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Monday, July 25, 2005

Labor's love lost

Unite is helping to pull them apart. The Teamsters aren't playing like, well, part of the team. Yes, the AFL-CIO has been served by Service Employees International.
And frankly Cornhuskerblogger can't seem to lose much sleep over it. This is partly because organized labor has been in long decline. CHB remembers a dreadful day in Iowa last year. As any Cornhusker knows, Iowa is shorthand for Idiots Out Wandering Around. And this was never more true than during the runup to the 2004 caucuses. CHB remembers fondly how much Dick Gephardt had touted organized labor in his bid for the Democratic nomination. CHB remembers less fondly what this translated into: nothing. Gephardt's campaign, on the back of labor, went nowhere and it was obvious it would from the very start.
Big Labor's problem is the Democrats' problem writ small. With jobs rapidly evaporating in this country, with corporate brass parachuting down to earth in gilded safety from phenomenal corporate disgraces, with the ownership society voters were sold on looking more and more like a sharecropper's society, the time seems incredibly ripe for Labor.
The Donkeys aren't polling so well because they are seen as a bunch of social permissives who only have `No' to say to Republicans. Labor is also viewed in a similar negative relief -- not as representing a progressive goal so much as standing in the way of the GOP agenda.
The implosion at the AFL-CIO is painful now but promises to inject fresh blood and spirit into a vital cause that's atrophied beyond effectiveness. Voters don't remember that it was Labor that helped win such things as ``weekends'' and workplace safety regulations for Americans. Reminding them of good-done-back-when all by itself isn't helpful.
It's time to remind voters that at no time since maybe the last turn of the century era have their health and livelihoods been so very much in the hands of robberbarons and corporate interests far removed from Main Street. That one party is now helping to line those interests' pockets no matter that its rhetoric implies otherwise. Yes, the Dems will face charges from the right that they're launching a class war. Actually, that war was opened a few years ago, and it's time for the Dems to suit up and fight it. High time.


Blogger strategery4 said...

Oh, come on -- the Dems would be far better off if they realized that union membership is going to assymptote (sp?) to zero and that they should MOVE ON. And "jobs rapidly evaporating in this country"? What data are you looking at? Paging Michael Moore!

Unions: Thanks for weekends off and whatever other shit you did 50 years ago but now that there are no more company towns there is also no reason for you to exist. You already helped kill the steel industry and currently you are in the process (with equal assistance from lousy management) of killing the American auto companies. And why the fuck do government employees have unions? How is it that governments are being driven by the profit motive to act like a monopsony and suppress wages?

Class warfare is fine by me -- I mean, if you can't convince people of THE FACT THAT the Bush tax cuts have overwhelmingly benefitted the wealthy at the expense of shoring up the middle class entitlement programs, then you have no political skills whatsoever, do you? Unfortunately that's an apt decription of the Democratic Party right now.

7/27/2005 2:24 AM  
Blogger strategery4 said...

Oh, and forgot to mention the other recent "gift" from labor unions to the Democratic party -- their stupid opposition to the Homeland Security bill because it weakened job protections and introduced merit pay. That combined with the aforementioned lack of political skills -- plus a little good old fashioned sleaze against Max Cleland -- let Bush get off the hook for (yet again) opposing doing anything serious to protect the U.S. from a terrorist attack (except stupid missle defense), and indeed let Bush take credit for HSA, and helped cost the Dems the Senate. D'oh!

7/27/2005 2:46 AM  

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