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View Diary: Opening the Door for the Neoliberals: Fault Lines in the New Deal Coalition (63 comments)

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  •  'dagger in the back' (1+ / 0-)
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    jasan

    Dagger in the back is too harsh a description for Meany's treatment of McGovern.

    Remember that McGovern never had significant union backing (labor unions don't count for much in South Dakota politics) because McGovern never supported Labor's top goal of the post-war period -- repeal of Taft-Hartley Act. Meany also had a grudge against McGovern because McGovern had  support Democratic Party rules reform that reduced the influence of unions in the national convention.

    So the two had tangled openly and McGovern never had any good reason to expect Labor to work hard for him. Tricky Dick Nixon exploited this to good effect, especially by courting the Teamsters and some of the other individual unions.

    •  Tricky Dick (3+ / 0-)
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      shaharazade, schumann, YucatanMan

      Remember too that Tricky Dick was not anti-labor in the way that all today's Republican leaders are.

      He pushed through Alaska North Slope oil development with labor support in Congress: Today, Teamsters, USW, and other unions have good-paying jobs in Alaska because of the deals Nixon cut back in the late 1960s.

      Similarly, labor supported Nixon's  Merchant Marine Act of 1972, which guaranteed labor a piece of the new ship construction (and vessel operation) spurred by the law. So Nixon actually delivered something very substantial to the maritime unions (which have leaned Republican ever since).

      Famous Nixon sleazeball Chuck Colson was in charge of currying labor support, and did a good job for his boss, especially with the Teamster (arranging for the pardon of Jimmy Hoffa, etc). This was before the post-Watergate campaign finance reforms, so money flowed freely and secretly.

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