From the last Morning Jolt of the week:
Chicago Teacher’s Union Chief: Our GOP Governor Is Just Like ISIS!
In a better world, comparing those who disagree with you to ISIS terrorists would get you laughed out of public life.
With the city facing the threat of a teachers strike, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis focused attention on Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday in an incendiary speech that likened the Republican governor’s actions to terrorism.
“Rauner is the new ISIS recruit,” Lewis said during an address at a packed City Club of Chicago luncheon, using a term that refers to the Islamic State terrorist group.
“Yes, I said it, and I’ll say it again,” Lewis continued. “Bruce Rauner is a liar. And, you know, I’ve been reading in the news lately all about these ISIS recruits popping up all over the place — has Homeland Security checked this man out yet? Because the things he’s doing look like acts of terror on poor and working-class people.”
The Chicago Tribune dutifully covers these remarks, and notes this is not really a new style for her: “Controversial statements are nothing new for Lewis, who has previously described Rauner as a ‘sociopath’ and once called Rahm Emanuel the ‘murder mayor.’”
But will anyone in Chicago’s media say, “This sort of rhetoric is beneath the city”?
Will anyone point out that this sort of over-the-top attack – where you’re compared to a bloodthirsty terrorist over a contract dispute! — discourages people from participating in public life? Will anyone say, “The Chicago Teachers’ Union must have someone in their ranks who’s capable of making their argument who doesn’t fly off the handle like this, it’s time for them to find a new leader”?
To his credit, the Tribune’s columnist Rex Huppke writes, “if Lewis has a shred of decency she’ll apologize immediately for her offensive and wildly unhelpful words… Conservatives would be quick to point out that a Republican saying such a thing about a Democrat would bring deafening roars of outrage. And they’d be right.”