The Wrecking Crew

I think the majority of people will still vote, but what’s going to motivate the base to turn out? It’s not as if Obama’s fighting for anyone on the bottom:

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka implored state and local labor leaders and political organizers this morning to fight harder than ever in the fall elections, pleading with them to think about progress that’s been made under President Obama and to “keep going.”

Trumka, who has not shied away from criticizing Obama, got specific with his pitch. He said the nation can’t afford to have Senators like Republican candidates Sharron Angle (NV) and Rand Paul (KY), or to have a Speaker John Boehner if Democrats lose control of Congress. He also criticized the Democrats who haven’t been supportive of the labor movement.

Like other Democrats, he framed the election as a choice between moving ahead and Republicans wanting to return to the George W. Bush era, a choice between “the clean-up crew and the wrecking crew.” Trumka rattled off gains made under the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress — from health care to Wall Street reform, and a Labor Department and National Labor Relations Board he said stand up for workers. He acknowledged those new laws don’t have everything his movement fought for. Trumka was in fact in tense last minute negotiations with the White House over health care reform this spring, and vocal about his frustration that it did not go as far as labor leaders wanted.

But, he said, “That’s progress. And we’ve got to keep it going.”

“We need to keep the pressure on, and we will,” he said. “But we have to remember who brought us the worst economy since the Great Depression, who got us into this.”

He told the organizers he knows they are “angry” and “frustrated.”

“We know we haven’t achieved everything we worked for. But we’ve made progress–and we have to keep it going,” Trumka said. “Remind them we have to save our anger for the corporate lapdogs who made this mess and the Republicans in the Senate who are determined to keep us in it.”

3 thoughts on “The Wrecking Crew

  1. The amazing thing is that organized labor will wonder why they didn’t get card check or why Obama didn’t fight for it. They didn’t get it – and Obama didn’t fight for it – because they’re more than happy to go shill for the Dems anyway. Screw ’em by doing a 180 on their #1 priority and then insult them by doing more free trade deals, there are no consequences beyond Blanche Lincoln having to raise a bit more money to win her primary.

    I like Trumka, but if his willingness here to let the Dems destroy unions and the middle class so long as they do it more slowly than the GOP is how unions keep getting crushed in this country.

  2. Put it another way, do you think if the GOP screwed the NRA like the Dems screwed labor, the NRA would be out shilling for them this year? No. But then the GOP would never screw the NRA that way. There’s a connection there, I think.

  3. I have a lot of respect for Trumka. A LOT. I don’t think he has any alternative if he’s to accomplish anything for his members — but I’m sure he’ll find some other way of putting the screws to the corporate Dems.

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