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Monday, April 25, 2011

McIlheran Watch: Playing Dumb

by folkbum

I wasn't going to do this--it's spring break, I already have borderline high blood pressure, my internet has been down on and off all weekend--but since MJS calumnist Patrick McIlheran was kind enough to drop by in the comments to the other day's post, I will, indeed, draw a giant circle around a steaming pile of his blog that I was going to just let lie without comment.

That steaming pile? This--1100 (exactly!) words playing dumb about why teachers, in particular, are upset about the recent efforts of Governor Walker.

Uh, duh, is it because there are so many teachers? he dumbly asks. Or, uh, durm, is it because people hate teachers more than garbagemen? he goes on. Maybe, uhhhhh, it's the pittance we pay them--not! he opines. In the end, and here I am not paraphrasing, he asks, "So why are they upset? The short answer is that I don't know."

Which is either a lie or deliberate ignorance. From the time the first UW Madison TA sat down in the Capitol on Valentine's day, this was not about pay or pensions or insurance or halos. This was about the right to bargain collectively, about the right to belong to a union that represents me, protects me, and keeps my working conditions such that cuts in pay or pension or insurance--all of which we did, in fact agree too--are manageable and not enough to make me pack in my dream job for something more rewarding like, for example, garbageman. What's disgusting? we chanted in Madison. Union busting. Not, notably, a $7,000 pay cut.

The reason why we know McIlheran is lying or is deliberately ignorant is that over and over his own newspaper has reported on this, from the big fat liar rating Scott Walker got for trying to say he ran for office on a platform of killing unions and collective bargaining and busting unions, to the very article that stoked McIlheran's fire and repeats over and over that teachers are upset about losing collective bargaining rights.

And, apparently, he reads this blog, where I have made it clear over and over and over and over that this is not about a pay cut, but about the hundreds of other ways that I am protected because of my collective bargaining rights.

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