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Organized labor is less than enamored with many of the Obama adminstration's actions on some issues and their inaction on many other issues:

"There's no question that the Obama administration has done many things that have helped working people and that have been positive for the labor movement," Podhorzer said. "But on the other hand, this is the Democratic Party; it was elected on a platform to do much, much, much, much more."

AFL-CIO: Labor will stand by Obama

And the AFL-CIO opposes the Obama administration's job killing trade deals:

They argue the deals will harm an economy still struggling to create jobs amid a fragile economic recovery.

We'll be talking to every legislator out there about the trade deals,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Friday.

The AFL-CIO will hold more than 450 events across the country this month where the deals will be discussed, and it has started a petition “urging politicians to bring the same urgency to the jobs crisis that they brought to the politically manufactured crisis over the deficit,” Trumka said.

The fight over the agreements is splitting President Obama from unions and other liberal groups at a time when there is already tension between the White House and the left over the debt-ceiling deal.

Labor Ramps Up Effort to Stop Trade Deals

But they also support Obama's re-election:

Organized labor won't sit out President Obama's reelection campaign and let a Republican win the presidency, the AFL-CIO's political director said Wednesday.

Despite the frustration labor activists have expressed toward the administration for the deals it has cut with congressional Republicans, Obama still provides a better alternative to a potential Republican president, said Michael Podhorzer, the labor federation's top politics officer.

snip

"I don't think that the labor movement will be on the sidelines with President Obama," he said in a sit-down interview with The Hill Wednesday.

Podhorzer said that the union is likely to announce this fall that it's creating a so-called "super PAC" that can spend and receive unlimited amounts of campaign donations. Podhorzer said the labor federation has been limited by election laws to contacting just its own members but with a super PAC, the AFL-CIO can expand its outreach to non-union voters as well.

AFL-CIO: Labor will stand by Obama

You can support President Obama's policies when they're right, fight them when they're wrong, and support his re-election as part of anti-Republican extremism coalition.  It works for me.

Like Nancy Pelosi, I will not support bad policies:

Pelosi pushes back against Obama-backed free-trade agreements
By Mike Lillis - 08/03/11 03:07 PM ET

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pushed back Wednesday against several pending free-trade agreements championed by President Obama.

The California Democrat signaled doubts that looming trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia would benefit U.S. workers. President Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to approve the deals, which he and Republicans argue would create jobs.

“The White House may support it, but the Congress may have a different view,” Pelosi warned on MSNBC.

During a lengthy interview, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell suggested that the long-delayed trade pacts “could have produced more jobs.”

Pelosi responded, “Well, that's debatable.”

http://thehill.com/...

Originally posted to TomP on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 08:36 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Sticking to principles & acknowledging reality (12+ / 0-)

      ...are not mutually exclusive. In fact doing just one (either one) without the other never gets you anywhere good.

      Thanks for the diary.

      "So, am I right or what?"

      by itzik shpitzik on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 08:42:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does not sound like a ringing endorsement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      praenomen

      wait for the major players to call for him to step aside.  Start with Lewis, Immelt, Buffett, and then the big boys whose names we don't know.  The plutocrats are scared too.  

      Be careful who you promote belt tightening to and your neck will thank you.

      by Blue Tex on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 08:43:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are many differences between (9+ / 0-)

        the AFL-CIO aand this adminstration, and the comments recognize those differences.  But they do endorse his re-election, amd will work to re-elect him with people on the ground and money.

        President Obama is running for re-election.  

        The American people must wise up and rise up!

        by TomP on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 08:57:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I love Digby. I think she is one of the most (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini

          cogent voices in the progressive blogosphere.  She has always had her finger on the political pulse of this nation and she has been a great prognosticator of things to come.  Today she referenced a column by fellow blogger Marta Evy who she is quick to point out has been a faithful and enthusiastic Obama supporter.  From Marta's blogsite (Venice For Change):

          In 2008, I took a six-month unpaid leave of absence to work on the Obama campaign.  In fact, I was a Regional Field Organizer in Southern California. I also maxed out my campaign donations - the first time I've ever done that in my life.

          Not in 2012. Next year, I'll be turning my focus on retaking the House, keeping the Senate, and electing good Democrats in local races.

          I highly recommend many of you do the same

          This from thereisnospoon who also posts on Digby:

          Today? I am encouraging all my friends to boycott OFA until this person is fired, and a public apology is made to Paul Krugman. Dismissing the most active 28% of the progressive base as well as our best and most influential pundit so blithely deserves the strongest possible rebuke.

          I and others like me can focus our time and attention on state and local politics. If this is the official view of the Obama campaign, then they can count me out.

          There is a lot of anger being directed at Obama right now and part of the reason is this (from Digby):

          It's not "shared sacrifice" to ask wealthy people to give up money they will not even miss in exchange for asking 65 year olds to wait an additional two years before qualifying for Medicare. In some cases, that's going to be the difference between life and death. Telling people they have to give up any part of the only real form of security they have in their old age when they can no longer work, in order to get millionaires to pay what they paid in taxes only a decade ago, is not "balanced."

          Trumka's not supporting Obama...not unless he starts doing more to protect unions...remember this came from the AFL-CIO's political director...take it for what it is...and it is not a ringing endorsement for Obama.

          •  I do take it for what it is. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Nelson

            I think he speaks for Trumka.

            The American people must wise up and rise up!

            by TomP on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 10:00:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  sounds like he *is* supporting Obama (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erush1345

            all Obama cares about is the money and the endorsement--and maybe the door-knockers.

            He doesn't give a damn what their thoughts and feelings are if he's got their money and the symbolic power of their name.

            I've run campaigns, and I'm telling you this for sure:  any campaign manager would be delighted to get this, and not care a damn whether Trumka expresses doubts or something, as long as the endorsement, monies, and footsoldiers keep coming.

            Well, it's his union and his decision.  If he wants to pour good money (union) after bad (Wall St/Chamber donations) that's his choice.  Seems like an awful waste of time, though, when we have a House to retake, a Senate to protect if we can, and innumerable state legislatures, which should be way more important to the AFL-CIO, given what's been happening to the unions at the state level, than any DC race.

            The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:11:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  President Obama doesn't need (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aspe4

          working people's money; he's doing just fine with the donations he's got.

          Wall St. and the Chamber support him, let them supply him with money and labor.

          The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:06:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  At least they know who is the real enemies (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Wee Mama, jalenth

      Perry is going to be the nominee that's why Karl Rove is shaking in his boots attacking Perry.

      Rove is so pissed off at Perry that he said that it was a mistake for GOPers to call American a "christian nation". Rove is an atheist but always pimps crazy christian talks. But Perry is scaring the shit out of him.

      "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

      by LaurenMonica on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:00:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's sort of like riding a skateboard while (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    hanging on to the bumper of that Obama jobs bus.

  •  Gov Walker in WI and Kasich in OH (10+ / 0-)

    and Scott in FL and so many other Republicans want to destroy Unions and Get rid of Unions.  

    Republicans are Fiercely and Loudly Anti Labor, Anti Worker, Anti Union.  

  •  Just don't stand in front of him (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cslewis, cybrestrike, Aspe4

    'Cause you'll always have to be watching your back.

  •  You're awesome TomP (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaurenMonica, TomP, CentralMass, jalenth

    Thank you for the continued news updates.

    "Look at this; I'm a coward too; You don't need to hide, my friend; For I'm just like you" - Monster/Sprite (Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex)

    by AZ Independent on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:00:57 AM PDT

  •  This is True and a Great POV (8+ / 0-)
    You can support President Obama's policies when they're right, fight them when they're wrong, and support his re-election as part of anti-Republican extremism coalition.
  •  I just became a member of the ISTA-- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    the Indiana branch of the NEA.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:38:47 AM PDT

  •  Understandable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4

    But Trumka looks a tad interested in political S&M. If Obama continues down his reactionary path, I'd say it is time for labor to dump Democrats and create their own party. Perhaps a fusion between the Green Party, DSA, and labor. It would be the strongest third party since Teddy Roosevelt's.

    Leftist, and proud.

    by fgsfds on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 09:45:45 AM PDT

  •  looks to me like AFL-CIO is responding (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, SouthernLiberalinMD, Aspe4

    to Obama the way Obama responds to the GOP

    sorry TomP,  very reasonable diary (natch) but we disagree
    on this one

    "Firebagger"... it's the new uppity

    •  It's okay. (0+ / 0-)

      Even if we take different electoral paths, I'm sure we will be allied on key issues.

      The American people must wise up and rise up!

      by TomP on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 10:01:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I'm with you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aspe4

      Is Trumka there to support working people, or is he a de facto part of the Democratic party?

      Half our problem is that the entire left wing has been absorbed into the Democratic party, and has no independence whatsoever.  That means we cannot influence the Democrats, but can only obey them or reject them out of hand by becoming an apostate and turning to some third party.  We have no separate identities as movements anymore.

      The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:14:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Labor needs to be independent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD, Aspe4

    I yearn for the days when the labor movement was independent and not just a political arm of the Democratic Party.

    They're gonna give their support but try to talk to him about trade deals? If they withold support publicly, then labor would have leverage.

    When our deficit warring Republicans say today that they would never approve a tax increase under any condition, the only reasonable response is a hearty laugh, a reference to WWII, and a two-by-four across the brow. - L.Randall Wray

    by skayne on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 10:25:03 AM PDT

    •  yeah what's the point in talking to him (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aspe4, skayne

      when they've already given him everything he wants?

      what makes them think he even will talk to them?

      the Progressive Caucus tried quite often to talk to him during the health care debate, but you'll notice the only one he met with was Kucinich.

      There's a lesson there--the only way to get Obama's attention is to ruin his day--or say you intend to.

      The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:16:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good to hear. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    Organized labor knows that there is only one real choice to be made here. The alternative is simply unacceptable,despite the Presidents faults.

  •  Labor caves and does what the Party wants (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, erush1345, Churchill

    despite being massively sold out for the past 2 1/2 years.

    In exchange, Labor hopes that the Party will be decent to it and treat it with respect, give it a seat at the table and negotiate with it, coming up with a compromise in which Labor gets at least, say 33 1/3% of its demands met.  

    Which of course, hasn't happened in the past 2 1/2 years and will not happen.

    This is a seriously bad move for Labor, if they have any real interest in the well-being of working people.  They should take their page from the Blue Dogs, who got quite a lot of what they wanted before the Tea Party took half of them out.

    See, the Blue Dogs understood the Democratic party.  The Democratic party will give no representation based on gratitude, past favors, or past support.  They are only interested in whether or not you can ruin their day.
    If you can ruin their day, they will come to the table and negotiate with you, and you may even get something.

    Otherwise they will walk away snickering "Patsy" under their breath.

    And you will get nothing.

    This is wrong for labor, seriously wrong.  It shows that  a Democrat can sell out working people as much as he wants, because Labor is so frightened of a Republican candidate that they will never hold a Democrat accountable.

    A bad decision.

    The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:04:37 AM PDT

  •  it's a sad day when Nancy Pelosi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, greengemini

    much as I like her, has more moxy than the head of America's biggest labor union.

    Jeebus.

    The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 11:19:06 AM PDT

  •  yeah. thats what yellow dogs do. (0+ / 0-)

    and this is a critical diary done well.

    "I'm Black and I'm proud, I'm ready, I'm hype, plus I'm amped/ most of my heroes don't appear on no stamp!" ~Carlton Ridenhour

    by mallyroyal on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 02:03:17 PM PDT

  •  No primaries=cave. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    He's not just saying he's not going to abandon a Democrat when they're facing a Republican.  By saying he's not going to primary anyone, he's saying AFL-CIO will support all Democrat incumbents.

    Forget the better Democrats, AFL-CIO won't be working to get any.

    Wonder what the party did to cow them?

    The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 06:55:22 PM PDT

    •  Bachman, Perry, Palin, Newt, etc... (0+ / 0-)

      80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP ! ! !

      by Churchill on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 07:08:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what does that have to do with primaries? (0+ / 0-)

        or are we subscribing to the notion that Blanche Lincoln lost in the general because Bill Halter dared to primary her?

        how far can the party go in enforcing its dictates of:  "this person will have power, that person won't, this person will, that person won't, and none of you rank and file have anything to say about it?"

        I guess they can go as far as they want until somebody calls them on it and refuses to budge.  Too bad Trumka isn't the guy.

        The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 12:57:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the quote about no primaries (0+ / 0-)

    from Laura Clawson's FP Diary:

    In that vein, Podhorzer said the AFL-CIO won't be engaging in primaries against incumbent Democrats, as it did last cycle with Bill Halter's challenge to Blanche Lincoln, information characterized by The Hill as that "the AFL-CIO appears to have learned its lesson."

    Definitely a loss of power and face for labor which is now sitting down and shutting up--at least the AFL-CIO part of labor.  

    Hopefully SEIU and f*ckin' AFSCME will be doing better.  And the others (how does Change to Win fit into all this?)

    The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground/But there's no room, no space to rent in this town

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 07:01:03 PM PDT

  •  why be in a union that supports corporatist? (0+ / 0-)

    I may just drop out of the union.  This is idiotic.  He has a Democratic nametag, but he has done NOTHING to help the union movement.

    80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP ! ! !

    by Churchill on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 07:07:04 AM PDT

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