Telling the Difference

In the midst of an interesting post on his disagreements with myself and Ezra Klein, Mickey Kaus writes:

For example, Democrats aren’t going to fix the schools unless they in effect bust the teachers’ unions. If you make that point, is it because you want to bolster your credentials as an independent-minded blogger or because you want to fix the schools?

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As it happens, some of my favorite people are neoliberal education policy analysts and it’s genuinely not so hard to tell the difference. Someone who wants to fix the schools and says mean things about teacher’s unions because they believe teacher’s unions are an impediment to improving American education will, for example, write on a range of education-related topics and engage in various education-related debates. Kaus’s interest in education policy, by contrast, begins and ends with his dislike of the teacher’s unions. And, not incidentally, there are all kinds of other unions — all unions, as best I can tell — that Kaus doesn’t like.