GOP Budget Slashers Under Attack From…Schoolteachers?

Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-Ariz.) | Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/azgop/5121032924/sizes/m/in/photostream/">AZGOP</a>.

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The fierce battle over federal spending playing out on Capitol Hill right now is dividing not only Democrats and Republicans but factions within the GOP itself. But one vocal House Republican says the real threat to the party comes not from within, or from folks across the aisle, but from—gasp!—teachers and their unions.

On the second morning of CPAC, the annual gathering of the conservative movement, Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) told a packed ballroom that Republicans are under siege for their efforts to slash $100 billion or more from their federal budget in their first year in office. (The $100 billion number was part of the GOP’s 2010 midterm campaigning.) An animated Schweikert went on, “I’m already starting to see my personal Facebook page, my personal email accounts, being attacked by every schoolteacher union group, by groups that live on government money.”

What CPAC attendees need to do, the Arizona congressman continued, is fight back against the menace of teachers’ unions by “filling up your Twitter account, your Facebook account, your friends’ emails with defending us” to “explain that $100 billion dollars is a drop in the bucket when next year’s shortfall is one and a half trillion.”

Here’s Schweikert’s comments:

How many of you have a Twitter account? How many of you have a Facebook account? How many of you have friends?

Look, look. A lot of you gave money and time and bled to get this Congress back. But the war is going to explode this weekend when the bad guys start to see what reality is in the numbers. I’m already staring to see my personal Facebook page, my personal email accounts, being attacked by every schoolteacher union group, by groups that live on government money. If you aren’t filling up your Twitter account, your Facebook account, your friends’ emails with defending us, and explain that 100 billion dollars is a drop in the bucket when next year’s shortfall is one and a half trillion, we’re gonna get run over. We’re gonna lose the messaging game…

Whether you like it or not, you’re the army. We gotta go to battle.

Schweikert’s comments wouldn’t be the first time the right targeted teachers’ unions. Who can forget conservative radio host Neal Boortz’s comment from 2007 that teachers’ unions are “destroying a generation” and are “much more dangerous than al Qaeda”? Fox’s Sean Hannity chimed in, too: “They are ruining our school system.” Great stuff.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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