Pity the poor hard working teacher. Teaching was once of the most honored and respected professions in America. Then along came the NEA and the MEA and decades of hard-knuckle, Big Labor, bullying behavior that would make a loan shark-enforcer blush, you have what we have today: a profession all but embarrassed by the behavior of its unions and the pitiful performance metrics that result from the centrally-controlled monopoly it has imposed. Under union dominance the profession has suffered a loss of self-esteem, public confidence, and respect.
Now another great profession is in danger of following suit: Nursing. And Michigan Representative Lesia Liss – a Warren Democrat who also happens to be an emergency room nurse – has the scars to prove it.
In most people’s minds the nurse is a care giver, a comforter, a professional dedicated to the health and well being of the patients they serve. But if the union equivalent of the MEA for nurses, the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA), has its way, all that is about to change.
Turning on one of their own for having a difference of opinion, the MNA has unleashed a barrage of attacks and gutter tactics against the second-term Democrat that make the MEA playbook look like amateur hour. It all started when Liss had the gall to cross her party and vote in favor of an abortion limitation bill (for the record, this writer is pro-choice). Worse – from the MNA’s perspective – she also referred to the immature and vulgar “vagina monologue” hissy fit of fellow House Democrats Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum as “a circus.” Which it was – a fact obscured by the silly overreaction of the GOP majority.
Liss’s crime? Bipartisanship.
“They say I’m too friendly with Republicans,” says Liss about here abortion heresy. She points to one ad running against here that pictures her next to Rick Snyder. “The GOP has a friend in Lesia Liss,” reads the caption.
“The ability to work with the other side should be a strength,” says Liss. “When I ran for office, people demanded that legislators get along. I promised to work across the aisle. So why are the unions against me so aggressively?”
To make the point that all nurses better agree with the MRN union position on issues – or shut up – the MRN has joined activist groups like the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the League of Conservation Voters to support her opponent in an open seat primary resulting from new district maps. The MRN then launched a series of robocalls and mailers in the new district claiming that Liss has been “bought and paid for” by special interests. Apparently towing the MRN labor union line is exempt from any “special interest” taint.
The MRN is also telling all its members that Liss has “betrayed her profession.” Liss sees it differently. She says nursing should be about saving all lives.
The Party’s other union enforcers are punishing Liss for here heresy as well. The UAW and MEA have joined the MEA in backing Liss’s Democratic primary opponent, Jon Switalski. This despite their endorsement of Liss in her two previous elections – and the fact that BOTH of Liss’s parents are UAW members.
The official MNA line is that they are supporting Switalski because he introduced a liberal bill regulating hospital nurse-to-patent ratios. Trouble is, that is a bill that Nurse Liss originally introduced back when Democrats controlled the House two years ago. Its Big Government remedy failed even then. Switalski’s adoption is merely the cover story for the MNA to abandon one of its own to enforce Party abortion doctrine.
The Party line must be enforced. Pity bipartisanship. And pity the poor hard working nurse.