Saturday, September 18, 2010

Counting on the Unions

It's a given that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are beholden to powerful labor unions for their survival. Such a postulate is easily proven by looking at the Stimulus, health care bill, auto bailout, cash for clunkers, recent state aid bill and the proposed infrastructure stimulus--all had significant perks for unions, including restrictions on some that forbade non-union companies from competing. And of course Joe Biden, who probably wouldn't have been chosen had he not appealed to 'the working man'.

So it's interesting to see this headline in the New York Times today about union influence:
Unions Find Members Slow to Rally Behind Democrats
The column hits mainly on the disappointment union members are feeling after devoting so much time and effort into getting a Democrat super majority. Here's a comment that might sum up the entire mid-term political situation:
For the union brass, turning around voters like Mike DeGasperis, a steelworker from Martins Ferry, Ohio, could prove difficult; two years ago he was motivated by his “anti-Bush” feelings.

“We heard everything was going to change, but there hasn’t been much change and the unemployment is still bad and the area we live in is still really depressed,” said Mr. DeGasperis, who was laid off for 10 months last year.

He said he had not decided whom to back in the House, Senate and governor’s races — all key in Ohio, a pivotal swing state. “I’m going to keep my options open.”
Guess it wasn't "change that mattered" for him. Notice also the motivation--'anti Bush feelings', which is quite strange since Bush wasn't running. He was clearly energized by a combination of the left's successful demonization of Iraq and by the last minute collapse of the housing market in 2008, which was also blamed on exclusively on Bush. He voted to get rid of a marketed culture of evil and failure.

So what does his recent change of heart mean, exactly? It's hard to say for sure, but it could be interpreted to mean there's a better way to create jobs aside from demonizing Republicans, printing money or confiscating it from those who create the jobs. Regardless, it points out how difficult it's going to be for the Dems to run on an economy they completely own--the GOP voted against every one of the socialized programs.

That's not all, though. The story wanders into an area many Democrat and union bosses are loathe to go--loyalty in the booth. Many rank and file union members simply have a hard time pulling the lever for someone like Pelosi. According to the story 37 percent of union members voted for McCain. Many union men and women are patriotic down to earth Americans who don't like the country being run down, or the perception thereof.

So it'll be interesting to see if the Dem party leaders and various union spokesflacks like Richard Trumka can convince people like Mr. DeGasperis to vote against Bush one more time. It's really all they've got. Perhaps the bigger question might be how far they are willing to go to get it done--the stakes are ridiculously high.

MORE 9/19/10

Here's an interesting take on GM's former Delphi unit and the pension debacle that developed as GM began to teeter towards bankruptcy itself. Seems the UAW workers got the gold mine while their white collar salaried employees got the shaft. The WaPo asks if it was politics or crisis management... gee, if it was any other president aside from the one who told the plumber he wanted to "spread the wealth around" that might be a tough question to answer.


Anonymous said...

I realize that it is unsophisticated to make generalized statements; this may explain why the article cites, “37 percent of union members” voted for John McCain. My take is this: if unions are unhappy with the progressive party agenda, it is because they have not received enough “stuff” from the liberal agenda. Let us suppose for a moment that I am completely wrong about that. Let us also suppose that many union members are down to earth, patriotic people. Where were they (in the media) when SEIU assaulted a banking executive at his private home outside the District of Columbia, terrorizing his teenage son? Surely a down to earth patriot would be incensed by such behavior, even if their union was not involved in the “demonstration,” for the obvious reason, and because such behaviors reinforce a belief among those generally opposed to labor unions that unions are (a) mostly thugs and gangsters, (b) neo-communists, and (c) place self interests over the best interests of the nation.

A.C. McCloud said...

Where were they? Probably worried about their jobs should they speak out. Yet they can make their little statement in the voting booth, where nobody can see. That's my point. I agree with you on unions in general. Never have been against workers wanting decent working conditions but the thug bosses never seem satisfied with the conditions and can't stand being told what to do by management. At that point a union becomes more like a competitor, not a business partner. That's the problem.

Debbie said...

If Obama has lost his Union vote, that's BIG. Yes, they can still speak with their votes in November and I hope they will. We must distinguish the Union leadership from the average worker out there. I think there is a big difference in the way they think and also in the amount of goodies they get.

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