Which side are they on?

The Republican Party leadership is explicitly anti-union because they recognize that unions are a key support for the Democratic Party and a key opponent of the right-wing corporate agenda.

It would seem logical to think that President Obama and the Democratic leaders would defend organized labor, one of the pillars of their party, but they don’t.

RTW_protestAs Thomas Edsall pointed out in his New York Times column, the Democratic leadership has been not only indifferent to labor’s goals, but sometimes actively hostile.

Republicans such as Scott Walker and Chris Christie have persuaded the public that low wages, job insecurity and lack of benefits are normal, and that a policeman who gets a pension enjoys an unfair privilege at the public expense.

Democratic leaders do little or nothing to counteract this.

The problem is not that Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or the other Democratic leaders are naive or weak, or that the Republicans are obstructionist (they are, but that’s not the problem).

The problem is that the goals of the Democratic leaders are different from what they say and from what their core supporters want.

President Obama has refused to prosecute banking executives for financial fraud, although this has always been within his power and still is.

The statute of limitation has run out for the crimes that helped bring on the 2008 financial crash, but there have been plenty of new crimes since then.

He has worked with great tenacity for the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement which, based on what’s been leaked about it, is the enactment of the agenda of global corporations into international law.

Everybody who has an idea of what’s in it, and is not part of the corporate elite, is opposed to it.

WELL.v18-21.Feb11.Bell_On this issue I hope for Republican obstructionism, but I’m not sure I can count on it.

Maybe I am wrong to focus on Obama so much.  He didn’t elect himself and he doesn’t run the country by himself, and he’s not worse than the Presidential candidates he defeated.  All the things I criticize are systemic problems and not the product of a single individual’s personality.

I suppose the reason I’m so anti-Obama is that he disappointed the hopes I had when I voted for him in 2008.

I never saw him as the second coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but I did think he would bring the United States back to what I regarded as normal—a nation in which crime in high places was punished, Americans did not commit war crimes, Presidents did not start wars and basic Constitutional rights were respected.

What I now realize is that there is a new normal.

I don’t pretend to know Obama’s motives.  It could be gratitude toward those who financed his rise to power, it could be a sincere belief that the status quo is the best that can be hoped for, it could be a hope for a comfortable post-presidential retirement of corporate directorships, consulting fees, million-dollar book deals, and six-figure lecture fees paid by Wall Street.


Republicans Sure Love to Hate Unions by Thomas Edsall for the New York Times.  While Democrats hate to defend unions.

Prosecute Now: The Justice Department Can Still Act Against Bad Bankers by R.J. Eskow.

Obama says he’s willing to defy Democrats on the Trans Pacific Partnership by David Nakamura for the Washington Post.

A Credibility Problem? by Joe Firestone for New Economic Perspectives.  (via Corrente)

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2 Responses to “Which side are they on?”

  1. Ben Franklin Says:

    Not to mention his reticence toward the Senate torture report. His problem I think is his failure to recognize the current zeitgeist as he applied his Abrahamic ‘Team of rivals’. The times are very different now obviously. Also he played the Leftist in his campaign, when he is clearly dead-centrist.


  2. prayerwarriorpsychicnot Says:

    Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs.


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