19 May
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School Choice Gains Dem Support in FL

The WSJ editorial board brings us encouraging news on the school choice front out of Florida – a number of Democrats that initially opposed a school-choice program voted to extend it because their constituents have embraced it.

The teacher’s union is a powerful lobby, but hopefully as more and more of these programs help poor families secure a better education for their children and word spreads of their success, more families will gain access to alternatives to failing public schools.

The Wall Street JournalDemocrats for School Choice

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  • With most new Congressional Democrats being so called Blue Dog Democrats, socially conservative Dems, this issue is bound to gain more traction on both sides of the aisle…


    Lets hope that while the Dems are embracing Republican ideas to win elections like school choice and acting like conservatives they will also fight for the family and traditional marriage, all things a majority of constituents, like school choice call out for.

  • Yes, it was in the article but I forgot to point it out, this was a Republican initiative that initially only one Dem voted for, but after its success one third of Dems voted to extend it.

    School choice can have bipartisan appeal because it is not just a socially conservative issue – I am certainly anything but – but because parents can benefit from school choice whether they want to remove their children from public school science classes for religious reasons or because they want to get their child out of a failing public school so that they can get a better education.

  • I agree with all that was really said above… its just funny to me, its about time Democrats came around to the RIGHT form of choice, school choice!

  • Well, if Democrats can come around to that, hopefully Republicans can come around to the other RIGHT form of choice – a woman’s.

  • Well perhaps Jen that might be the case with McCain as the nominee… but seems unlikely [THANK GOD] being dispute his cozying up to the the left he has already affirmed the Party’s Pro-Life stance WILL remain in the Party’s Platform… and like the first anonymous comment said with Blue Dog Dems, the majority of new House Dems, being pro-life the country seems to be affirming once and for all its support for life… why should Rep.s trend away from the good fight now?

  • Oh, so this is a different anonymous? So hard to tell when you all don’t use your names (or even a pseudonym).

    Blue dog dems are winning in traditionally conservative, rural districts, just as pro-choice Republicans win in more metropolitan areas – neither is evidence of a national trend. Chances are neither side will win out entirely, and what we will see is that abortion will remain legal, but with restrictions.

  • Well I was the second anonymous comment, and I don’t have a blogger account so I hope this is better for you Jen…

    and i think you are totally wrong, Blue Dog Dems in 2008 are a rarity and important OPENLY PRO-CHOICE democrats… If these pols gain enough traction and support they can possibly swing the Dem party more towards being pro-choice…

  • Same here Tom, now that I have my blogger account I hope that its okay if I comment and not use Anonymous. I think the two topics are definetly related, Dems traditionally opposed school choice for two reasons to benefit their union backers and to make sure voters couldn’t go to private or Catholic schools (NYC wise), because that would help the Reps because these students would possibly be more pro-life and conservative… they are the same issue at heart…

  • Thomas,

    Yes, it does make it easier to keep things straight if you guys at the very least use a pseudonym. You don’t need a blogger account, if you select the name option when commenting you can put in whatever you want.

    I’m not sure what you’re saying I’m wrong about, since I don’t think I commented on the prevalence of blue dog dems, just that they weren’t indicative of a national trend towards electing more pro-life politicians.

  • Brendan,

    That’s quite a stretch to say that the Dems are just concerned about students going to Catholic school and turning pro-life – I went to Catholic school and came out a pro-choice atheist – its really about the power of the teachers union and them not wanting tax money going from a government institution to a private institution. They try to use the argument that public money shouldn’t go to religious schools not because they don’t want kids getting religion, but because they don’t want them going to any private school and it is another weapon in their arsenol.

  • I was the third Anonymous comment so I thought I would make it easier for you too and just say that the point is that with Dems in FL supporting school choice and Blue Dog Dems being pro-life the national trend DOES seem to be moving towards conservatism, but ironically this time with Democrats usurping the policies of Republicans…

  • Caitlin,

    If pro-life Dems were winning in traditional liberal districts, it would be evidence of a trend, the fact that they are winning in conservative districts is evidence of two things – Republicans are failing in other areas and Democrats have taken advantage of this to increase their control of Congress.

    Also, you don’t have to be socially conservative to support school choice – it is about providing children with an alternative to a mediocre public education.

  • I agree with you all, except with what you wrote Jen, the trend is def edging out towards conservatives, Dems learned in 2004 with Kerry that they can’t win with liberal policies anyway, so they are using their media pals to bad mouth the Reps and then take their ideas and get elected, but this doesn’t change the fact that their party leaders are still die hard liberal democrats, but I think you have to admit Jenn with pro-life dems being elected throughout the country and a conservative leaning Supreme CT, the trend is towards pro-life politics.

  • While Jenn I am for school choice as being a Republican I think families can make better decisions on their children’s education than Bd of Ed, but you are going to have to clarify your comment on mediocre public school education.

  • I agree the issue is multi-faceted but I think you will have to agree Democrats don’t want voters to be God-fearing pro-lifers which Catholic schools only help to enforce, its not in their interest

  • Are you serious? If a party that is traditionally pro-abortion is putting up predominately pro-life candidates you think thats not a national trend? You don’t think that the DNC recognizing they need a brand re-adjustment? Be serious now.

  • We need to remember these are two separate issues, niether of which will really have any big clout in this years election.

    And while they may show a trend by Dems moving towards the right on certain policies, the Blue Dog dems dont show yet any willingness to vote against their liberal democratic overlords in the House and like Jenn said urban areas are still voting traditionally liberal.

    Republicans and conservatives though shouldn’t jump for joy that dems are taking their policies, because with the Republican brand sinking, these so-called conservative Democrats will take the Republicans’ policies all the way to the Capitol, unless Republicans can show how they will both change and actually work for change on these issues.

    Republicans need to remind voters that Blue Dog Dems may sing a new song campaign season, but alert voters to the fact that once these guys are in the House they will dance to the same tune as Nancy Pelosi.

    So anyway 2 different issues…

  • Caitlin, it might be a trend if a very vocally pro-life Democrat won a primary in a state like New York or California, but winning a congressional district in the South or Midwest that has traditionally voted Republican is not a trend, just like its not a trend that a pro-choice Republican like Rudy won mayor of New York.

    Anthony is right – the Blue Dog Democrats, while they might share some positions with social conservatives, and may talk fiscally conservative while campaigning – but they are still liberals in Congress.

    The real issue here is not that the Democratic party is trending pro-life, it is that the Democratic party saw an easy opportunity to pick off some seats in areas where the voters are frustrated with the Republicans. If Republicans would go back to ideas and stop trying to win elections based solely on socially conservative issues, they would have a better chance of beating the Blue Dogs.

    Frank, by mediocre I mean the many public schools, particularly those in cities, that have high drop out rates and low college matriculation.

    Brendan – the Democrats don’t just oppose vouchers for Catholic schools, they oppose them for non-denominational schools as well – many of them also oppose magnet schools. Also, I think that you’re giving them too much credit for thinking that far in advance.