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Shakin Nagan
Junior Boarder
Posts:259

Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13583 3 years, 6 months ago
Unions clamor, Obama cowers: His silence on state protests speaks volumes

BY Rick Perlstein

Sunday, April 17th 2011, 4:00 AM
President Barack Obama has been curiously silent on protests in Wisconsin and across the country.
Dharapak/AP
President Barack Obama has been curiously silent on protests in Wisconsin and across the country.

You've seen them: Ordinary white Americans from Wisconsin or Indiana, protest signs aimed at treasonous politicians.

No, not the Tea Partyers, though that description fits them, too. I write of the ones on the left, the thousands petitioning their governors against budget cuts and the slashing of union rights.

But while John Boehner has declared "no daylight" between himself and the Tea Party, one wag joked that President Obama had more to say about whether the Chicago Bears would get into the Super Bowl than the union protests in Wisconsin.

His silence has liberals baffled. The Wisconsin protesters' demands - a focus on jobs; preservation of collective bargaining; resistance to cuts in social services - poll well among the general public. So why are Democrats leaving this political energy on the table?

Historically, grass-roots movements have been an extraordinary resource for Presidents seeking to move history in a new direction. The ability to place oneself at the head of a protest - while also directing its unruly energies - has been a perquisite for successful presidential leadership.

One of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression was to give workers the right to collectively bargain. However, some found their unions' umbrella organization, the American Federation of Labor, too timid. So at a 1935 labor conclave, John Lewis, the leader of the insurgents, strode across the podium to punch the leader of the old guard in the nose, an act that would lead to the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, which turned labor into a social movement.

These days, conservatives who seek to discredit the Wisconsin protesters as hooligans point to the alleged damage their posters did to the state capitol's walls. In 1937, CIO strikers in Flint kept GM from producing all but 125 cars in February of 1937. Now that was unruly.

But unlike Obama, FDR supported the strikers, directing GM to negotiate with the union.

Eighteen steelworkers were killed in one of the violent labor conflicts that followed; FDR backed away from the CIO and its militant tactics. Be that as it may, his original intervention on the side of the masses - combined with his savvy in distancing himself from their excesses - paid dividends to the Democratic Party.

In Wisconsin, there have been no such excesses on the protestors' side. And yet Obama has kept his distance.

Lyndon Johnson achieved a trick similar to FDR's: In 1964, he cast his lot with the outraged masses of the civil rights movement. That came with its share of political hardships, but Democrats stuck close enough to their guns to produce an African-American loyalty that remains steadfast to this day.

Nor is this just a strategy of the left. The Christian right entered national politics in the second half of the 1970s. The nation's preeminent conservative aspirant for the presidency, Ronald Reagan, had to decide whether to abjure or embrace this powerful new group.

He managed to do both. Every year, he addressed the "March for Life" - but only by telephone, lest he be seen in a photo with zealots. Right-wing social movements, in fact, were an enormous pain in his presidential derrière, but Reagan was far too wise to betray that publicly.

Obama is the opposite. The demands of liberal social movements seem to annoy him terribly - when he deigns to actually acknowledge them.

This is a curious stance for a leader who has put the semiotics of social movements at the center of his appeal. And maybe, for his reelection, it will work again.

But if he wants to truly change America, he has to master a crucial precedent: That avoiding unprecedented outbursts of mass mobilization on his side of the ideological divide is not a smart option.

Perlstein is the author of "Nixonland."

www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/04/17/...print=1&page=all
sidemouse
Junior Boarder
Posts:51

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13585 3 years, 6 months ago
"Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.”
Jerry Garcia

www.conservation.org
The following user(s) said Thank You: shoelesh
Shakin Nagan
Junior Boarder
Posts:259

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13592 3 years, 6 months ago
Did you not understand the article. It is about why Obama is basically ignoring the fight of the unions for survival. After all, they ARE the people that voted him into office. Them and the left, which he is also abandoning.
mandala
Junior Boarder
Posts:164
jerry junkie

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13621 3 years, 6 months ago
what's the point of opening exact duplicate threads here and on pz, neg? seems like you're trying to homogenize both places; remember phil opened this board in part because he doesn't particularly like the level of discourse over there...
life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - j. lennon
Shakin Nagan
Junior Boarder
Posts:259

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13624 3 years, 6 months ago
Posted it on facebook and other places as well. Trying to disseminate information and stimulate discussion. Does Phil not want Obama criticize here?
ColoradoRain
Junior Boarder
Posts:123

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13625 3 years, 6 months ago
Instead you should write president Obama to voice your concerns. Unless he gets down on the furthur board?? Most people come here to talk about furthur, the grateful dead, and the music they create.
Shakin Nagan
Junior Boarder
Posts:259

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13635 3 years, 6 months ago
I do write Obama often and only get form letters vaguely about the subject I write about. When I write them asking for an answer to my specific question I get ignored.

For instance, I asked about him putting Monsanto in charge of the food supply and the approval of GMO alfalfa and I get an email telling me about the Food Safety Act and other stuff. I reply that they didn't answer my question and get ignored.

While I understand that this is a music board this section is for general discussion. At least I thought so.

Sorry if I disabuse some here of the notion that its all good.
Abba
Gold Boarder
Posts:1025
I missed Jerry!

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13642 3 years, 6 months ago
Shakin Nagan wrote:
I do write Obama often and only get form letters vaguely about the subject I write about. When I write them asking for an answer to my specific question I get ignored.

For instance, I asked about him putting Monsanto in charge of the food supply and the approval of GMO alfalfa and I get an email telling me about the Food Safety Act and other stuff. I reply that they didn't answer my question and get ignored.

While I understand that this is a music board this section is for general discussion. At least I thought so.

Sorry if I disabuse some here of the notion that its all good.


Monsanto...now thats something to talk about!! Of course you wouldn't get a real answer..you asked a REAL question.
This society has been dumbed down and told to just believe what they are feed. Thinkers get pushed aside..for one reason or another. For a country that was TAKEN for free, it sure does cost a lot to be here
Turn on, Tune in, Drop out
Think for yourself, Escape the gene pools
Shakin Nagan
Junior Boarder
Posts:259

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13644 3 years, 6 months ago
>>Thinkers get pushed aside..for one reason or another.

Even here.
Abba
Gold Boarder
Posts:1025
I missed Jerry!

Re: Osame-a and the fight for union rights

#13649 3 years, 6 months ago
Shakin Nagan wrote:
>>Thinkers get pushed aside..for one reason or another.

Even here.


Again, it could just be approach. I know I'm lucky to have a wife that reminds me to be kind... I have skin like leather and think everyone else does too
Turn on, Tune in, Drop out
Think for yourself, Escape the gene pools
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