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View Diary: Unions focus on grassroots organizing, not helping the Democratic National Convention make ends meet (101 comments)

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  •  You can only screw your friend so often (8+ / 0-)

    before they start looking in different directions to further their own interests.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Jul 13, 2012 at 01:22:36 PM PDT

    •  and, yes, rmoney is definitely the friend of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NedSparks, joe from Lowell, Matt Z

      all unions, right?


      foot meet shell.

      •  You miss the point entirely (18+ / 0-)

        For decades the unkions have poured 8 to 10 times as much money into (almost entirely Democratic) politicians than they have into building their own organizing and base.    Maybe you think that sort of outlay can be sustained forever, but finally top union brass just got a wakeup call out of Wisconsin:  they are dying and need to tend to their own knitting, the interests of working people, organizing the unorganized, fighting back against the demonization of labor that  the worship of money on all sides in our society.  And see, here you are ripping into them as Romneybots for taking a moment to concern themselves with their own survival. Which is precisely why they've reached the point that they have to put their own self-interests over the interests of Dem Party political careers.

        The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

        by ActivistGuy on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:36:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  THEIR survival is OBAMA's survival! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is rmoney going to get funds to rebuild infrastructure with all those union jobs?

          unless the unions get their members in gear to support democrats (because the alternative to democrats are... duh... republicans), then they are committing political suicide.

          •  Both options are neoliberal (7+ / 0-)

            Obama is just slower in implementation.  The Unions are hopefully not too little too late with their new strategy.

            NOW SHOWING
            Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
            Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

            by The Dead Man on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:07:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Perspective is needed. (6+ / 0-)
            THEIR survival is OBAMA's survival!
            A movement like this is far larger than any one man, even if that man is Obama.  It's also larger than one party or even one generation, should November end up being a setback.  And be honest, have the Democrats really been the tireless defenders of the working class that they used to be?  I sometimes think they could use a poke with a sharp stick to remind them of their purpose.

            In the meantime, the unions don't have the money to do everything, and they're no good to anyone if they don't take care of their own core strength like they seem to be doing now, so I think this effort might end up doing more to get out the vote for Democrats than merely writing a check to the DNC.

            •  . (0+ / 0-)

              give me a break...

              makeup of the house?
              makeup of the senate?
              YEARS of republican control of one or both or all three branches of government?!?!?

              the core strength of the unions isn't worth sh*t if rmoney is in the wh.

              •  Well, frankly (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PDiddie, wsexson

                the core strength of unions isn't worth shit right now.  Which is why I can see the wisdom in a redirection of focus towards grassroots organizing.  Do you not think that this effort could also result in more Democratic voters this November?

                YEARS of republican control of one or both or all three branches of government?!?!?
                How much power the Republicans have had is irrelevant; my point wasn't that the Democrats haven't won, but rather that they haven't been fighting.  I'd like them to start.  They might not win, but they could at least leave no doubt in anyone's mind that a battle had taken place and make absolutely clear on whose side they stood.
                •  points worthy of more awakeness than i have (0+ / 0-)

                  right now - have to be up in 5 1/2 hrs - let's explore this more tomorrow nite - or in another diary?  

                  there are reasons that the game changed - and it did - dems still try to be the party of the "moral high ground" - but HOW one fights is the issue.

                  obama's recent ads do much to hold both that ground AND come out swinging!  how much is up to the dems and how much is up to us - and how effective ARE the dems when the grass roots come out swinging against the only friends they have in office?



                  •  I don't quite buy the "moral high ground" thing. (0+ / 0-)

                    I see it more like the good cop/bad cop thing you sometimes see in movies about cops.  Bad cop is a scary psychopath, and good cop seems reasonable and nice by comparison, but they ultimately answer to the same master, and their differences, while not quite as feigned in politics as they are in the good cop/bad cop scenario, are still not enough to make good cop actually on your side.  Fundamentally, I’d argue that we have little more than the mere illusion of a meaningful democratic process, which cannot withstand close examination of the money dynamics driving our government, nor our adherence to the self-fulfilling prophesy of the two-party system.

                    I haven't seen any of Obama's ads, being stationed in Japan, but talk is cheap, and Obama's policy is really more the issue anyway.  Based on policy alone, I can well understand why unions, environmentalists and other assorted progressives feel abandoned by the Democrats, even if they still really want to like the president himself.  Meanwhile, party loyalists, well-intentioned though they may be, have an unfortunate tendency to resort to extremely dismissive rhetoric towards their fellow progressives, as though the cause for which we struggle takes no higher form than keeping one batch of slimy politicians in power over another when we should be working for the ongoing evolution and betterment of human civilization.  A political party dedicated to the latter aim could become nothing less than a force of nature, but we are expected to be satisfied with so much less and to kindly keep our mouths shut until after the election, no matter that elections constitute the only leverage the people have remaining.

                    In short, I really don’t like the two-party paradigm, but I recognize that we’re stuck with it for the moment.  However, this reality does not let the Democrats off the hook; rather it demands that they live up to their potential as a progressive alternative to our inhumane, self-destructive status quo.  And I want them to be afraid of losing elections if they fail in this.

                    Ok, now it’s late over here.  Oyasumi nasai, as the locals say.  :-)

                  •  Unions have (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TiaRachel, George Hier

                    uniquivocally supported democrats, while unions regularly get kicked in the teeth by dems.

                    The dems did it to themselves.  

                    The only way the working people are ever going to participate in the productivity gains and improve their lives is by organizing working people.  Unions' power has diminished since the '70s, and the result is that working people haven't had a real raise in decades.  Most of the gains due to labor's productivity have been taken [stolen] by the top executives.

                    Dems did nothing to stop the deterioration and promoted policies that hastened the unions' [and workers'] demise.  

                    Unions owe dems nothing--and if they don't re-build, then workers can expect their economic position to further deteriorate.

                    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

                    by dfarrah on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:26:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  As a retired AFSCME steward, I agree with you... (0+ / 0-)

                      The Democrats have NO REASON to count on Unions to automatically support them financially.
                      MOST union members will vote for Democrats, but the Union movement itself is in dire straights in the US after decades as a target of the right wingers and their big money backers. This is about survival of the middle class.

                      The Democratic Party-as opposed to individual Democratic politicians- has done very little to support Unions over the last 50 years. It is about time they started to do so.


                      Retired AFSCME Steward and licensed gun carrying progressive veteran.

                      by old mark on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 09:47:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (4+ / 0-)

            So how do you think Obama's Free Trade Job Outsourcing deals are going to help union members.  I've never quite figured that out.

            Seems to me that the more Free Trade we have, the more jobs get shipped overseas - to cheaper locations.  Which usually doesn't bode well for the working 99% or unions.

            I voted for Change. Not Three Chiefs of Staff from Wall Street Banks. Not Bernanke, Summers, Geithner, Holder, Simpson, or a Monsanto Lobbyist. Not more Free Trade. Not more Patriot Act. Not defending Wall Street's Savvy Businessmen.

            by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:24:43 AM PDT

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      •  Damn, hey somebody, the needle's stuck (0+ / 0-)


        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:48:00 PM PDT

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      •  Ooo! Lesser of Two Evils reprises its role (4+ / 0-)

        on stage at the Kabuki Theater of the Absurd.

        Would you care for some Free Trade Job Outsourcing with those tickets?

        In a nutshell:

        Lesser of two evils has not, will not, and can never change the direction of our country.  Our direction will continue rightward economically until we have elected officials who want to change it and do not represent the 1%.

        I voted for Change. Not Three Chiefs of Staff from Wall Street Banks. Not Bernanke, Summers, Geithner, Holder, Simpson, or a Monsanto Lobbyist. Not more Free Trade. Not more Patriot Act. Not defending Wall Street's Savvy Businessmen.

        by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:23:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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