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Limousine Leftist Alec Baldwin Strung Up By HuffPo Readers for “Union Bashing”

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Posted on October 15 2010 4:00 pm
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota's North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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It is ironic that so-called liberals effectively cast themselves as high-minded intellectuals, as if their ideas are methodically contemplated through reason applied to evidence, when their ranks are typically as monolithic and monophonic as a choir in Gregorian chant. Regardless of evidence, there is little tolerance among the Left for any who deviate from their sheet music.

Not even 30 Rock actor and Huffington Post contributor Alec Baldwin is immune to the haranguing of the political correctness police. Baldwin recently suggested HuffPo readers take in Waiting for “Superman,” a documentary film by An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim which takes a surprisingly critical look at the destructive effect of teachers’ unions upon America’s public education system.

Whether or not teachers’ unions are partly to blame is open to discussion, but Guggenheim’s film casts a light on that perspective. And once you get a peek at New York City’s “Rubber Room” for outcast teachers, you may never view the NEA and the AFT the same way again.

Hardly a blistering indictment, Baldwin’s comment nonetheless drew virtual hisses and boos from leftist readers at HuffPo. In a rebuttal to those comments, Baldwin was prompted to observe:

If ever you wanted proof that there may be an education crisis in this country, just look to the reading comprehension level evident in some of the comments posted on this site.

It only gets better from there. Frustrated by his readers’ discontent, Baldwin desperately clarifies that he is not “union bashing.”

…where schools are failing, we owe it to others and to ourselves to examine why. The belligerent, class-baiting vitriol you so often find here is ill-advised and unwelcome. Then again, what’s worse than a liberal who doesn’t have someone to blame for their political powerlessness? To say that a significant number of people in higher income brackets are eager to abandon the public school system is false. To say that those same people, whether they be in the entertainment business or not, want to hobble teachers’ unions in order to foster a growing private business that replaces public education is outrageous.

HuffPo readers aren’t buying it. In their view, any criticism of a union is unforgivable.

What is not intellectually acceptable is to promote a film that largely assigns blame to the unions, with comments such as the above quote, and then claim to be offended when people accurately call you out for union-bashing. Even you can’t have it both ways, Alex [sic]. Man up. If the unions are the basic problem, say so. If they aren’t, then don’t support a film that says they are.

What is noteworthy here is the general acceptance among both Baldwin and his readers that so-called “union bashing” is something to be avoided. Baldwin struggles to distinguish his advocacy of Waiting for “Superman” from the talking points his readers might expect from a Tea Partier. C’mon guys, he seems to say. Just because I’m a rich privileged Hollywood celebrity doesn’t mean I’m not as radical as you.

Baldwin seems to crave regard as a legitimate leftist, and not a so-called limousine liberal. Alas, he crossed the line when he dared suggest teachers’ unions be subject to a minimal amount of scrutiny.

Baldwin finds himself in good company. Even intimate involvement with Al Gore’s farcical climate scare couldn’t inoculate “Superman” director Guggenheim against the venom of radical union zealots, moving him to preempt criticism with the assurance he supports unions.

There is no reason motivating this process on either side. Leftists open to intellectual inquiry ought not concern themselves with mindless epithets like “union basher.” Rather, Baldwin ought to scold his readers more than he has for implying unions are somehow infallible. There is nothing “intellectually acceptable” about assuming a union can do no wrong.

Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota’s North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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