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My Two Cents: Shooting Itself in the Foot: The Oh! So Stupid VEA

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You could not find someone more supportive teachers than I. I have been one, having taught at the pre-school, high school and college levels. My husband taught for over four decades. So I have immense respect for what teachers do, how hard most of them work, compassion for those who lose ground in endless school cutbacks, and anger at the endless mind-numbing demand do “do more with less.” After years and years of cuts, you cannot continue to do more with less. You especially cannot do more with less when public schools are under attack for annihilation by the likes of Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, Michele Rhee, Tony Tata and other privateers who are feeding the 1% ambition to gobble up our entire infrastructure and take over any value of a system the US taxpayers paid for. I support education with every single vote I make. I have never voted against a school bond, ever, which is probably more than some VEA members can say. I have long supported unions as well.

However, when it comes to elections, candidate choice matters. So why on earth would the VEA electioneer against its members’ interests? How else to describe the completely nuts Virginia Education Association (VEA) endorsements of delegates who will never be on their side. No matter Joseph Yost’s claims to the contrary, he will never be VEA’s or teachers’ actual supporters. His first election with no real qualifications for running, was bad enough. To endorse his reelection, well, that is in a class by itself. I submit that, in their endorsement of Joseph Yost and Nick Rush, cowardice, insanity, or utter stupidity occurred. I think the VEA was afraid to endorse the Democratic challengers in these races because they were assuming inevitability of the two un-friends of the 99%.

We’ve all met them, the teachers who would vote against their own and their students’ interests. You know whom I’m talking about. They vote against school bonds and wonder why they have too many students in their classrooms. They even want to use vouchers for their own children to go to the school of their “choice.” And yet they get angry when they get furlough notices, as if there aren’t downside to the kill-public education GOP vouchers. Time and again, these same teachers undermine the very profession which puts dinner on their tables. And their organization, the VEA, is worse. It knows there is nothing whatsoever to be gained by supporting Yost and Rush. But it cowers.

Joseph Yost is a Pat McCrory (GOP NC governor)kind of guy. He talks a good game, pretends to be so reasonable and then, when push comes to shove, he sides with the Tea Party. Additionally, does not VEA remember who paid the largest portion of Yost’s campaign fund? Does the word T-Bob and friends mean anything to you? The same for Nick Rush.

Furthermore, other issues matter. As this website shows, Yost will go with the wingnut Cuccinelli wing of the Republican (Tea) Party nearly every time. I wonder how VEA members will feel when they no longer have clean drinking water and Yost was part of the problem.

As for those who think they are suporting “life,” I say this: Women can’t even have an equal rights amendment, but Yost wants to give a fetus the rights of “personhood.” So fetuses are persons but not women? How contemptuous of women is he? Even Mississipi citizens thought such a personhood amendment was too extreme, but not Joseph Yost.

Time and again, voters fall for the kind of deception of candidates like Yost who came heavily funded by some of the most conservative Republicans in America but pretend they are moderate. Ask some of the fools among Dems who voted for our empty suit NC governor, who does whatever Koch buddy, Art Pope, tells him to do.

You can almost hear the stupidity as Yost and Rush utter empty slogans about “bipartisanship.” Well, no, Yost’s not bipartisan. Neither is Rush. Destroying all 21st Century accomplishments is not bipartisan. It is extremism, no matter how “nice” the VEA thinks the characters are.

It is beyond shameful that the VEA, whose teachers have been targeted for extinction by the entire Republican establishment, in favor of computerized “learning,” could possibly lend their support to two of the GOP’s young pretenders. They want “education” on the cheap. And they are not your friends, Virginia’s teachers. Your VEA has caused irreparable damage to education in Montgomery County and beyond.  

  • swvagrl

    Thanks, Kathy, for telling the truth and getting to the heart of the matter, as usual. As a Montgomery County Democrat whose husband has written a letter to the Roanoke Times on the VEA endorsement (waiting for it to appear), please know that we are astounded by the Montgomery County VEA’s actions, and MC Dems are feeling the pain. I have contacted our local VEA representative to ask about her actions, but she has not returned my call. You can bet that I will be sending this Blue VA diary to her. It makes me wonder what the local VEA interviewer(s) asked Rush and Yost that caused them to endorse them; I wonder what their criteria for good representation are; I wonder if they can be easily bamboozled by the use of slick jargon by the Repubs; and I wonder if they expect the two Republicans to go against Cuccinelli’s new education plan should he be elected. I’m not betting the 99% on it.

    It’s up to us to try to counter the political damage the VEA has done, and it won’t be easy. As a teacher from first grade through college, like you, I have never voted against a bond issue for education, and I’m tired of teachers who don’t look out for their own and the students’ best interests.

    Local Montgomery County VEA, you blew it.