Labor “ditching” Democrats to concentrate on building a stronger labor movement as 2012 begins to heat up plays into why the above ad from Democracy for America, that’s supposed to air across the country, looks and sounds so tone deaf to me. Blaming only Republicans for what’s going on misses the problem by a mile. One of the biggest challenges for labor and movement progressives has been the Democratic establishment, starting with Pres. Obama and his Administration.
Where was Pres. Obama during the Wisconsin fight? He was silent. Right now labor and the middle class need a champion and they don’t have one.
A Bloomberg article about the “workingman’s” plight gives an important backdrop to Trumka’s Democratic discontent.
That labor has finally gotten tired of the word salad promises from Pres. Obama that isn’t backed by action doesn’t surprise me. Yes, Republicans are worse, but when a Democratic Administration has proven itself to be weak on building up the middle and working classes, the lesser of two evils argument just isn’t good enough.
Going forward, Trumka said, the labor movement will build up its own political structures and organizations rather than contribute to and depend on the Democratic Party’s political operation.
“We’re going to use a lot of our money to build structures that work for working people” Trumka said. “You’re going to see us give less money to build structures for others, and more of our money will be used to build our own structure.”
Trumka’s remarks follow the news that the AFL-CIO will set up a so-called super PAC, allowing the nation’s largest labor federation to spend unlimited amounts of money on political activity for next year’s elections and beyond. Trumka confirmed Thursday that the union is moving forward with plans to create the PAC.
It’s long past time that Democratic supporters wake up and send a message to the current crop of political pansies. If they aren’t going to support what’s important to build a stronger middle class then they’re not part of the solution anymore, they’re the problem.
Evidently, Trumka has finally found his inner tea party gene. More Democrats and progressives need to find theirs, too.