By Robert A. Vella
There is a growing movement in the 2016 presidential campaign – using the hashtag #BernieOrBust – where frustrated progressives are pledging not to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election should she defeat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party nomination. Their highly questionable strategy hopes for a progressive landslide victory in 2020 (a critical census year election) while essentially conceding this year’s election to the GOP. They believe Republicans will screw-up so badly over the next four years that America will beg for progressive change in the subsequent presidential election.
I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton this year because doing so would violate my philosophical principles which I hold dearly; however, my choice has nothing to do with the #BernieOrBust movement which I consider to be politically foolhardy. Although, I do understand why such a movement sprung up; and, the following story will help explain that desperate frustration from my fellow progressives.
Last September, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that charter schools are not governed by the same administrative rules as public schools and are therefore ineligible for public taxpayer funding under the state constitution. That decision sent shock waves through the halls of corporate America which has been pushing for privatization in the nation’s education system for decades. Charter school advocates immediately began lobbying state officials and funneling funds into various efforts to find a way to circumvent the court’s ruling. Yesterday, they succeeded. Even though Washington has a Democratic governor, a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, and a large Democratic minority in the state Senate, Republicans were able to restore charter school funding.
Ten House Democrats voted with Republicans on SB 6194 which will divert state lottery revenues to maintain the charter schools. Governor Jay Inslee, who had campaigned against public school privatization, chickened-out and refused to veto the bill. For me, at least, my state senator and two house representatives voted against it; so, I can vote for them in the next election without reservations. Whether I can vote for the governor again is now an open question.
Like that old Sonny & Cher song…
And the beat goes on
And the beat goes on