So it makes no sense for Republicans to offer establishment-oriented programs as a way to win the hearts and minds of voters, yet that is what our leadership offers time and time again.
We were treated to another shining example of this lack of vision in a post on today's Oregon Catalyst. The source of the press-release that motivated the post is the Senate Republican Office. If this is what passes for a Republican reform idea, we can look forward to a long run as a minority party.
The Senate leaders, in the press release, try to capitalize on a recent report that gave Oregon a failing grade for "preparing and supporting teachers." Senator Ted Ferrioli delivers the punchline:
“Last session Senate Republicans championed a number of proposals to bring excellence to Oregon classrooms, like professional standards and resources for teachers or ensuring financial accountability in school districts. Unfortunately, those proposals received little attention from the Democrat majority.”
So the big problem in our schools is that we dont have sufficient "professional standards" or enough "resources" for teachers? Is this what passes for vision in our Republican leadership?
Hey, I get trying to score political points on the heels of a national report that shows Oregon's schools in a bad light. But to think that this is an effective way to capitalize - by touting things that would only have served to empower the education bureaucracy (and the unions) - shows an intellectual laziness or a complete lack of understanding about the real issues that confront the schools.
It also reveals an inexplicable lack of courage. In the middle of a presidential election where every single one of the Republican candidates have school choice at the center of his education proposals, Oregon Republicans can only muster this kind of mealy-mouthed nonsense.
Here's what Rudy Giuliani (no movement conservative, he) had to say about "resources for teachers" in a video clip that is front and center on the issues page of his campaign web site:
Rudy: What we need is choice.
Questioner: That is going to bring back public school teachers?
Rudy: “I love teachers, I think teachers are wonderful. There are great ones, there are average ones, there are bad ones …. but I really care about the kids more. Sorry. We should have choice. We should empower parents. They should decide - private school, parochial school, public school, charter school, home school - that will give the parents control over the kids education. I think it's the single largest civil rights issue in the 21st century.”
Why is it that a presidential candidate, with his entire national candidacy at stake, has the courage to say this, and our local Republican leadership doesn't?
Honestly, if this is the quality of the ideas coming out of our leaders, we deserve to lose.