The decade's most triggering comedy
The Pennsylvania GOP learned life lesson number one recently: don’t be so eager to work with the Left.
That knowledge came the hard way for Keystone State Republicans after Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro went back on his word that he would sign a new school choice program into law. It should not come as any surprise that a Democrat politician put some of his biggest donors, the teachers unions, ahead of students. Yet for some reason, it was a wake-up call for those in Pennsylvania.
Shapiro has often indicated that he supports the state GOP’s plan to fund $100 million worth of vouchers for private and public schools. That plan passed in Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled state Senate but faced scrutiny in the state House. Democrats — and their major backers — fiercely opposed the plan. The House slowed down the budget’s passage while demanding an increase in public school funding. So, in turn, Shapiro reneged on his compromises with the GOP and used his line-item veto to strike it from the deal on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Senate Republicans issued a statement, apparently dumbfounded that a Democrat would do such a thing.
“We negotiated in good faith and were eager to stand with Governor Shapiro on one of his priority campaign commitments — supporting school choice opportunities,” the state Senate GOP said in a statement Thursday. “Today, Governor Shapiro has decided to betray the good faith agreement we reached, leaving tens of thousands of children across Pennsylvania in failing schools.”
Statement from Pennsylvania Senate Republicans: "We negotiated in good faith and were eager to stand with Governor Shapiro on one of his priority campaign commitments – supporting school choice opportunities. Today, Governor Shapiro has decided to betray the good faith agreement… pic.twitter.com/aunQgeLcbZ
— Corey A. DeAngelis, school choice evangelist (@DeAngelisCorey) July 6, 2023
Yet those who paid attention should have known that this plan was always a pipe dream.
Despite Shapiro voicing support for school choice, the political wing of Pennsylvania’s largest teachers union, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, heavily supported Democrats in the 2022 election cycle and opposed voucher programs.
Per The Daily Signal, PSEA’s political action committee “donated $775,000 to Shapiro’s gubernatorial campaign, more than $1 million to Democratic legislative candidates, and just over $300,000 to Republicans.”
“That’s a lot of money and influence for the proponents of school choice to overcome,” The Daily Signal’s Kevin Mooney predicted.
Indeed, PSEA president Richard Askey condemned Shapiro’s plan before the Senate even passed it.
Askey said that “diverting one cent of taxpayer money to a tuition voucher scheme for private and religious schools is absolutely irresponsible, no matter what name you call it.”
The Democratic Party, contrary to their feigned desire for bipartisanship, is in this business to win it. They are not looking for compromise or to do the honorable thing — unless it helps their party or expands Democrat power.
Consider that Shapiro is the same guy who stood alongside President Joe Biden as he blasted “MAGA Republicans” as being threats to democracy. He’s the same guy who stood by Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) as his campaign told the Pennsylvanian people that he had virtually zero health problems on the campaign trail — despite suffering from depression and the effects of a stroke. Shapiro is also the same politician who reportedly has his eyes set on higher office.
In light of all that, and with his potential political future on the line, why would anybody trust him to operate with integrity?
It should be assumed Shapiro — and every other Democratic leader — has the same animus that Biden, the de facto leader of the party, has for the GOP. The fish rots from the head down, as they say.
When dealing with the Left, it is best to be smart and assume the worst; good faith negotiations with the Democrats don’t exist. They only understand political muscle — whether it’s being flexed by their donors or their Republican opponents.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.