Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How will this play?

Going against all logic and ignoring the massive chorus against spending, the U.S. House of Representatives is reconvening in spend $26 billion in order to make the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers happy.

They are giving them money to "save the jobs" of teachers.

Interestingly enough, a lot of these very same teachers are already being rehired, as happens over the course of each summer.

Of course, that's neither here nor there. Congress needs to make the teachers unions happy, right?

But at what political cost?

As it turns out, there are tons, and I mean TONS, of usually liberal groups that are extremely unhappy with the bill.


Well, for instance it meant the cut of $11.2 billion from the food stamp program. That means low-income families will eventually start seeing $59 less in food stamps each month. A letter of protest signed by page after page of food pantries and charities can be seen here. And a sense of the Democratic infighting can be seen in the comments of the article in Huffington Post about this very issue.

What else? Well, it also pissed off a conglomeration of education groups collectively called the Democrats for Education Reform. They are ticked off about cuts to other education programs they deem more worthy than appeasing the teacher unions.

The point is, this bill is very discouraging to a lot of organizations that traditionally support Democrats. And yet, we already have people like Mary Jo Kilroy bragging about supporting it.

Now the members of these Democratic groups will very likely not start voting Republican, but in an election year where the Democrats need every part of their base to show up, discouraging them with a bill like this is a very poor tactical choice.

Yes, it appeases the teacher unions. But it further enrages conservatives and depresses a large number of usually reliable Democratic votes.

That's not smart politics.

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