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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
As Republicans continue to block a minimum wage increase, the president of the AFL-CIO has challenged the president of the Heritage Foundation to debate the issue. "On behalf of the twelve and a half million men and women of the AFL-CIO," Richard Trumka suggested the debate with Heritage's Jim DeMint, a former senator whose organization now pressures congressional Republicans to move even further to the right:
But according to Josh Goldstein, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO, DeMint’s office has said he doesn’t have the time to do the debate. Goldstein adds that the AFL-CIO told DeMint’s staff that Trumka would be happy to do this wherever and whenever DeMint wants to, but to no avail. Now the AFL-CIO will seek to draw attention to DeMint’s unwillingness to debate, with a new Facebook page and other social media, as a way of making the broader point that even those who are most ideologically committed to opposing the federal minimum wage know it is a very hard position to defend.
Of course DeMint doesn't want to debate Trumka on the minimum wage. DeMint has nothing to gain by it, since the media will always come to him or someone else on the far right for a quote on the minimum wage, no matter how unpopular his position is. Having all the press he wants, why would he expose himself to the possibility of being directly out debated? Also, DeMint's mission isn't particularly to convince the public of anything like opposing a minimum wage hike. It's to convince elected Republicans to do so even though a majority of their constituents disagree. Publicly engaging a well-informed and eloquent advocate for working people who enjoys rising to meet a confrontation is in no way in DeMint's interest.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  DeMint is "too busy" (7+ / 0-)

    raising money. Its why he was brought in, IMHO.

    "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

    by gravlax on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:25:46 AM PDT

  •  Given that the federal Treasury is the issuer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of our currency under the supervision of the Congress, it is entirely appropriate that the Congress should regulate how and for what purposes that currency is used. Moreover, if some citizens are deprived of ready access to this public utility, then Congress has failed in its management.

    On the other hand, since the states no longer issue their own currencies, they, too, are entirely dependent on Congressional management and any failures should be addressed at the next election. There is a reason why the Congress has to stand before the electorate every two years and validate being retained in office.

    by hannah on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:38:16 AM PDT

  •  Mr Trumka, you didn't finish your sentence: (5+ / 0-)
    "On behalf of the twelve and a half million men and women of the AFL-CIO,
    and 41 million nonunion workers"...(IFTFY)
    Because you speak for a lot more than the members of AFL-CIO most of whom make better than minimum.
    But DeMint and Petersen and the Kochs would never honestly debate you anyway.
    Debate Boner or Ryan or Cantor or all three of them at once! Those are the ones standing firmly in the way.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 09:55:11 AM PDT

    •  Maybe Mr. Trumka can borrow Eastwood's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbsoul, mmacdDE, CwV

      Empty Chair.  The 1/100 of 1% don't care what anybody else think of what they are doing anyway.  Maybe one of the Koch Brothers wants to put his bum where his mouth is!  

      I would love to see Charley or Davey Boy Koch try to defend the current minimum wage.  

      Maybe one of the WalMart heirs could pry themselves away from one of their mansions and speak out to tell the world why they shouldn't pay a living wage to their employees.  

      I heard a story today from another grocery chain executive about Walmart.  He said that their company and WalMart have different customers.  When a customer walks in the door to shop at their store, he said that person is the most important person in the store.

      For WalMart it's different.  WalMart's customer is their supplier.  They have a different model.  People who walk in the store to buy something are just there to take stuff off the shelves.  The WalMart customer is the supplier who provides the stuff for WalMart to put on the shelves.

      It's a completely different perspective.  I have wondered why the few times that I walked in a WalMart, there was never anybody who even seemed interested in helping me.  No, the only job is to fill the shelves for people like me to take off so they can put more of the stuff back on the shelves so that their real customers - the suppliers - can ship more to them.

      Yeah.  Ask one of the WalMart heirs to debate Mr. Trumka and explain why WalMart thinks that nobody should be paid a living wage.

      Voters should select people to represent them in their government. People in government should not select people who may vote!

      by NM Ray on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:46:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe if DeMint was paid minimum wage? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gravlax, Shockwave, Dirtandiron, Matt Z, jbsoul

    I should think he'd want to work as much as he could. But since his outsize pay is totally uncoupled from his performance, he doesn't have to do nothin' he doesn't want to.

    Sweet gig for Jim DeMint; too bad for the rest of you suckers. Vote Quimby Republican!

  •  Ha! DeMint doesn't debate. He dictates n/t (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gravlax, Shockwave, Dirtandiron, Matt Z, jbsoul

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 01:54:28 PM PDT

  •  Trumka would squash DeMint into a pulp (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Matt Z, jbsoul

    DeMint is a coward and the Tea Party agrees;

    Jim DeMint, Flip Flopping Coward

    And so does ThinkProgress;

    11 Reasons You’re Glad Jim DeMint Is Leaving The Senate

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 02:09:22 PM PDT

  •  I just want to hear republicans say it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Matt Z, mmacdDE, Patango

    on the record and in public they oppose raising the minimum wage, and I want to hear it over and over again so it will actually penetrate the thick skulls out there.

  •  For full impact the questions should go like this: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, mmacdDE, Patango

    Why are you opposed to the minimum wage hike?
    Why are you in favor of gas and oil subsidies to companies making record profits?
    This shows clearly who these so-called reps serve.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:04:27 PM PDT

  •  Diary (0+ / 0-)
    Publicly engaging a well-informed and eloquent advocate for working people who enjoys rising to meet a confrontation is in no way in DeMint's interest.
    And that is why Trumka and dems are going to hammer this subject till Nov , by calling DeMint and the GOP a bunch of whoosies for not debating them on the subject , jump on in President Obama

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 06:32:18 PM PDT

  •  Demint (0+ / 0-)

    Of course he doesn't have time for a debate because he would loose.  He's no fool there but otherwise he's just another highly paid schill for the wacky tea party.

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