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View Diary: What changed since the Massachusetts AFL-CIO endorsed Scott Brown in 2008? Mostly Brown's positions. (43 comments)

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  •  Sad amount of labor hating here. As to why (0+ / 0-)

    AFL-CIO, or some member unions support Repubs in otherwise blue territory, here's a couple of thoughts:
    1. If Dem party is the dominant party, then general frustration at economy is taken out on those in power.
    2. Certain unions, because of their industry, may find the Republican platform (or long-established perceptions of Repub platform) attractive.  
    a. An example: police.  In the 60's, the Republican party established itself as the law-and-order party.  Until the Democratic Party can convince the Fraternal Order of Police that reducing poverty and improving cities will reduce crime and therefore enhance the safety of their officers, they will face an uphill battle.
    b. Another example: industries that may see themselves threatened by the platform of the Dem. party such as mining or defense manufacturing.  The right to organize, and the right to seek better safety standards and everything else that the Dems can offer don't matter to many workers, and therefore their unions, if their industry is shuttered. Unfortunately, there will be a conservative component to organized labor's view of industry simply because there will a strong incentive for union leadership, who face frequent re-election by the rank-and-file, to address short-term needs.  Whether organized by trade or by industry, the unions are representing its members who work in the jobs of today.  So when there is a threat to the coal industry, there are unions representing a large number of miners to protest.  There are not an equal (or greater) number of union members working in wind or solar (yet).
    3.  Liberalism vs. Progressivism: Starting in the 50's, liberals started to  divorce themselves from populist concerns and turned their attention to governing in an age after "the end of ideology".  This disconnect between liberal elitism and working people continued into the 60's as exemplified by Eugene McCarthy's assertion that "more educated, more intelligent people vote for me" and his refusal, on principle, of speaking about crime due to the liberal thought of the time that equated talk of crime as thinly veiled racism. Certain union members (or their families), because of their economic, social, and/ or  geographic position did not have the good fortune to live far away from daily crime.  They, and their children, are still stinging from the experience they, or their families felt in the 60's and 70's.  
    4.  The (now relegated to history) Moderate Republican.  The bluer, and more liberal or progressive the region, the more liberal or progressive the candidate, regardless of part affiliation.  This may not apply to areas of the country that have a large number of folks on the extremes of the spectrum, but in New England, at least, there are several examples of a "conservative" who would be considered moderate or liberal in other parts of the country.  The loss of the moderate republican is fairly recent and it is being reflected in endorsements, such a Warren in MA or by lack of endorsement, such as the FOP's refusal to endorse Romney.  That the reaction to the phenomenon (such as the AFL-CIO's previous endorsement of Brown) is not as immediate as the phenomenon itself is not surprising.

    This is no way an argument for unions to support a Republicans.  It is some thoughts as to why union support of the Democratic candidate is not always automatic, despite the anti-labor tendencies of the GOP.  Hopefully by recognizing the conflicted interests of many unions and many union members, the Left and the Democratic Party can win the hearts and minds of them more fully so that they can both stand together on more solid ground.  

    I don't think calling them idiots helps.

    "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

    by netop on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:27:26 AM PDT

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