By now, you may well have seen Chris Christie giving the teacher’s union what-for. I’m talking about this video. As you know, Christie is governor of New Jersey. And a breath — no, a tornado — of fresh air. All my life, I have waited for a politician to stand up to the teachers’ unions: for their bullying, for their unreason, for their claim to be watching out for “the children” when they are merely benefiting themselves. Politicians are just too frightened of the teachers’ unions, even when they have their number, unquestionably — even when they loathe them.
Enjoy Christie while you can, folks, because we may not see his like again soon.
I felt the same about George W. Bush on Social Security (and other issues). I had been waiting for a politician — a major politician — to grab the “third rail of American politics” and urge reform, liberalization. Bush did. And, in the campaign of 2000, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Joe Andrew, said that the Democrats would “fry” Bush on that third rail. They almost did. If Bush had kept mum about Social Security, he would have had a very clean win in Florida, I think. DUI and Social Security: That’s what helped Gore, in those final days.
Anyway, when Bush won reelection in 2004, he went for Social Security reform full-bore. He was pretty much alone. Most Republicans and conservatives sat on the sidelines, wringing their hands and wetting their pants. And then we all picked at Bush, for not pursuing reform with tactical perfection. Well, great, guys: Hope you don’t get run over by the teeming mass of politicians itching to reform Social Security . . .