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Mike Elk writes on Talking Union

As president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka is emerging as the voice of an increasingly irrelevant labor movement. As unionized work sinks to only 7 percent of the private sector, the labor movement is losing its influence within the Democratic Party. To revitalize labor, Trumka must not only challenge Democratic leaders, but wage political battles outside the bounds of party politics by bringing labor back to its working-class activist roots.

The failure of President Barack Obama to make a major push on the Employee Free Choice Act — let alone give even a single speech dedicated to the topic — is a telling sign of organized labor’s declining momentum inside the Beltway. As Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson noted in February, "For American labor, year one of Barack Obama’s presidency has been close to an unmitigated disaster." Labor ranks so low on the president’s list of priorities that a new generation of Obama activists is now planning for a political environment altogether devoid of the labor movemen

The Obama administration demonstrated a clear lack of concern for labor when it allowed nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to be ignored in Congress for a full 14 months. The vacant seats on NLRB prevented the panel from issuing any decisions over this 14-month period, meaning there was no functioning court to protect unions from the illegal practices of big corporations. Needless to say, this was a big problem for both labor and the country at large—imagine the president allowing a federal circuit court to sit inactive for more than a year.

Most of the direct blame for the delay rests on the shoulders of Republican senators. But Obama’s timid negotiations with conservatives allowed the problem to fester. In March 2009, Obama appointed former union lawyer Craig Becker to the NLRB, but the nomination didn’t clear a Senate Committee until October of that year. Republicans then filibustered Becker’s nomination, ultimately killing it in the Senate by Christmas. Organized labor responded by pushing for Obama to give Becker a recess appointment in February, which would have filled the NRLB seat without subjecting it to filibuster in the Senate. Obama’s initial response was a refusal: he wanted instead to cut a backroom deal with Senate Republicans in an effort to attain some variety of Obama’s ever-elusive Holy Grail of public policy goals, bipartisanship.

After Obama’s rejection, labor had two options. It could play nice with the administration and hope to be rewarded for their loyalty, or it could take a stand and criticize the White House for cutting this backroom deal. Trumka choose the latter. He blasted the secret deal with the Senate GOP as one that "left working people out in the cold." He urged union members to bombard the White House with phone calls in protest – the first time the AFL-CIO had asked workers to do this during the Obama presidency.

Read the rest

Originally posted to Talking Union on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:02 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  HR'd for giving false impression to readers. (0+ / 0-)

      Your diary ends with the NLRB seat still vacant, and Obama still pursuing some "backroom deal" with the GOP. In fact, over 2 months ago Obama recess-appointed Becker and another pro-labor member to the NLRB. Details & links in my other comment on this diary: http://www.dailykos.com/...

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:25:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Take off that HR (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clues

        and read the whole article.  The link is right there at the end of the diary.

        Honestly.

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:38:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The LINK isn't good enough. Not close. (0+ / 0-)

          (1) A diarist should provide links that SUPPORT the diary. Not that significantly contradict it.

          (2) The linked article mentions the Becker appointment, but it does not mention that Obama also recess-appointed Pearce, another pro-labor NLRB member.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:46:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh please (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clues

            How does the link "contradict" the diary?  The diary is an excerpt from a full essay, which you can read in full by clicking on the link.

            You're one to talk about dishonesty here.  Elk not only explicitly states that Obama made the recess appointment, he uses that appointment to support his thesis: that Labor has gotten more from the Administration by being confrontational and oppositional than by playing a supporting role to the Administration's agenda.  The Pearce appointment would just serve as further support for that thesis.

            Now, you can disagree with that thesis if you want.  But if you posted all these comments after actually reading Elk's full piece, which is linked in this diary, then either you have a reading comprehension problem, or your just trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes.

            "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

            by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:54:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Elk" is not diarist. Link is not diary. (0+ / 0-)

              Get real. Many DKos readers will -- rightfully -- assume that the linked article merely supports the diarist's point. That point is that Obama has knuckled under to the Repubs and left the NLRB seats vacant.

              Which he hasn't.

              Now, if you want to say the point of the whole diary is that pressure from Labor succeeded in getting Obama to make a recess appointment, then the diarist is either dishonest or wildly incompetent, because you can ONLY get that point by reading the linked article, not from the diary itself. AND even the linked article says nothing about Obama's recess appointment of Gaston Pearce, another pro-labor NLRB member.

              The diarist purports to educate DKos readers about Obama's handling of NLRB appointments. But the diarist leaves out not just details, but critical facts.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:03:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Yep. Goes for the whole Class War in general. (7+ / 0-)

    Which moderates really don't believe in.

    When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

    by Words In Action on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:05:02 AM PDT

    •  And by "moderate" (0+ / 0-)

      you mean peope who are not Marxists?

      •  No, people who (15+ / 0-)

        don't think there's a problem worth getting worked up about. People who don't really believe that thirty years of tricke-down hasn't created a crisis for the vast majority of Americans and, by extension, the rest of the world. Those people. The "unflappable".

        When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

        by Words In Action on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:17:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The bloodless gray center. (8+ / 0-)

          "It's 'clean coal' so long as you don't think about all the blood on their hands."

          by electricgrendel on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:21:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  how simple (0+ / 0-)

            to place all who might disagree with you into an ipso facto irrelevant category.

            •  How simple to avoid the reality of what moderates (6+ / 0-)

              are by trying to dismiss an observation with obnoxious faux intellectualism.

              "It's 'clean coal' so long as you don't think about all the blood on their hands."

              by electricgrendel on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:26:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  But you're not disagreeing. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RFK Lives, Oaktown Girl, wezelboy

              You really don't believe that thirty years of trickle-down Class War have created a crisis worth getting too worked up about.

              You believe that Obama's actions and accomplishments are acceptably scaled to address the effects of the long-term Class War and/or that trying to do more in this time frame is simply unrealistic. Hence, no outrage.

              When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

              by Words In Action on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:30:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have no idea where I stand on this issue (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HeyMikey, OIL GUY, Fuzzy5150, Theston

                My comment was a condemnation of a flippant dismissal of a huge segment of the population by ideologues.

                •  I've read enough (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wezelboy

                  of your comments to know you have no outrage that might remotely implicate the President in having not done or not presently doing enough.

                  That huge segment of the population to which you refer is simply incapable of believing there are any crises we can realistically substantively do much of anything about.

                  When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

                  by Words In Action on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:40:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My outrage has been tempered (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    OIL GUY, Fuzzy5150

                    I focus it on action rather than expend it on pointless rants or sneering at my peers. My career choices are the best expression of my outrage. If you've read enough of my comments to claim to know my outlook you'll also know those choices.

                    •  We could get a lot more accomplished more (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Pesto, Sark Svemes

                      quickly if we could get 10 or 20 million of us to camp in D.C. until the administration and congress take substantive action on economic justice.

                      Frankly, and with all due respect to your personal career choices, after 30 years of apathy over the Class War, NOTHING else will scale to address the problem. Only in numbers too great to ignore can we overcome the power that has been concentrating all these years.

                      When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

                      by Words In Action on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:12:25 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  His actions aren't scaled to the Gulf catastrophe (6+ / 0-)

                nor are they scaled to the very real possibility of a double-dip recession.  In spring 2008, it appeared to me that HRC planned on bringing a garden hose to fight the raging inferno she would inherit.  I didn't realize at the time that Obama planned on bringing 2 garden hoses to fight it.

                In hindsight, reports in the 2008 primaries about Austin Goolsbee quietly reassuring the Canadians that Obama's critiques of NAFTA were mere campaign rhetoric appear to have been correct.

                Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                by RFK Lives on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:38:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What's your alternative? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rockhound, jalenth

                  What do you think Obama should do about the Gulf spill that he's not doing? Drag the supersecret ultrasubmarine out of the White House basement and pilot it to the Gulf floor himself, then breathe through his Aquaman gills while he welds the pipe shut?

                  What sort of additional stimulus do you think Obama can get through Congress? The Congress that just voted down state aid to avoid teacher layoffs, and just went on recess without approving unemployment benefits extension? Or should he just dissolve Congress and declare himself Supreme Ruler?

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:30:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What the Adminstration could do (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    anarchyintheusa

                    is use the spill to beat the living shit of of Big Oil and corporate America, at least rhetorically.  

                    It's a teaching moment.  This is not a matter of failed technocracy.  It's a matter of class war, to be perfectly blunt.

                    Not that I expect Obama to talk this way, because he's in the White House, and he's a goo-goo and doesn't believe in increasing conflict.  But in theory, that kind of approach would pay dividends for a long time to come.

                    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                    by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:42:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Obama's better at this than you are. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nickrud

                      (1) Your point is already painfully obvious to all but the teabaggers, who are lost causes.

                      (2) Engage in extreme rhetoric and the story becomes the rhetorical conflict, not the actual facts on the ground, er, in the water.

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:56:59 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Slinkerwink had some constructive suggestions (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Dump Terry McAuliffe, Pesto

                        yesterday.  Returning phone calls Nick Pozzi made weeks ago might've been a nice idea.  Hell, the former Shell chair has made similar proposals.  IIRC, BP has 24 tankers, and every one of them should've been sent to the Gulf for pumping operations weeks ago.

                        While I'd like to see Obama bash Big Oil, I'd settle for Adm. Allen not dining w/ Tony Hayward.  More significantly, I would've expected to see Uncle Sam take over cleanup operations from an established corporate recidivist a month or so ago.  BP hiring temps for 1 day as props when Obama visited and Hayward's various public comments told us everything we need to know.

                        It's fascinating to see how many posts here basically say that Obama is powerless to do anything about the greatest environmental catastrophe in US history.  The same guy who's going to help the Karzais bring democracy to a country that has never known it can't help clean up the Gulf?  Whatever happened to Yes, We Can?

                        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                        by RFK Lives on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:46:45 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  anybody who basically approves of status quo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clues

        Anybody who thinks the status quo of magical thinking and corporate welfare is acceptable falls into the category of moderate: they're not looking to move America further to the left or the right. What they don't get is that America drifts to the right if no-one is willing to steer; you have to turn the wheel slightly to the left to keep America going in a straight line.

    •  Oh they believe in it. (9+ / 0-)

      They just haven't realized that most of them aren't really part of the winning side.

      They think it will mean a bigger piece of the pie for them. I've decided that most of the moderates mistake bait for being in the club. They don't have a clue that they are tools and are just as expendable as the rest of the workers.

      •  Right, which is no different from the average (0+ / 0-)

        Republican worker?

        Odd.

        As a sig I once had said: Ask not what happened to Kansas, ask what happened to CA and MA.

        When the village is on fire, a sieve will not substitute for a fleet of fire engines. Sometimes incremental change won't EVER scale to address the problem.

        by Words In Action on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:19:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Abandon Obama? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, jalenth, oxfdblue, Eclectablog

    And what? Join the Tea Party.

    •  That's like asking: (9+ / 0-)

      Do you want to be poked in the eye with a sharp stick or would you rather slide down a mile long razor blade naked?

      There must be alternatives. Can't we try to find them rather then giving 2 impossible choices?

    •  Did you read the article? (17+ / 0-)

      Labor has realized that like the LGBT community AND the rest of the progressive movement they were getting lip service and not much else from the Obama administration.

      They have learned not to take their word for anything, to pound them with what they want, AND to support candidates which the White House does not want in order to achieve their agenda.

      Obama wants their support he has to earn it, otherwise they will get in his way. For instance their support of Bill Halter.

      Read the article.

      And stop assuming that not supporting Obama automatically means supporting the Tea Party. Sometimes it just means supporting real Democratic candidates over the White House and their preferred corporate stooges.

      •  I read your article (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OIL GUY

        I know that you dont support the Tea Party.My fear is that McConnell and Boehner will take power in November.Im not sure our country can survive.My son in law says Im too eager to "settle".This may be true.

        •  If Boehner et al throw us off the 50th floor (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wezelboy, esquimaux, Ken in MN, laker

          but Lincoln et al throw us off the 25th floor, you could say that Lincoln et all are twice as good as the GOP.

          Or you could say that we end up in the same place either way.

          Pointing out how awful the GOP is isn't sufficient to demonstrate that any alternative to them is good enough to address the terrible crises we face.

          "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

          by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:38:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you think that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OIL GUY

            we have some good things now that we would not have had if Obama had not been elected?I am not ready to give up on him.Are you sure that you dont know my son in law? He is a Brit and gives me a lot of grief.

            •  If you consider the fact (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pesto, movingforward, laker

              that the middle class and the working class are decimated with very little hope of recovering their former positions (and their former positions weren't all that great to begin with), then your perspective changes, I think.

              What good will  the "good things" do for any of us if we are relegated to a permanent underclass, and what is the only leverage we have to show politicians that they must listen to us?

              I guess it depends whether you think this is the last stand for American workers, or whether everthing will go back to normal, and we'll have an additional few good things.

              •  Blame someone else distraction (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clues

                The 21st Century Know-Knothing movement has been sparked by Republicans exploiting the decline of industrial manufacturing caused by globalization and accelerated by trickle-down economics for the past 30 years.  The only reason non-industrial states such as California have jumped on the bandwagon along with the post-industrial North is because of the current recession. "Illegal Immigration" is the smokescreen while jobs are being exported overseas.

                The only reason workers don't follow those jobs to places like China is because that most countries (if not all) have an immigration system which coddles natives.  Of course those restrictions don't apply to corporations thanks to the Globalization doctrine agreed upon by the World Establishment.  (Money is money even if it is a different currency!)  Globalization by its very nature excludes people and is concerned about the flow of money.  Real Globalism would have destroyed the immigration barriers along with the tariffs.

                I can't wait for a newcomer to run against Globalization and advocate for protectionism!  That should distract the American Establishment while we expose the dirty truth about the distractions and charades with the word "illegal".

                Go yellow!--The next movement after green. U.S. Metric Association www.metric.org

                by movingforward on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:19:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, we have some good things (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clues, wezelboy, esquimaux, laker

              The two parties are distinguishable.  McCain/Palin would have been much worse, as would a GOP-controlled Congress.

              None of that means, however, that the Dems are anywhere near good enough to deal with the economic collapse, the global environmental crisis, the health care crisis (the jury is still out on that one, IMHO), the crisis in civil liberties (I think the jury has reached a verdict there, and it's not a good one), the crisis of American militarism (again, all sign say they're on the wrong side of that one, too).

              The Dems are clearly a lesser evil.  That doesn't make them good.

              As far as giving up on Obama is concerned...to me, it's not about Obama as a person, but about the White House and indeed all of Washington power as institutions.  They're structurally not on our side.  They'll serve our needs only under duress.  So it's not our job to support them -- they're part of the powerful and comfortable, and broadly speaking it's our job to afflict them.

              "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

              by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:58:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What you are saying (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pesto, Clues

                is that our system has failed us.You sound like a fairly young person.I am 71 years old and m afraid for my country for the first time

                •  I'm in my 40s (0+ / 0-)

                  You sound like a fairly young person.

                  I'll take that as a compliment!  Though I have to confess that my kids wouldn't give me the same assessment...

                  I've been afraid for the entire world, and my country as part of it, for a long time.

                  "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                  by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:39:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have seen a lot (0+ / 0-)

                    I live in the south and know that racial hatred is among us.What bothers me is these people feel so comfortable in coming out from under the rocks. I am an old southern woman who loves Obama and the idea of Obama. I feel that many do not understand what is being done to him? He is called the "professor". As to opposed to the "idiot" I suppose.

    •  Join the greens (0+ / 0-)
      Future jobs are tied  to a green new deal being  implemented.
  •  Is this diary a joke? (8+ / 0-)

    You know, there is something to be said for perspective. Try getting some.

    "John McCain has rounded up and deported his principles." --- Jonathan Alter, Newsweek.

    by marabout40 on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:11:31 AM PDT

  •  Your title does not serve you well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juturna, pstoller78

    unless by "abandon" you mean to challenge, work around, and not count on Obama. I don't think that's what the word means.

    The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

    by mswaine on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:23:27 AM PDT

  •  This is where this entire diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, reddbierd, OIL GUY, pstoller78

    collapses -

    The Obama administration demonstrated a clear lack of concern for labor when it allowed nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to be ignored in Congress for a full 14 months.

    How you get ignoring out of Congress pushing back on Obama's nominations so hard that he had to finally make recess appointments to get them seated is beyond me.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:25:30 AM PDT

  •  Another blame Obama diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OIL GUY, oxfdblue

    There's nothing better this president has to do, but just fulfil campaign promises.  

    There's no wars, no International crises, Domestic Crises one after another, no bad press, no daddy have you plugged the hole yet, no economy to keep working to improve and god only knows what else, that I can't see that needs to be done.

    He's one man..... where's congress in these legislation.  He can't wave a magic wand and have all these things done!

    Give the man a break!

    •  and yet he has the time (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pletzs, wezelboy, laker

      to send Geithner to India to promote offshoring of American jobs, and to gather with his dept. of education stooges to soundly applaud the firing of an entire school's worth of teachers.

      But yes, the whole problem is that he is busy doing other things, BIG things, and the American working class should just shut the hell up until he gets around to "helping" them some more.

  •  This is pretty obvious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    movingforward, anarchyintheusa

    They need to support the Green Party or individual Democratic Socialist candidates.

  •  Elk makes some very good points (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prfb, theran, Clues, wezelboy, laker

    I'd summarize his piece by saying that he's urging Labor not to see the White House as a natural ally (even if they played an enormous role in getting Obama and the Dem majorities elected), but, at best, as a neutral party that just wants some form of peace and quiet (although they might be a natural opponent).

    I think Elk is right about this.

    For those who haven't read the rest of Elk's piece, he's not saying that Labor should denounce Obama as a Capitalist stooge -- he's saying that Labor needs to be more oppositional, and more willing to step on the Dems' toes, in order to get what workers need.  He argues that it was doing precisely that that got Obama to finally make recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, after over a year of playing footsie with the GOP on getting his appointees votes in the Senate.

    Elk admits that there's risk to this strategy, since...

    If labor takes a more critical stance against the administration, it could force Obama to rely more heavily on his corporate backers and set unions back even further. Labor has plenty of enemies within the Democratic Party that would like to push the unionzed percentage of the workforce down from 7 percent all the way to zero.

    He feels that Labor has been through defeats before, and has always risen.  But it's worth pointing out that standing on principle often hasn't grown unions, even in the long run.  The union Elk works for, the UE has an admirable history of radicalism and militancy -- the workers at Republic Window and Door, who staged a sit-in at their plant last year, are UE members.  But the UE claims only 35,000 members nationally -- they're economically completely irrelevant, and haven't been a major force for a few generations.

    Unions like AFSCME need UE to be part of Labor, but UE needs a union like AFSCME, as well.  Workers and the Labor movement are in a terrible, terrible situation.  I'm not nearly as confident that the movement will just rise from the dead after its next demise -- and yet, it's not clear whether militancy or accommodationism is a more likely road to that demise.

    "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

    by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:31:25 AM PDT

    •  Yes. I'm reading it as (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El Zmuenga, pletzs, Pesto, wezelboy, laker

      the honeymoon is over.  Labor assumed Obama had their best interests at heart and has now found out that's not necessarily true.  Support will no longer be automatic, but must be negotiated.

      I think many people assumed that Obama would only have to actively court Republicans, and that every other group would just fall in line.  Now that nobody is really getting what they want, he's going to have to use diplomacy on all sides, which is a shame really.  A stronger progressive stance would have left him only fighting on one flank.

      •  I agree, but I think that this bias (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wezelboy

        is built into the system.  Institutional power in DC is simply not structured to serve the interests of the vast majority of Americans.  No matter how Obama may feel in his heart of hearts, his job is his job, and his job puts him on the other side of the barricades from us.

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:01:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't want to "read the rest" on another site. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, HeyMikey, OIL GUY, hyper

    If you want us to read the rest of the article, please post the whole thing here instead of using this site to drive traffic to yours.

    What have you done for DC statehood today? Call your Rep and Senators and demand action.

    by mistersite on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:38:03 AM PDT

    •  The rest UNDOES the diary! (0+ / 0-)

      Wikipedia:

      In April 2009, President Obama nominated Craig Becker (Associate General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union), Mark Gaston Pearce (a member on the Industrial Board of Appeals, an agency of the New York State Department of Labor), and Brian Hayes (Republican Labor Policy Director for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) to fill the three empty seats on the NLRB....

      Becker's nomination appeared to fail on February 8, 2010, after Republican Senators (led by John McCain) threatened to filibuster his nomination.[6][11] President Obama said he would consider making recess appointments to the NLRB due to the Senate's failure to move on any of the three nominations.[11] True to his word, Obama on March 27, 2010 recess appointed both Becker and Pearce to the NLRB.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Recess appointment reported on DailyKos 2+ months ago:
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      This diary is a disgrace. Not because I like Obama, but because it leaves the reader with the false impression that Obama has acquiesced to the Repubs and left the NLRB seats vacant.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:21:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  make him do it (0+ / 0-)

    Obama can be pushed in November. Whether or not he would be very pro labor if he had the chance, and I'm unclear about that, the centrist Dems are the lesser of the evils and that's all we'll ever get out of the Federal government without major gains in Congress.

    One thing (meta) about the site local Obama discusssions: He's not on the ballot for a while. Politics is the art of the possible and Axelrod's not sweating losing labor or serial internet posters right now.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:48:53 AM PDT

    •  He's already done it!!! (0+ / 0-)

      Diary omits critical facts: Obama 2+ months ago recess-appointed Becker and another pro-labor member to NLRB.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:22:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He does menton that, HeyMikey (0+ / 0-)

        After Obama’s rejection, labor had two options. It could play nice with the administration and hope to be rewarded for their loyalty, or it could take a stand and criticize the White House for cutting this backroom deal. Trumka choose the latter. He blasted the secret deal with the Senate GOP as one that "left working people out in the cold." He urged union members to bombard the White House with phone calls in protest – the first time the AFL-CIO had asked workers to do this during the Obama presidency.

        It worked. As a result of the pressure the AFL-CIO put on the White House, Obama was forced to grant Becker a recess appointment during the next recess in March. Trumka risked a lot, including much-coveted access to the White House, in order to pressure Obama on this issue. But the White House feared so open a denouncement from labor, and it folded quickly, appointing Becker as soon as it could.

        That's his point:  the Administration responds better to pressure, even somewhat angry, public pressure, than it does to more backroom stuff that's less threatening to the Administration.

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:36:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's in LINKED article, not diary. (0+ / 0-)

          (1) Your quote is from linked article, not diary.

          (2) Diarist gives impression link merely supports his diary. In reality, link significantly contradicts it.

          (3) Even the linked article doesn't mention Obama's other pro-labor recess appointment to the NLRB.

          Bottom line: thrust of diary is that Obama isn't doing diddly for labor at the NLRB. Reality: he's done a lot more that the diarist omits. As Al Franken says, we're entitled to our own opinion, but not to our own facts.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:52:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All right, I'll try to go slowly here. (0+ / 0-)

            Here is the first sentence of the diary:

            Mike Elk writes on Talking Union

            Did you get that?  Here, I'll paste it again:

            Mike Elk writes on Talking Union

            The diary is an excerpt from Elk's piece.  There is no difference between the diary and the LINKED piece except that the diary is only the first 5 paragraphs, and that the diarist includes the 6 words I blockquoted above so that you can read the rest of it.  Unless you think that the first 5 paragraphs of Elk's piece contradict the rest of it.  

            "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

            by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:59:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why do you think we should (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey

              be driven to another site to read the complete article? You've said this over and over in this thread yet DKos tradition is if you write a diary, you write a diary and not a teaser.

              •  Many, many diaries are simply teasers (0+ / 0-)

                for other stories.  There are endless diaries like "Look at what KO said!!" or "Frank Rich/Krugman/Hightower nails it again!".

                And, in fact, the site rules specifically forbid cutting and pasting entire articles, because of copyright concerns.

                "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

                by Pesto on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:34:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  "Vacant" and "not vacant" are opposites. My job. (0+ / 0-)

              Well, no difference except the part in the diary says Obama has left the NLRB seat vacant because he's kissing the GOP's ass, and the part not in the diary says Obama stood up to the GOP and made a recess appointment. Except for the ass-kissing and filling the vacancy, they're exactly the same!

              Too bad the ass-kissing and vacancy, which no longer exist, are the diarist's reason he wants people to "abandon" Obama.

              And, oh yes, Obama also recess-appointed pro-labor Gaston Pearce to the NLRB, which also contradicts the diarist's ass-kissing and vacancy points, which is mentioned neither in the diary NOR in the linked article.

              So aside from the part about Obama doing what the diary says he hasn't done, the diary is fine.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:20:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh yeah, my job. (0+ / 0-)

                I have now gone way, way over my lunch break with this diary. Gotta earn a living. Goodbye.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:21:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I meant EFCA but point taken NT (0+ / 0-)

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:14:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with shitstorms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OIL GUY, jalenth

    is that there is so much to fix, and every groups wants their priority first, that it's easy to lose track of priorities.  For instance, Trumka would say that Labor issues should be the first priority.  The GLBT Community would say that DADT and DOMA are first priority.  And so on.  Meanwhile, there is real shit happening that needs immediate attention, and other priorities are being pushed out of the way.

    This particular Presidency is turning into the ultimate Kobayashi Maru situation.

    "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 Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:51:14 AM PDT

  •  I'd say that President Obama and Company (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clues, wezelboy, laker, hardhatmama

    mean well, and I think we got the best president possible at the time. But they seem heavily invested in their idea of "realpolitik" -- which precludes actual leadership on any sort of bleeding edge.

    Championing gays or unions or whatever in the real world is likely to freak people out and reduce the flow of big donor money into campaign coffers. One does not taunt the corporatocracy lightly, in the Rahmniverse.

    This approach got them elected, so it's hard to argue that it hasn't worked for them, thus far. But as the author of this diary observes, if we want progress on labor issues, it might HAVE to be over the sullen opposition of the White House. As in Arkansas.

    If that be Marxism, make the most of it.

    •  Try another position (0+ / 0-)

      Championing gays or unions or whatever in the real world is likely to freak people out and reduce the flow of big donor money into campaign coffers.

      Make a big stink about skilled soldiers, interpreters, and other workers being fired in a time of war for being homosexual.

      Go yellow!--The next movement after green. U.S. Metric Association www.metric.org

      by movingforward on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:23:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Funny article. Seems to be based at least in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    part on the idea that Obama didn't but should have recess-appointed Craig Becker...which he did right?
       Unions are moving to the republican party en masse. And old fat rich white dudes are finally going to vote for the party of the people...yeah!

    This sig-line demands a jobs program in the Gulf...immediately!

    by reddbierd on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:52:28 AM PDT

  •  Another Obama is not kissing my butt enough diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OIL GUY, jalenth
  •  Who ya' got to beat him? n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  We can kill the corpse (0+ / 0-)

    Since the multi-national corpse has no regard for American Labor, American Laws and Sensitivities, nor even American (let alone the world's) Environment...

    Our recourse is to abandon the corpse.  We simply need to stop buying their crap.

    Crap that is increasingly made offshore with near-slave labor and complete environmental disregard.

    Let's stop buying iPhones and iPads and all that other crap that ends up in the landfill or a toxic "recycling" center only 18 months later.

    We just don't need all that shit.  We work, send our money to corporate goons and elitists, and get nothing back.

    Think about how much money we all can save if we don't buy stuff we don't need.  And when we do need something let's try to buy what's made in our own country, even if it costs more.

    For America to become a great nation again, we need to stand for something.  We each can do a part and, like the labor unions, when we all stand together, we all win together.

  •  Break with the administration? (0+ / 0-)

    Then your policy proposal. Break with the Obama Admin. Well lets see.
    The major issue facing labor is the economic crisis. The Obama Admin. passed the stimulus bill ARRA, some 787 billion. I, and most working people would have preferred double or triple that, but that was all that could get through the Senate. Then, they passed a version of health care reform. Not nearly good enough, but reform. This is the first major health care development since Medicaid. Now they have passed financial reform. Its not enough- at all. But, it starts to respond to the crisis. It is more significant , and positive- than any other finance reform legislation from our side.
    And, with this, you recommend that labor abandon the administration. Would any of these things have been passed with a Republican majority? Or, a Republican President. It seems to me that you are buying the Republican line that nothing positive has been done. So, explain more about where your proposal leads.

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