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.

Organized labor tacks to the right

Samuel Gompers

Matea Gold and Melanie Mason of the Los Angeles Times briefly described this rightward shift in big labor:

Last May, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka stood a few blocks from the White House and issued a stern warning: Union members could not be counted on as the Democrats’ foot soldiers anymore.

“If leaders aren’t blocking the wrecking ball and advancing working families’ interests, then working people will not support them,” he said in a speech at the National Press Club.

Flash forward to today: Labor appears squarely back in the Democrats’ corner for the 2012 election — pushed there in large part by Republican attacks on collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Those and other anti-union measures are rallying organized labor to the side of its longtime Democratic allies, and not just in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan, where they are battling efforts aimed at curbing union organizing.

The country’s biggest unions also have played a central role in helping a network of federal pro-Democratic “super PACs” get off the ground, pouring more than $4 million into those groups in 2011, even as many wealthy liberals kept their checkbooks closed.

And some major labor groups have even inserted themselves into the Republican presidential primaries with ads that take aim at White House hopeful Mitt Romney.

We’re not party animals

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka informs the party duopoly that Labor has an agenda and a movement which will work to achieve that agenda:

And we’ll build up our labor movement — in the workplace and in political life.

We want an independent labor movement strong enough to return balance to our economy, fairness to our tax system, security to our families and moral and economic standing to our nation.

We can’t simply build the power of any political party or any candidate. For too long we’ve been left after the election holding a canceled check and asking someone to pay attention to us. No more! No more!

Our goal is not to help candidates or parties, our goal is to improve the lives of working families and strengthen our country, and that’s what we’re going to do.

When it comes to politics, we’re looking for real champions of working women and men.

And I have a message for some of our “friends.” It doesn’t matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball or simply standing aside — the outcome is the same either way.