May 20, 2004


Yesterday morning's PiPress story was slugged "DFL Wants to Play Nice". Oh, well. It's about time.

The SCSU Scholars titled it better: "DFL Shoots Their Hostage". It fits.

the Pawlenty administration and the GOP House have effectively neutered the DFL-controlled Senate. The DFL agenda was completlely buried in the Legislature this session - and it very visibly rankled the Democrats.

So they took the only shot they had left; they took Yecke down with their agenda.

The results?

The teacher taliban congratulate themselves on passing a compromise social sciences bill that they cannot possibly have read yet (they weren't finalized until 9:45pm Saturday night and voted on less than twelve hours later) and as best anyone can tell uses the science standards that come from December 2003. (See the Senate Journal, page 5217.) That is to say, they do not know what they are rooting for except the taking of a hide.
Fearless prediction, here: I think the GOP and the state's second-most-powerful party are going to have a major face-off in the near future. That second-most-powerful party is the teachers' union.

The teachers' mounting anger and frustration this past year has been amazing to watch. Teachers have always been involved in politics, of course; I read in 2000 that teachers represented a third of the Democrat party national convention delegates; many DFL legislators came from education.

But I remember a time when those politics stayed out of the classroom. No more. My son's ex-teacher delivered DFL propaganda directly to the class (I paid my son a dollar for every example he brought home, and he kept himself handsomely outfitted in Yu-Gi-Oh cards for a while there - until I yanked him the hell out of that class and school), and his ex-school declared itself a "peace site", with all the multi-culti bloviation that involves.

But a new wrinkle this year - while sitting in conferences about my son's academics, the school staff -teachers, administrators and school workers - would launch into tirades about No Child Left Behind; they'd snarl about Cheri Pierson Yecke and her plans; they'd tell rancid George W. Bush jokes, apparenly assuming any parent in their school would share their views. The staff, at least at that school (and I know it's far from unique - my daughter's school last year felt the same) was no less politicized than a DFL district caucus.

In other words, the DFL drew from a deep well of anger to carry out its hatchet job on Yecke.

And that's all that anger accomplished.

Posted by Mitch at May 20, 2004 06:45 AM