Friday, February 7, 2014

Talk is Cheap, Biden

So Joe Biden wants to defend collective bargaining now?  Or rather, he wants us to believe that he wants to defend collective bargaining now?  The point is a good one, and the chart is instructive, but whither this VP tweet?

OK, so his in not the worst voting record in the Senate.  He's opposed to the right-to-whine nonsense.  Sure, he likes to parade around in front of the UAW chanting, "Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive."  He and Obama are not as wacky as Romney and Ryan, who would cut teachers and firefighters - and imply that these somehow do not belong to "the American people."

But what has been the legacy of the Administration he serves as its liaison to the workers?

There were a few small victories for working stiffs early on (e.g. Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act).  But the big picture, well...

NO Employee Free Choice Act : labor's #1 agenda item when Obama & Biden came in with ostensible support for it.  "EFCA" would have expanded collective bargaining rights to more "American people" by allowing them to choose a union if they so desire, without the hassle, the red tape, and the court battles that the bosses are always hating on when they have to answer to somebody for dumping poison in our drinking water, or removing safety features that allow workers to get killed or injured on the job.  But even ahead of the Oath of Office, the Employee Free Choice Act moved to the meh column.  In-coming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, formerly Clinton's political czar and more recently the bane of Chicago unions, sent the signal loud and clear right out of the box to "him who has ears to hear": yeah, OK, so we'll always say we support working people and their unions, but we won't fight for them.

HALF-ASSED healthcare reform: as I keep harping, better than nothing, not what was needed.  In particular, the Administration never allowed any discussion of single-payer, dropped the public option without a fight, and accepted additions to the basic idea that swipe at working union members.

Oh, but they're ALL FOR job-destroyin', wage-and-workin'-condition-depressin', environment-degradin' so-called "free trade agreements" like the Trans-Pacific Partnership bullshit.  Not bad enough that we have Clinton to thank for NAFTA?  And that's just when we Americans started waking up to what was happening.  As far back as 1947 there was GATT, now subsumed into the evil WTO.  And so on.  Just how much collective bargaining do they think will be left after they ship all our jobs out to the United Sweatshops?

And guess which they want "fast track" authority for?  Three guesses and the first two don't count.

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