Saturday, March 7, 2015

WaPo Editorial Board: It's Not Pandering When You Do It to the Rich

The Washington Post Editorial Board published an editorial on Thursday singing the praises of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is now the first sitting Chicago mayor in history to be forced into a runoff. The WaPo editorial board decries the unions and progressives who have been organizing against Rahm. Their title laments, "Rahm Emanuel pays the price for not pandering."

Here are some excerpts:
Democratic Party purists and special interest groups have reached the startling conclusion that the able and decidedly liberal incumbent is not liberal enough, and they are intent on punishing him for not toeing their line. If there is no room in the party for a pragmatic progressive like Mr. Emanuel, who was President Obama’s first chief of staff in the White House, then the party, and by extension the country, are in trouble.
It shouldn’t escape notice that Mr. Emanuel’s willingness to take on these very same unions as he tackled some of the city’s most pressing problems landed him in political trouble in the first place. Instead of ignoring, for example, the grossly underfunded pensions of government employees that threaten to drive the city into bankruptcy, Mr. Emanuel engineered sensible reforms to the municipal and laborers pensions and is intent on fixing the police and firefighter funds.
Where Mr. Emanuel was most fearless…is in school reform. He backed the closing of dozens of underused and underperforming schools, insisted on a longer school day and school year, toughened teacher evaluations and helped expand charter schools.
What unites these progressive Democrats is not an allegiance to corporations, as the slurs might have you think, but a recognition that their predecessors made unaffordable deals that can’t be fully honored without harming people who lack powerful advocates: poor students, people who use city playgrounds, patients in public clinics.
We hope sufficient numbers of Chicago voters can look at that bigger picture.

You see, to the Washington Post editorial board, caring about retirement security for middle-class workers is "pandering." Caring about the safety, well-being, and education of children is "pandering." What isn't "pandering" to the Washington Post? Doling out "contracts, zoning changes, business permits, pension work, board appointments, regulatory help, or some other tangible benefit[s]" to your big money donors is not pandering. Taking money away from schools to subsidize big developers is not pandering either. You see, plebs, it's not pandering when you do it to the rich.

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