Gawker had a piece last night about the labor movement and the extent to which Labor is leaving the Democratic Party.
"Probably the most stinging backstab national Democrats gave labor was when they had 60 votes in the Senate a couple of years ago but still couldn't manage to pass card-check, a piece of legislation that would have made it easier for workforces to organize and which big unions considered their last big opportunity on the federal level to save private sector unionization from its rapid slide into extinction. The problem was that one Democratic senator, Blanche Lincoln — who technically represented the entire state of Arkansas but was essentially a voting lobbyist for the company Walmart — didn't want it, and it died.. .
Then this year, when teachers' unions became public enemy #1 and the source of all deficit problems and earthly evil according to new Republican (and even some Democratic) state legislatures across the country, national Democrats barely opened their mouths. . ."
What we've seen in many states is a witch hunt on the pensions and power of those who aim to collectively bargain. Whether it was the public employees in Wisconsin or the pension fight that is about to happen to public safety workers in Oklahoma, unions are in trouble.
Maybe that's why earlier this year the International Association of Firefighters decided that they're not giving any money to federal elections anymore and instead are sending it down to the state level to help protect pension programs. Or why some unions plan to sit out the National Democratic Convention in North Carolina in 2012.
Gawker quotes a Politico piece saying that the AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka plans to scale back their involvement with democratic candidates in the 2012 election.
What's discouraging in the Gawker piece are the comments that followed the "unions are getting screwed" theme:
We feel ya.
Dear Unions & Gays,
Right there with you.
Dear Unions, Gays, & Ladies,
We share the same pain.
Dear Unions, Gays, Ladies, & Blacks,
It's certainly been a couple of rough years, hasn't it?
Dear Unions, Gays, Ladies, Blacks & Latinos,
It has been a rough year - a rough couple of years. The War on Women rages with cuts to federal family planning program for low-income women that provides birth control, anything Planned Parenthood related, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and testing for H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases. While there have been large steps forward for LGBT rights they have little to do with Congressional legislation and everything to do with funding for the Justice Department. The worst is the war on the poor. Ours use to be the party that launched the War on Poverty but today we've stood by and watched as Republicans work tirelessly for the corporations that line their campaign war chests. And sadly many Democrats want to be just like them. That's right... I'm talking to you Dan Boren.
But he's not the only one. Republicans don't win by taking over power and pushing us to the right - because eventually the pendulum swings back to the left (see 2006 and 2008). Republicans win by forcing our own party to move further to the right. I'm a big believer in winning in Red States, being competitive in Red States, and I fully support moderate Democrats. But "moderate" doesn't have to mean you're a racist, anti-women, homophobic, poor-hating corporate whore. It just means you frame things differently so your district can understand it. It means you you have to stand up to enraged tea party family farmers and explain to them that their subsidies come from the government that they hate.
And be inspired by this. Because I agree... I'm tired of working for candidates who make me feel like I should be embarrassed for believing what I believe. I'm tired of getting them elected. And instead of saying excuse me you Leave it to Beaver trip back to the '50s we've cowered in the corner and said .. "Please don't hurt me!"