The shocking events yesterday in the Middle East threaten to upend what is supposed to be (but substantively isn’t) a strong point for Obama—foreign policy. The Administration’s pathetic response to the embassy sackings and killing of diplomatic staff in Egypt and Libya, combined with the hastily-arranged phone call between Obama and Netanyahu after refusing to hold a face-to-face meeting, reminds of nothing so much as Jimmy Carter—and especially the infamous UN vote against Israel in 1980, which, like the platform embarrassment last week, denied Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. People have speculated for a long while now about a possible foreign “October Surprise” from Obama to cement his re-election. Looks right now like the surprise might run the other direction.
And the Chicago teachers’ strike reminds of nothing so much as the “winter of discontent” in Britain in 1979 that brought Margaret Thatcher to power. Then, too, intransigent public employee unions aroused public opinion against the Labour Party. Too bad there aren’t parliamentary-style “no confidence” procedures in Illinois, or we might be able to sweep Rahmbo and Gov. Quinn from the scene. (Apparently striking teachers are chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Rahm Emanuel has got to go!” For once I agree with them.) The reliably leftist Harold Meyerson says this is nothing less than a civil war inside the Democratic Party:
At stake in the conflict is not only the future of education reform but also the role of unions within the party and, by extension, the nation. Emanuel’s clear desire to reduce the teachers union’s role in the city’s schools is hardly his alone. It’s shared by other Democratic mayors such as Los Angeles’s Antonio Villaraigosa. Still other heavily Democratic cities, such as San Jose, Calif., have reduced their employees’ pension benefits. What’s brewing is a battle between Democratic Party management (chiefly mayors, backed by a significant portion of the public) and Democratic Party labor, also backed by a significant portion of the public. . .
If this war within the Democratic Party spreads beyond Chicago, it doesn’t augur well for the future of education or the party.
Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of thieves and looters.
Well, at least we aren’t suffering inflation like 1979. Oh wait—what’s this about a possible credit downgrade for the United States from Moody’s?
And don’t miss Roger Simon today on “The Democratic Party and a Second Holocaust.”