Wrong messengers

by | Oct 31, 2013 | Economy, Editor's Blog, NCGOP | 4 comments

Score one for the teachers. This week, teachers plan a “walk-in” inviting parents and others to schools to discuss the education budget. Predictably, the GOP howled.

Senators Phil Berger and Neal Hunt protested the move as putting politics in the classroom and pointed the finger at the North Carolina Association of Educators. A Civitas blogger chimed in. The Chairwoman of the Wake County Republican Party accused them of promoting unions.

But what does the public hear? They hear that teachers are upset about cuts to schools. And they probably wouldn’t have heard about it all except that the GOP made it a news story.

In a particularly stupid move, Hunt and Berger tried to pull Attorney General and likely 2016 gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper into the fray. They called on the AG to investigate the teachers’ actions. Like a high-hanging fastball, Cooper knocked it out of the park, using the opportunity to go on record slamming the GOP for harming schools.

On this one, the GOP has the wrong message and the wrong messengers. They should have ignored the protest. Most people wouldn’t have noticed. Instead, they are in a fray with teachers and the public is watching. And who do you think the public trusts more? Politicians or teachers?

Berger, Hunt, Civitas and the Wake GOP Chairwoman are inherently political people. They are lousy messengers to complain about somebody politicizing anything. By drawing attention to the walk-ins, the Republicans helped the teachers and hurt themselves.

Instead of demonizing the North Carolina Association of Educators, the Republican leaders are just reminding people of the damage their budget has done. Throughout the legislative session, GOP legislators showed disdain for teachers, lumping them all in with NCAE. While NCAE was leading the fight against cuts to schools, most teachers just wanted to do their jobs. But GOP’s action are politicizing the rank-and-file teachers and turning them into an army.



  1. Paleotek

    Love it or not, one of the centers of political gravity in NC is suburban parents. They care about their kids, and can be fierce in their expectations of schools.

    The radical rural Republicans, who appear to distrust, if not loathe government (see The Paranoid Style in American Politics, more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_style_in_american_politics), have passed budgets that hurt schools. Unless they can manage the perception that this is the case, the suburban parents will turn on them in 2014. It’s not looking good for team RRR at this point.

    I agree, Thomas, Berger is absolutely the wrong guy. But, given that he has an ego the size of a tidewater county, keeping him shut up is going to be tough for the Rs. He caught a wave in 2010, and apparently thinks that makes him wise. While he has accumulated a lot of political power by virtue of (nearly) singlehandedly controlling the legislature, it doesn’t look like he has the savvy to hold on to it very long.

  2. Gloria

    Classy plan NC Educators! Kudos

  3. NitWitCharmer

    I am a parent and I find the political indoctrination in our schools on par with religious indoctrination in our churches.

    And while such indoctrination in our churches is to be respected as it is done via the willingness of parents, the same can not be said of our schools, as schooling is madated by law.

    Keep you political indoctrination out of our schools. It’s offensive to Americans.

  4. F.G.Carter, Jr.

    As a lifelong educator, I abhor the efforts of anyone to stand in the way of our children’s futures. That includes all who have chosen to wield their power to promote their party and their political endeavors over our kids by cutting their opportunities. Personally, I believe teachers have been kicked around so long that the only answer may be unionization.

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