Trumka put lipstick on a pig

 

English: AFL-CIO portrait of .

Richard Trumka, leader of that political black hole the AFL-CIO, had this to say about Scott Walker’s decisive victory in the recent Wisconsin recall election:

We wanted a different outcome, but Wisconsin forced the governor to answer for his efforts to divide the state and punish hard-working people.

Their resolve has inspired a nation to follow their lead and stand up for the values of hard work, unity, and decency that we believe in. We hope Scott Walker heard Wisconsin: Nobody wants divisive policies.

Yes, Trumka wanted to elect the Democrat in this election. We know this because the AFL-CIO always wants to elect Democrats. The Democratic Party and ‘big labor‘ have a special relationship. Trumka wanted ‘big labor’ to have a seat at the table. After all, AFL-CIO unions would need to be at the table in order to ‘negotiate’ the concessions the political and economic elite want unions to make. What Trumka did not want was the elimination of that furniture which never includes the majority of Americans. He thus wanted ‘big labor’ to have more political power than it now has, but not so much political power that that power would threaten to eliminate its seat at the table.

Actually, the election and the campaign beforehand hardly made Walker answer for his class politics. In fact, the outcome legitimized Walker’s class politics. Wisconsin voters affirmed a victory by the political reactionaries in America’s class war. Moreover, Walker’s easy victory made it clear to anyone with eyes that the left cannot challenge the party duopoly that governs America. The labor movement in America lost this election. Left populists lost this election. The system ‘worked.’

Finally, despite Trumka’s claim to the contrary, many Americans want divisive politics. The left especially wants divisive politics. The left wants to improve the lot of the poor, the working and middle classes; it wants to increase political accountability and democratic participation. These goals are inevitably divisive in the United States today. The Trumkas of the world do not want a divisive politics. They are, in a word, complacent. Gomperism lives. Complacency, unfortunately, produces system affirmative outcomes such as we have recently seen in Wisconsin and saw in 2008.

Quote of the day

Bob Urie takes a union to task:

Last week SEIU (Service Employees International Union) echoed the language of the Occupy Wall Street movement to give an early endorsement to Barack Obama in his re-election bid for the presidency in 2012. Service Employees International UnionFor both tactical and strategic reasons this endorsement works against the interests of organized labor. And using the language of OWS to endorse the singular symbol of American political dysfunction undermines the efforts of the thousands of OWS protesters who have put themselves at significant risk of physical harm to bring about substantive political and social change.

We might have to travel back to the early 1970s to find a labor bureaucrat making a blunder of this magnitude. I’m referring, of course, to decrepit and foolish George Meany‘s dance macabre with Richard Nixon and George McGovern. Meany hated McGovern for, among other things, McGovern’s opposition to the Vietnam War. Yet McGovern was the most pro-labor candidate for President of the two legacy parties in the nation’s history! The upshot: Not only was the 1972 Presidential election “big labor’s” nadir within the Democratic Party, the election also stands alone as the signal event marking the political realignment brought about by the ascendency of the New Right.

Mary Kay Henry — a fool belonging to a tradition made by fools.