voters demand it from their elected officials.

 

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