We talked earlier about that big Chicago teachers union rally last week. There were so many serious issues involved that I don't think anyone covered what may have been the most fascinating moment. Union President Karen Lewis delivered an eyeball-rolling, head-waggling impersonation of a man she obviously despises -- Mayor Emanuel
"He said he was going to have a longer school day."Longer school day! I want the school day long. I want the school day long. I want the school day long.....," Lewis said.
If I were a Chicago Public School teacher, I might be concerned about the way my union president -- and to judge by their reaction -- the rest of the union leadership are approaching these negotiations that are so important to the whole city. Without naming them specifically, Lewis ripped the mayor and some of his allies for being rich and not sending their children to public school. "It's personal," she declared.
Well, it's personal for the rest of us, too. Most, though, could care less about the private grudge-match between her and the mayor and whatever cuss words they used on each other in a private meeting last year. I think teachers deserve more than the 30% pay raise the union demanded as bargaining began, but taxpayers can't afford it and it was outrageous for the union to ignore that. Most importantly, school kids can't afford a strike. To borrow a phrase President Obama uses in foreign policy, time to hit the reset button, Mr. Mayor and Madame Union President.