December 17, 2007

Next Time, I Won't Be Pre-Outraged

Justin Katz

Seemingly because of Bobby Oliveira's attempts to talk some sense into the NEA's Pat Crowley (I know!), the Tiverton teachers' union moved its planned picket from the hospital at which School Committee Chairwoman Denise DeMedeiros works to the superintendent's office.

Maybe next time, we on the other side shouldn't forecast our outrage so explicitly. So let me just say, in advance, that I think burning effigies of the school committee on the football field would be very tasteful. Effective, too.


Here's a thought: If Crowley truly wants to advance the negotiations, rather than play the role of hardcore unionist, he could fall on his sword as the bad cop. Alternately, the teachers could give him a push.

That would send a clear message that the union is more interested in coming to an equitable resolution, rather than flexing its muscles in a bear hug.

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Actually had nothing to do with either Bobby or Pat. A resident who, along with his family, has been very active with local children and community groups passed away on Fri. of a sudden heart attack. It was out of respect for him and had nothing to do with all the rhetoric.

Posted by: WillP at December 17, 2007 7:47 PM

Sorry, Will. You'll just have to tolerate my incredulity. Sounds like a justification to me, although readers (and residents) can decide for themselves.

Posted by: Justin Katz at December 17, 2007 7:50 PM

Wouldn't expect anything less (or more) from you Justin.

Posted by: WillP at December 17, 2007 7:56 PM

I can see what you mean: The union has been the model of restraint, honesty, and fair play thus far. Who could doubt its last-minute reason for not following through with PR self-immolation?

Posted by: Justin Katz at December 17, 2007 8:22 PM

WillP clearly has chosen to not read the thread at RIFuture where Pat was still defending the decision to picket at the hospital THIS MORNING.

This was a matter of searching for, and finding, a convenient truth to hide behind.

Posted by: Greg at December 17, 2007 8:43 PM

Actually Greg I did read it. But all it meant to me is that telling Mr. Crowley wasn’t high on their “to do” list this weekend. Bobby Doyle and especially his wife Lori are very actively involved with the school community and know many of the teachers and members of the school committee. As a long-time resident of Tiverton (where everyone knows everyone else) this family was very well-respected and liked, so it just doesn’t seem a stretch to me that it was not strategy but rather reverence and respect. I can only guess, but this is probably why the school committee canceled their meeting scheduled for Wednesday as well.

Posted by: WillP at December 17, 2007 9:21 PM

I've been derelict in not expressing my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Doyle. I didn't know him, or of him, but it's a shame to have to discuss union matters around his loss.

That said, I guess I'm not clear on why a change of location, rather than outright canceling the event, was a particularly respectful decision. (I'm not, I'd note, saying that it was a disrespectful one.)

Posted by: Justin Katz at December 17, 2007 9:40 PM

I too fail to see ANY relevance. If his death was such a tragedy, why memorialize his life with a picket?

I suspect that, if this tragedy didn't occur, another could have been found and/or manufactured off of the list of potential reasons to move or cancel this action in Pat's possession.

One would think he was hoping for bad weather...

Posted by: Greg at December 17, 2007 10:24 PM

"If Crowley truly wants to advance the negotiations, rather than play the role of hardcore unionist, he could fall on his sword as the bad cop."

But who would wear the George B mask, don the duck suit and send the digital messages? We need to think this through a little, Justin.

Posted by: Monique at December 17, 2007 11:11 PM

It’s a good bet that (like Hillary Clinton) Mr. Crowley is a disciple of Saul Alinsky, who has been referred to as “the father of modern American radicalism.” In the early 1970’s Alinsky published a book called “Rules for Radicals” that included 12 rules. Read them and you can (in general terms) predict the NEA / Crowley’s actions. The NEA’s “jihad o’ the month” against the Tiverton School Committee chairwoman is straight out of Rule 12:

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

Posted by: Tom W at December 18, 2007 9:26 PM
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