“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.” [CNN]
WHAT HAPPENED in Michigan didn’t arise out of nowhere. It developed with the help of Democratic Party laziness and lack of leadership, when the party of unions fell asleep at the switch. It was made possible by today’s unions who sided with Democrats when there was no evidence the establishment players were going to stand by their side to keep what happened in Michigan from happening.
President Obama has been the most fecklessly incompetent Democratic leader on the middle class, working people and unions in modern history. Not wanting to get his hands dirty or tarnish his mushy bipartisan brand, from extending the Bush tax cuts early in his first term to ignoring the signs in Wisconsin and Ohio, Obama stood by to allow the growing energy against the only thing to build the middle class to build until the home of the UAW saw the collapse of union power.
But advocates of the legislation, which outlaws requirements that workers pay fees to unions as a condition of employment, lauded the day as a historic turning point for economic health in Michigan, and some Republicans predicted that their victory here would embolden other states to enact similar measures.
[...] The legislation here, which will go into effect next year, bans any requirement that most public and private sector employees at unionized workplaces be made to pay dues or other fees to unions. In the past, those who opted not to be union members were often required to pay fees to unions that bargained contracts for all employees at their workplace. – Limits on Unions Pass in Michigan, Once a Mainstay
Progressives have ignored the conservative economics of the Obama first term, starting with Barack Obama building the Affordable Care Act with private insurance having all the power, along with Big Pharma, continuing with the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and culminating with President Obama’s grand bargain offering up entitlement dismantling that today could begin with Democrats agreeing to help Republicans privatize Medicare by pushing the eligibility age from 65 to 67.
The Democratic Party is as much to blame for what happened in Michigan as anyone, with the leader of the party, Barack Obama, now presiding over the final slide of the unions, aided and abetted by Hoffa and other labor leaders who continued to back a politician who has never fought for unions in his entire career.
Lip service is all the American worker has gotten from Democrats, minus a few leaders like Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders, perhaps Elizabeth Warren once she’s in the Senate. With the leading politician serving up word salads and absolutely no leadership when it was needed. President Barack Obama finally saying something in verse, but only after he was reelected and it was way too late.
If anyone is surprised about what happened in Michigan you haven’t been paying attention to the national mood that’s been building ever since Barack Obama sat on his hands in the Oval Office doing nothing as Scott Walker and the American right dismantled collective bargaining.
It’s now considered “freedom” to be a freeloader, allowing union members and leaders to work for better contracts, while someone who doesn’t want to pay the dues receives the benefits.
Hey, President Obama, got legacy? You do now.
Instead of being the leader of the Democratic Party who fought the move by Republicans to dismantle unions, President Barack Obama presided over the last dismantling of union power by standing around and doing and saying absolutely nothing while it happened.