That would be, the bill that he never intended to pass in the first place, that he only proffered to have rejected so he could make a semi-plausible run against Congress. Now Big Labor is revving up to do their part in the great game.
One of the enduring questions about Occupy Wall Street has been this: Can the energy unleashed by the movement be leveraged behind a concrete political agenda and push for change that will constitute a meaningful challenge to the inequality and excessive Wall Street influence highlighted by the protests?
A coalition of labor and progressive groups is about to unveil its answer to that question. Get ready for “Occupy Congress.”
The coalition — which includes unions like SEIU and CWA and groups like the Center for Community Change — is currently working on a plan to bus thousands of protesters from across the country to Washington, where they will congregate around the Capitol from December 5-9, SEIU president Mary Kay Henry tells me in an interview.
“Thousands of people have signed up to come to Capitol Hill during the first week in December,” Henry says, adding that protesters are invited to make their way to Washington on their own, too. “We’re figuring out buses and transportation now.”
Undoubtedly these “thousands” are signing up out of a sense of noble purpose, not because their shop stewards in their union-slave states leaned on them.
This is interesting as a tactic. If the Republicans in Congress fall for it, and few weak ones might, then we should note their names and work to defeat them at the first opportunity. These are union shills hitting the road, the fakest of astroturf, not average Americans just looking for a job. These people will have jobs, union jobs, that pay dues that keep Democrats in office. They’re the ones bankrupting the states and making American industry less competitive. Obama’s jobs bill is, in all likelihood, yet another payoff to unions just as the last stimuli bills were. To the extent that they’re connect to Big Labor, their “occupation” is just a big con.
Most Republicans won’t respond, nor should they. Big Labor is implacably on the other side.
There’s another factor at work here too, and that’s how the left is dealing with the occupiers having lost the narrative. Jon Stewart’s video was either a watershed — losing Cronkite, as I said yesterday — or just the outward sign of what many on the left had already figured out and were responding to. And that’s that the occupiers had hipstered and liced and raped themselves right out of moral authority. Theirs wasn’t a quiet sit-in to protest any actual bad policy, but a loud drumbanging, trash-scattering cry from spoiled brats who had educated themselves right out of employability. They had become annoying and counter-productive. The narrative needed rehab. So here comes Big Labor to reboot it with a focused effort on a specific task.
But what I find more interesting is how Big Labor is still willing to go to bat for Obama even after he scuttled the XL pipeline. That was a major public defeat for the unions. All that talk from Richard Trumka about Big Labor going its own way was as meaningless as some of us saw at the time. Labor’s relationship with the Democrats is such that neither could function without the other. And that means that Big Labor will expect to get something in return for this “occupy” business. They got GM and they’re getting the NLRB raid on Boeing. They didn’t get XL. What is Obama promising them in exchange for this grand charade? Maybe it’s the jobs bill, maybe it’s something else.
h/t Hot Air