NEA Tops Move to Back Obama, Again

Rich Gibson

May 7, 2011

In the 2008 election cycle, the National Education Association, the largest union in the US, by far, spent more money on the Obama campaign than any other union, had more volunteers working for him, and more members on the floor of the Democratic National Convention than any other group. NEA leaders like Dennis Van Roekel, now President of NEA, bragged about their effective support for Obama repeatedly.


Now, after a third war (ok by most fake educators), $12.9 trillion of financial bailouts to the banksters, Arne Duncan, a full scale assault on reason and wages in school, 2.3 million mostly poor and black people incarcerated, attacks on immigrants that exceed the Bush era, a speech about the assassination of Osama Bin Laden that dripped with mysticism, nationalism and treacle, the refusal to publish the OBL photos denying he's a trophy, then a victory lap at "ground zero" , and a very real promise of perpetual war matched by booming inequality as the bill for foreign invasions comes home to workers–after all this, NEA wants to be an early endorser of Arne Duncan.


“NEA’s President Dennis Van Roekel’s Letter to NEA Delegates of May 5


Friends: On Thursday, May 5, 2011, the NEA Political Action Committee approved a recommendation to come to RA delegates -- our highest governing body -- to support the re-election of President Barack Obama. During the Representative Assembly, July 2-5, delegates will act on the PAC's recommendation.

To be very clear, this does not mean that NEA has endorsed or recommended President Obama. What it means is that the PAC Council -- which includes every NEA state Association president and representatives from several constituent groups -- will be asking you, our RA delegates, to recommend President Obama this summer in Chicago.

The obvious questions: Why now? What are the advantages and disadvantages for our members? And what are the advantages and disadvantages for our Association? I expect you will have lots more questions of your own -- and we will have plenty of time to debate this at the Representative Assembly.

For now, please watch my <

>new video on Dennis2Delegates for my personal message to you on this action, which takes on some of the obvious questions posed above.

And please continue to check D2D regularly in the coming weeks. This site will be a great source of information leading up to the 2011 Representative Assembly, and well beyond the RA as we take on so many important issues that affect us.

Dennis Van Roekel”

Reformers typically buttress fascism. The more people buy into the legal system where the fascist Supremes, millionaires in black robes, rule; into the Constitution, written to protect the rich and their properties; into holograms of democracy like unions which are not democratic nor unions in any sense of solidarity or resistance, the more they give up (eager to make concessions in Wisconsin in order, only, to preserve dues check off) , the more people "Defend Public Education" (an indefensible myth); the more people protest under American nationalist flags; the more people stay in line behind union tops who profit from betraying those who they claim to represent_selling labor peace and nationalist warfare in exchange for fat salaries---the more the people see the Democrats as "lesser evils" the more they ratify evil, and the sharper become the attacks from capital as capital in crisis, as it is, MUST attack. That is the track record of fascist self-alienation.


Everything is in place that would indicate the possibility of a full rearrangement of social relations:

*a break down of competence, morals and ethics at the top,

*growing dissension in the ruling classes despite their ability to unite in class war,

*failing foreign wars led by inept generals and corrupt corporations,

*incompetence and transparent degeneracy in government and the corporate world,

*an obvious all out assault on the dispossessed from every angle, (employment, wages, benefits, pensions, social service net, mass incarceration, deportations, etc.),

*a turn to sheer force whenever even mild resistance appears,

*flat-footed deception (“this is not a war and it has no cost”),

*accelerators of social change multiply (Wisconsin, the Middle East, etc.),

*an attack on reason itself as irrationalism infects even the military,

*real hope vanishes while false hope remains powerful,

*inability or unwillingness of elites to use carrots, mild reforms, to divert struggle.

There is resistance as people must resist in order to live.

At issue: will people make sense of why they must resist (class war, imperialist war) and seek a fundamental transformation of the way things are as well as sustainable reforms?  Will people once again disappear into Democratic Party voting booths, asking capital’s favorite question: “What about me?” in pathetic isolation. Or will people withdraw the “mandate from heaven,” that is today the fetish of “democracy,” and overturn class relations?

Or will people merely be defeated for the time being, be crushed?

Good luck to our side.

 Rich Gibson is an emeritus professor at San Diego State University.