The PJ Tatler

Fresh from a nap in the White House, union boss steps up for union thugs

Writing in the Daily Beast, former (?) SEIU head Andy Stern declares his support for the Wisconsin protests and dubs actual votes by the elected majority and actions by the elected governor to be a power grab. All you really need to read is this sentence:

As the retired president of SEIU, the largest union of state workers in this country, and member of President Obama’s Fiscal Commission, I am watching with the rest of America the multiple dramas unfolding in Wisconsin: the disappearing act of Wisconsin’s Senate Democrats, cable TV’s recurring Egyptian analogies, the early hyperbolic threat by Gov. Scott Walker to call out the National Guard, and now full-throated demands of the right-wing media to fire teachers, nurses, and firefighters.

He went straight from running the nation’s most thuggish union to working on Obama’s debt commission. What are the odds he’s there to protect his union allies? Before joining the Obama administration, Stern visited the White House more than any other figure in America. On its face, Stern’s visits and roles since Obama’s election stink of corruption. His take on Wisconsin is no surprise, and it’s also no surprise that even after protesters have been shutting down the state legislature and threatening the governor while calling him a dictator, Stern can spare no words of criticism for them. He works in some blame for Republicans in 15 states, works in a shot at the Koch brothers, and even gets in a shot at the Citizens United decision. But nothing about the unions’ tactics.

That reluctance to criticize might due to the brutal actions of his own union, when he was boss.

Over on the PJM mother ship, Richard Pollock writes on the deliberate WH strategy to pick a fight in Wisconsin.

The plan seems to have been born both within the war room of the Democratic National Committee and within the Oval Office. The overall coordination for the operation was the remnants of the president’s 2008 political campaign organization, Organizing for America (OFA). The strategy would be launched by the DNC and by the president, who, during the height of the Egyptian crisis, incongruously granted an exclusive interview to a Milwaukee TV reporter over union policy. While Cairo burned, he took time to decry a Wisconsin governor’s effort to rein in the budget and limit union benefits. Shaping the narrative for the attack, he said that Gov. Scott Walker’s effort “seems like more of an assault on unions.”

The word “assault” also figures prominent in Stern’s piece. And I’m suddenly curious as to the whereabouts of one Patrick Gaspard. Whossat? Oh, no one in particular.

SEIU’s former political director, Patrick Gaspard, remains comfortably ensconced at the White House as political director — Obama’s Karl Rove — and the connection does not appear to have hurt him.

Mr. Gaspard was last seen moving from the WH over to the DNC about a month ago.