Detroit to Ohio

Labor Day:

A crowd estimated at 12,000 people lined up along the waterfront to chant “Obama” and “Four more years. The 60 degree temperature with a brisk wind forced most to their keep jackets tightly zipped. Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO led off the Labor Day speeches, saying the union will work to make sure “That we don’t let Michigan become a right to work for less state”.

President Obama previewed his job strategy at a Labor Day rally Monday in nearby Detroit, saying he will propose infrastructure improvements and middle class tax breaks during an address to Congress Thursday. The event, sponsored by the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO took place in the shadow of GM headquarters on the city’s riverfront. Thousands of union members attended.

This is Motown,” said James Hoffa general president of the Teamsters, “but today this is Uniontown.” He named three battlegrounds in what he called the “war on workers.” One of those battlegrounds, he said, is the effort to repeal Senate Bill 5 in Ohio. The Ohio AFL-CIO is seeking a “no” vote on Issue 2 to vote down enactment of the bill, which was passed earlier this year by the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly and signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich. The law, which would roll back some collective bargaining rights for public employees, is set for a Nov. 8 ballot referendum.

And with that, back to Ohio, and this:

Labor Day weekend is the traditional start of the campaign session, especially the paid television spots. Today, We Are Ohio announced that they would use the Labor Day weekend to remind people the reason for the season.

Here’s the ad

What do you think?

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92 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Moar of this plz!!

  2. 2
    kay says:


    Did you actually look at that ad?

    Give me a harsh and unsparing critique :)

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    I did, watched it twice now. It’s a hammer for a big nail for sure. But it gets the point across: this is gonna affect all’y’all, so don’t fuck this up.

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I watched it. It was good. I like the emphasis on real world consequences. A bit quick talking for me, but that’s probably a personal thing. Also too, I used to live on the 500 block of Town Street in Columbus.

  5. 5
    kay says:


    I thought it was fine, but I always think ads are fine. They’re blacking it out on 9/11 by prior agreement between the two sides. They have vowed NOT to exploit 9/11, which they announced with a non-exploitive press release.

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    Oy vey.

    The NYTimes gave its copy editors the day off today. From caption on the front page.

    President Barach Obama greeted his supporters ….

  7. 7
    cat48 says:

    Hi Kay,

    I like the Ad. I hope Kasich gets a NO. I know this is supposed to be a nonpartisan vote, but Obama’s speech today was excellent & might help get everyone to the polls, especially around Cleveland. I read in Politico that Obama’s “campaign infrastructure”, as they put it, would be involved in the Wisconsin recalls & the Ohio union vote. I don’t know if they worked under the radar in WI or not; or if they plan to organize anonymously in OH or what. They may have just been Union members involved already. He did send organizers to work the NY special election earlier this year that we won.

  8. 8

    A crowd estimated at 12,000 people lined up along the waterfront to chant “Obama” and “Four more years.

    That’s good, because when I read crap like this from Matt Stoller I want to stick a fork in my eye:

    No one, not even the president’s defenders, expect his coming jobs speech to mean anything. When the president spoke during a recent market swoon, the market dropped another 100 points. Democrats may soon have to confront an uncomfortable truth, and ask whether Obama is a suitable choice at the top of the ticket in 2012. They may then have to ask themselves if there’s any way they can push him off the top of the ticket.
    That these questions have not yet been asked in any serious way shows how weak the Democratic Party is as a political organization. Yet this political weakness is not inevitable, it can be changed through courage and collective action by a few party insiders smart and principled enough to understand the value of a public debate, and by activists who are courageous enough to face the real legacy of the Obama years.
    Obama has ruined the Democratic Party. The 2010 wipeout was an electoral catastrophe so bad you’d have to go back to 1894 to find comparable losses. From 2008 to 2010, according to Gallup, the fastest growing demographic party label was former Democrat. Obama took over the party in 2008 with 36 percent of Americans considering themselves Democrats. Within just two years, that number had dropped to 31 percent, which tied a 22-year low.

    It goes on in this vein. Really.

    The idea of any viable primary challenge to Obama is just so ludicrous I simply can’t take anyone seriously who suggests it.

  9. 9
    kay says:


    I don’t think he cares. This is the quote he wants:

    President Barack Obama said Monday that congressional Republicans must put their country ahead of their party and vote to create new jobs as he used a boisterous Labor Day rally to aim a partisan barb at the GOP.

    I’m glad they used “boisterous” instead of “rowdy”. “Rowdy” seems to be reserved for union members.

  10. 10
    Yutsano says:

    @Southern Beale: I won’t even bother to read it before I type this, but let me guess: Stoller doesn’t offer any reasonable alternative to Obama does he?

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Kay, I also watched it twice and found it very effective. I hope you were able to buy a lot of good time slots for it, because it improves with repetition (which, the gods they know, is not the case with most political/issue spots). The only thing that would improve it, for me, would be a shift from third to second person. IOW, “That’s not safe for us or for the neighborhoods we serve” might be a little punchier as “That’s not safe for us — or for you.” But it’s a minor point and a personal thing. Don’t change it. Run it early and often.

    O/T, but after a summer of drought we are now surrounded by tornado warnings. Raining pretty hard right now.

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:


    I’m glad he’s going with that message.

    It’s even true.

  13. 13
    kay says:


    Hi. We have a We Are Ohio organizer on the ground. I met with her last week (I think: I have been very busy at work, and it is all blurring together).

    She’s great. From a small town in Texas. She still has Texas plates. She worked on Obama ’08 (Ohio) and then Strickland 2010 and now We Are Ohio. She misses her dog, poor thing. She’s not around enough to care for the dog, so he remained in Texas.

  14. 14
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I am glad that the No on SB 2 team (We are Ohio) had their sh*t together much better than the No on Prop 8 people in California in 2008. I like seeing Karl Rove and the Koch brothers get a major b***h slapping.

  15. 15
    Bruce S says:

    Richard Trumka was on Air Force One and led off the Labor Day speeches? Why I thought he was an enemy of President Obama’s who was trying to undermine his election in 2012?

    Or is the President a bit more adult and serious in dealing with criticism of his policies than some of his alleged “defenders” on the internet ?

  16. 16

    @Southern Beale:

    What’s worse is Stoller’s “So what, he’ll address the stuff we’re talking about, but it doesn’t mean a damn anyway.” What sort of twisted logic is going on in his head?

    And I love his call for a primary challenge. Wow. Has Stoller cracked open a history book recently? Has he seen what happened in the elections of 1968 and 1980 and the imbroglio that was the 2000 election?

    What scares me is this: he knows that a primary challenge will cause an election loss for Obama and lead to the GOP getting into the White House…and Stoller doesn’t care. Payback comes first, the concerns of people who will be screwed by the GOP are way down the list.

    Like the line from Goodfellas said, Stoller should go home and get his f***ing shinebox.

  17. 17
    Bruce S says:

    #8 Southern Beale –

    The idea of any viable primary challenge to Obama is just so ludicrous I simply can’t take anyone seriously who suggests it.

    That is indeed the correct position. So you can calm down. Do yourself and the rest of us a favor…

  18. 18
    kay says:


    One of the differences between Ohio and Wisconsin was Kasich went after police and fire. They are traditionally supporters of Republicans. It’s been interesting to watch. I have no idea how it will play out.

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Southern Beale:

    When the president spoke during a recent market swoon, the market dropped another 100 points.

    Because of news out of Europe. Now “Leftist fighters” are repeating shit too dumb and dishonest for FoxNews. Joan Walsh should be embarrassed.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kay: Do people talk about (Or at least remember) Kasich’s “cops are jerks” speech? enough to have an effect?

  21. 21
    Lolis says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Plus, I thought true leftists like it when the market drops.

  22. 22
    JCT says:

    @Elizabelle: Nah, they’re just going for the Jewish vote. I think Barack and Michelle are very haimish. It all works.

  23. 23
    kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I think it did resonate, judging by my courthouse conversations. I don’t know if it will stick, because Kasich has been on a charm offensive, helped along by his buddies in national (tv) media.

  24. 24
    Dark Patriot says:

    being from the northeast i was flabbergasted to read that police and fire usually backed the repubs in the midwest. i dont think its like that around here. talk about voting against your interests.

  25. 25
    kay says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I love how he’s appealing to “insiders” to somehow remove the nominee.

    Interesting grass roots approach he’s got there.

    Insiders to the rescue! Save us from those pesky delegates and elections and such :)

  26. 26
    cat48 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    The funny part about that column that he hints at is they need several people from different “regions” to take Obama on in a Primary. Ralph Nader is more explicit. Since he doesn’t want to do it himself, he is recommending sort of a specialized panel to take our Prez on: someone with Military experience, one who specializes in the Environment; the Economy; etc, etc.

    So in other words, they both know they can’t beat the president so they want to all gang up on him in Forums with a bunch of experts, so the press will cover it while he is being “held accountable” by experts in their areas. Also, they don’t have a majority of Dems who want him primaried, only about 1/3 of the Dems surveyed in the poll that Stoller used.

    I’m OLD & Obama is probably the best politician I’ve seen in my lifetime. His speech today was FIERCE! He can move people. He actually got me fired up today & I was really depressed. I’m not afraid of those emoprogs. I say BRING IT!

  27. 27
    gogol's wife says:

    Thanks for this positive and substantive post. I like the ad, but then I like firefighters.

  28. 28
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @kay: ah yes. Tweety’s show would be one to watch, Kasich is one of his original man-crushes.

    (CNN is pimping it’s up-coming “Tea Party” debate as “historic”. THey’ve been chasing that Fox-Lite demo through three or four chiefs, it seems to me)

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Southern Beale:

    That these questions have not yet been asked in any serious way shows how weak the Democratic Party is as a political organization. Yet this political weakness is not inevitable, it can be changed through courage and collective action by a few party insiders smart and principled enough to understand the value of a public debate, and by activists who are courageous enough to face the real legacy of the Obama years.

    I’ve never really seen a love note to oneself before. “My fantastical pie-in-the-sky idea proves how much courage, strength, intelligence, principle and, for that matter, handsomeness I possess.”

  30. 30
    Kathleen says:

    I saw the ad on TV yesterday and thought it was very effective. OT – Joe Biden gave a rousing speech at the annual AFL-CIO picnic here in Cincinnati. It was the lead story on WCPO at 6. They introduced the next story by saying that the GOP also showed its support for labor today at which point I cackled loudly and flipped the channel. The only support the GOP shows for labor is when a woman is forced to give birth. And Kasich’s charm is quite offensive. Rim Shot.

  31. 31
    kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I’m shocked that they don’t step back a little, at least for appearances sake.

    I mean, Jeez. Give us a fighting chance here. They promoted him heavily during his campaign, and it hasn’t let up. For me personally, I would like to win to beat them and him. Are they now going to sit on the scale in state elections, too?

  32. 32
    FlipYrWhig says:


    he is recommending sort of a specialized panel to take our Prez on: someone with Military experience, one who specializes in the Environment; the Economy; etc, etc.

    Sounds like Captain Planet — or the original Japanese Iron Chef.

  33. 33
    Bruce S says:

    #26 cat48 – “I’m not afraid of those emoprogs. I say BRING IT!”

    Yeah, right on! Because beating back the emoprogs is the key to a Democratic sweep in ’12. Absolutely essential that all serious people focus on the main enemy…

  34. 34
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bruce S:

    Why I thought he was an enemy of President Obama’s who was trying to undermine his election in 2012?

    When were people bashing Trumka? I don’t remember that. I remember snarky comments about how people probably _would_ bash Trumka, but I don’t remember them materializing.

  35. 35
    pluege says:

    why always obama with the tax cuts. he is a republican lacky. The problem isn’t that government receipts are too high (if anything too low), its what obama and the republicans are spending our money on:

    Afghanistan and Iraq
    corporate welfare
    tax breaks for the ubber wealthy
    a military bloated way beyond any practical need and wasteful to the point of criminality.

    Just once it would be nice to hear obama go after that which actually needs fixing.

  36. 36
    efgoldman says:

    @Southern Beale:

    The idea of any viable primary challenge to Obama is just so ludicrous I simply can’t take anyone seriously who suggests it.

    Big post in LGM about this, with some xcellent history and commentary.


  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    Kay: Terrific ad.

    Should do some good. Hope it is in heavy rotation.

  38. 38
    Jay says:

    Predictably, the whiny bitches of the right are shocked, SHOCKED! that a Hoffa shot his mouth off.


  39. 39
    Bruce S says:

    #34 – “Flip”: That allegedly “pro-Obama” People’s View blog – one of ABL’s faves – had an extensive attack on Trumka for some harsh remarks, complete with comments about how labor would deserve what they got when they brought down Obama. I try to avoid that crap, but got there via some links.

    There are unfortunately people who claim to be defending the President who are just as full of shit, infantile and divisive as Matt Stoller. Sorry to have to point that fact out in these virtuous threads…I guess it makes me Pompous. I’m just getting fed up with the masturbation contests between people who are mostly impressed with their own pure versions of The Truth and spend most of their time identifying the enemies amongst US. It’s a useless cage-match.

  40. 40
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bruce S: Fine, yeesh. I thought you meant around here. I don’t read The People’s View.

  41. 41
    RossInDetroit says:

    Trumka’s in a tough position. To make the bailout of the auto industry work, Labor had to make some hard decisions. Lots of give-backs to balance the deal. Many of the members are not happy about that because it hit them personally. Now Trumka’s supporting Obama, who is associated with the bailout.
    Personally I think without the bailout there wouldn’t be an American auto industry to complain about, but tell that to an autoworker whose future pension and health care took a big hit.

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:

    @Dark Patriot:

    …being from the northeast i was flabbergasted to read that police and fire usually backed the repubs in the midwest.

    Sometimes its a local thing. Boston and MA state public safety unions backed Saint Ronnie and Bush1 because they hated Dukakis that much.
    Boston public safety unions hate mayor Tom Menino. He’s an old-fashioned lunch-bucket Democratic (even though mayoral elections are non-partisan).

  43. 43
    RossInDetroit says:

    And BTW, this is a very effective ad. On paper, it looks very simplistic. But the combination of vivid visuals and plain talk sticks with people.
    Well done.

  44. 44
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Bruce S: So you’re trying to pick a fight here about something somebody said on a blog somebody who hasn’t posted here today reads?

  45. 45
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RossInDetroit: I’m assuming that a lot of the much-derided EPA/ozone/smog decision was tied to addressing industrial production — unionized industrial production, perhaps?

  46. 46
    cat48 says:

    @Bruce S:

    beating back the emoprogs is the key to a Democratic sweep in ‘12.

    Sorry, like Nixon, I got overzealous! I really have nothing against progressives, emo or not. I get emo, too.

  47. 47
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That’s a pretty amusing way to put it. (Sorry, Bruce.)

  48. 48
    A Humble Lurker says:


    @Bruce S:

    Why I thought he was an enemy of President Obama’s who was trying to undermine his election in 2012?

    When were people bashing Trumka? I don’t remember that. I remember snarky comments about how people probably would bash Trumka, but I don’t remember them materializing.

    And hasn’t Trumka been supportive of Obama for quite some time now anyway? Or am I remembering wrong?

  49. 49
    Maude says:

    It was bashing Obama for betraying the unions. I didn’t bother reading about it. It was from the left. One of Obama’s many failures.

  50. 50
    Joe says:

    @Lolis: when we’re buying, we like it when the market drops. When we’re selling, not so much. Same as conservatives. What’s your point?

  51. 51
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @A Humble Lurker: Trumka said last week that Obama and the Dems shouldn’t think they can take Labor’s support for granted. His language was pretty blunt, construed by some as hostile.

  52. 52
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Maude: I remember Trumka firing a sort of warning shot at Obama (something like, “He’d better think about what side he’s on,” maybe), but I didn’t remember the Obot-o-sphere getting too up in arms about it. But I guess it just played out somewhere else.

  53. 53
    RossInDetroit says:


    I’m assuming that a lot of the much-derided EPA/ozone/smog decision was tied to addressing industrial production—unionized industrial production, perhaps?

    I didn’t pay much attention to the politics behind that.
    I actually doubt that the smog regulations would have a big impact on labor hiring. Here in the upper Midwest there just aren’t that many smokestacks left. Any new jobs being created are unlikely to be in large scale traditional manufacturing. Michigan’s quickest growing sector is high tech. Li Ion vehicle batteries, for instance.
    The biggest exports from the Rust Belt these days are jobs and pollution. They disappear from here and appear in China.

  54. 54
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    So…he is supportive of Obama?

    I mean, is it possible to tell if he said that because he thought it would be a problem, or if he just needed to say it to reassure the unions that he wasn’t going to give away the store? Politics, you know. Not just for politicians…

  55. 55
    Maude says:

    I saw it on Atrios comments when I still read them. I don’t go there anymore.

  56. 56
    Bruce S says:

    Could someone please explain to me where a primary challenge – other than some symbolic effort at the margins – that could actually hurt Obama in the general would come from? Has anyone gamed this out? The notion that Stoller and Jane Hamsher could conjure this into being by extending their word counts on the internet isn’t credible. So where is this danger coming from? I don’t see it. It’s a talking point among a handful of people who just talk, at it’s most “real.” Maybe I’m completely nuts, but to worry over a primary challenge to Obama – when I’ve even heard Stoller’s old boss, Crazy Alan Grayson, make it clear that “Obama is my President” in the context of some critical remarks – strikes me as a waste of good energy.

    What I think is more problematic is to blame any problems the President actually has within the party on his critics, rather than political realities that the White House team is either going to have to live with or figure out how to manage better. I mean, is the fact that the American Lung Association or the NRDC can’t bring themselves to clap when the President – whatever the rationale – clumsily takes the ozone regs back to 1997 standards that are lower than those Bush had enacted, their fault?

    Are we supposed to act like short-range compromise or campaign-oriented politics is ever and always “good policy”? Are we supposed to just shut the fuck up and not care about issues? I’d like to think I can walk, chew gum, work for the President’s re-election AND advocate for more aggressive policies as “best” than the White House can or will affirm at a given juncture – all at the same time. But then I’m fucking Pompous. If only identification with the most recent press release from the Oval Office were a sufficient source of self-regard. That and yelling “Firebagger!”

  57. 57
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Joan Walsh should be embarrassed.

    Like that would ever happen.

  58. 58
    RossInDetroit says:

    I haven’t watched the speeches yet (busy afternoon) but it looks like James Hoffa came out swinging. Pretty confrontational, even for Labor. It’ll be interesting to see if this results in anything besides injured fee fees on the Right and calls for civility from the chronically uncivil.

  59. 59
    Bruce S says:

    #44 – Jim The Foolish Literalist –

    You’ve chosen your “nom” well…

  60. 60
    boss bitch says:

    I read on Twitter that MSNBC said Obama would be facing a tough crowd in Detroit. Guess the crowd wasn’t given their instructions.

  61. 61
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bruce S: I dunno, maybe the point isn’t that if it actually happened it would be dangerous, but that talking about it as if it might actually happen is stupid, _because_ if it actually happened it would be dangerous.

  62. 62
    Bruce S says:

    #62 – I think it’s sufficient to point out that talking about it as if it might happen is stupid…because it’s not going to happen.

  63. 63
    WaterGirl says:

    I thought the ad was good. I tend to tun out advertisements, and they probably only get about half my attention when I do watch them. Even with only part of my attention, I caught all the important stuff:

    There are not enough firefighters

    Firefighters count on their training, their equipment and the firefighter beside them.

    Not enough firefighters puts our homes and businesses at risk, and it puts firefighters at greater risk while doing their jobs.

    And most importantly, I am not wondering which way I have to vote (yes or no) to get the outcome I want – ability to organize and right for more firefighters. The NO came through loud and clear!

    And they made me care about the firefighters.

    I give it 2 thumbs up.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:


    I haven’t read the article yet, but the headline is encouraging!

    Teamsters President: ‘No Regrets’ After Fiery Speech Draws Right-Wing Criticism

    Seriously… The democrats and progressives who worry about it when the radical right wing republicans don’t like something… have they never played a sport and learned that it’s not helpful to take your cues from the opposing team? When I play volleyball the only calls I listen to when I am going for the ball (in or out, for instance) are the voices on my own team. When the other teams is telling you the ball is out, let it go! Geez. Why is it so hard to understand that?

    My frustration is not directed at RossinDetroit.

  65. 65
    Bruce S says:

    Also, if there were a Ted Kennedy figure around who had animus toward Obama we could talk about a 1980 redux. But there’s nothing close to that – nobody. And frankly, although it’s also not going to happen, if Dennis Kucinich ran a primary campaign against Obama, it would more likely help in him the general with “centrist extremists” who are always looking for truth “somewhere in the middle” than hurt him with anybody who would vote for him under any set of circumstances. That “extreme centrist” cohort may only be a handful of Beltway columnists, but who knows? Maybe those taxi drivers Tom Friedman talks to actually do exist.

    Anyway, I think this is a bogus threat. There are some real problems out there facing us in the general. Better to try to figure out how to best make the case, than to look for someone on the left – of all places – to blame for Obama’s likely weaknesses in 2012. Frankly, that’s an absurd notion of how the potential problems are shaping up for Dems.

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @WaterGirl: wrote that wrong, meant to say do the opposite of what the opposing team says. duh.

  67. 67
    kay says:

    @Bruce S:

    Bruce, with all due respect, you’re leaving out half the story on unions and Obama. There was silliness on one side regarding Trumka’s statements. True. But that was in response to the nonsensical idea promoted by many that Obama was “losing” unions.
    Trumka is an advocate. He pushes. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and he knows exactly what side he’s on. Obama knows it too. This is the predictable pre-election dance that Democrats and unions always do.
    The fact is, I was attending meetings on SB5 where AFL-CIO out of DC were telling us that they did not want this to be a partisan campaign. That happened not two miles from where I’m sitting. So why was I reading on liberal sites how Obama had to “put on his walking shoes” and march with the Ohio workers? That was UNTRUE. It was misinformed blather.
    What is the purpose of promoting the imaginary split between Obama and unions? What is the purpose of making this very predictable and ordinary dance seem unique to this Democratic politician? You and I both know that’s not true. So who’s pushing it, and why?
    I swear to God, it’s as if there has never been a presidential campaign before. NONE of this is new, between unions and Democrats. I remember talking with a paid UAW organizer in 2004 where he told me Democrats (Kerry) couldn’t “count” on unions, that they were sort of playing the field. In 2004.

  68. 68
    superluminar says:

    I want CornerStone back :-(
    Is this too soon?

  69. 69
    robertdsc-PowerBook says:

    middle class tax breaks

    Keep on failing, Mr. President. What a joke.

  70. 70
    WaterGirl says:

    @superluminar: Where did Corner Stone go?

  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @superluminar: banned or sulking?

  72. 72
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    OT but Con (the most gorgeous puddy tat in the world) got hit by a car tonight, seems he has a broken leg. Gonna take him to the vet tomorrow but I do not know what the vet will recommend seeing as he is 13 and ailing.


  73. 73
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: ABL put him on time-out for some remarks exchanged with someone I hadn’t seen around before called “Darnell from LA.”

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: OH NO! Dammit dammit dammit.

  75. 75
    kay says:

    @Bruce S:

    This is TPM, (who I love, as a site)

    Even as they’ve said they’ll support Obama in the future, the president has come under increasing scrutiny from labor leaders recently. Hoffa readily joined the chorus, but said that labor’s focus should be on who could come into power in 2012, not who’s already in the White House.

    “Well, I think all of us want to see [Obama] do more with regards to protecting collective bargaining,” Hoffa told TPM. “But certainly at this point, when we’re looking at Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, then certainly he’s the person that we have to work with and to fight for worker’s rights in this country.”

    Come one. This is nonsense. Read that statement. This is “increasing scrutiny”? It’s practically boilerplate. Hoffa knows it, and Obama knows it too.

    They’re selling the divide. But there’s nothing really there. It’s all just hot air and posturing and jockeying for position, which (incidentally) is an advocates JOB. They push. He pushes back. And so it goes.

  76. 76
    Barry says:

    @Yutsano: “It’s a hammer for a big nail for sure. ”

    Which I approve of – it’s a campaign ad for one, and will face counter-ads.

  77. 77
    Litlebritdifrnt says:


    Dammnit indeed. He was but a kitten when we rescued him from certain death at the hands of his owner in 1997 when my DH was student teaching. He has been such a fine cat all of his life. Right now I have him in the bedroom where he is just lying on the bed and chillin. Drinking a little milk. I am thinking that the vet will probably recommend amputation of the leg rather than the seriously painful and costly pinning of the leg (we have been through that with another cat). I am pretty sure that Con could live out the rest of his life on 3 legs.

  78. 78
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: We have one 16 and one 11-12, and the older one has been having issues with walking steadily, so I’m right there, and I wish you nothing but the absolute best.

  79. 79
    Bruce S says:

    #68 Kay – I think you missed the fact that I was not promoting that view of Trumka, but noting (dreaded irony and all that) that some “pro-Obama” blogs were exaggerating some supposed horrible rift that would bring the President down in 2012. I think we’re seeing the same thing – that this stuff gets overblown on the internet and Obama, at least, sees past it as well – unless I’m totally not understanding your point.

  80. 80
    slightly-peeved says:

    Trumka and the unions have a long history of getting out the vote for the Democratic party. And when the have an issue, like the excise tax in the ACA, they are willing to negotiate fairly on that issue; they give credit for what is done. If the online left, as a group, doesn’t demonstrate that they can deliver the votes that unions can, and doesn’t show the ability to negotiate as a group, they’ll never get the ear of the Democrats the way the unions do.

  81. 81
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:


    I have no idea how it will play out.

    I suspect the GOP lost shiploads of public safety employee votes with that move.
    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Plenty of people remember the tape of him announcing he got stopped by “an idiot.” And I expect it might get played in some spots between now and November.

  82. 82
    kay says:

    @Bruce S:

    No, you got it.

    But the fact is some “anti-Obama” blogs (I hate this stupid language we’re using, so suggestions are welcome) promoted the split between Obama and unions. And some of that was factually untrue, in my experience. The facts are the union organizers here stated flat-out that they were running an issue campaign, and they did not want a partisan label. Obama is a partisan label. They didn’t want him to put on his walking shoes. Would he have done so? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. They didn’t want him to.

    They both blew it way the hell out of proportion, they both used what is ordinary advocacy as “proof” of something or other. So that’s what I objected to in your comment. The focus on the one side.

    It’s nonsense, and they should know it’s nonsense, unless this is their very first Democratic presidential campaign, which it may well BE (with an incumbent Democrat).

    My broader complaint is this: I’m not comfortable with what I see as attempts to take Obama out of the mainstream of Democratic politicians. I don’t think that’s factually true. I think he’s well within the mainstream. I don’t like what I see as an attempt to isolate him as “unique” in some way, because you know what? He isn’t. He’s a Democrat. He’s to the Right of some, and he’s to the Left of others. Nate Silver has actually gamed this out, how Obama is in the middle of the Democrats, or some shit, but this weird meme continues, and it bothers me. I don’t know why it bothers me, but it does.

  83. 83
    Chandler W. says:

    I just spent 574 dollars at the vet for my Yorkie who jumped from the top of a high couch to the floor- hurt his knees.

    Vet gave me anti-inflammatory drugs and said to keep him inactive.

    An inactive Yorkie? How do I do that,especially when I am at work?

    But his VPI Pet Insurance is better than my health insurance. Costs less, too.

  84. 84
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Good thoughts for you and Con.

  85. 85
    kay says:

    @Bruce S:

    To me, if I take the names out, it looks like this:

    “Unions push Democratic politician prior to election”.

    Entirely unremarkable, right? Bidness as usual. Nothing unique about this Democratic politician re: unions. That’s my point, although it took me a long time to get there :)

  86. 86
  87. 87
    cat48 says:


    Kay, what really bothers me are the people who keep calling him a “Republican” b/c he is clearly not. He may have to make decisions that are more conservative than any of us want, but I’ve followed him since 2004, he has Dem Values. I just wish our side would not attempt to portray him as out of the mainstream for a Dem, too! This is a GOP tactic, too, as they try to portray him as out of mainstream Americans; the Other; doesn’t believe in “Exceptionalism” ,etc, etc. You’ve heard & seen the ads. I just want Obama to be Obama.

  88. 88
    kay says:


    Well, the response to that is “Clinton was the best Republican President ever” which is the old joke.

    But that just baffles me more. Can we nail down who was the last Democratic President? Because Silver says LBJ and Truman were to the Right of Obama, for their time. Just for comparison sake, so I can measure how unique this guy really is.

  89. 89
    cat48 says:

    Got detoured by ice cream! I liked every Dem in my lifetime & I’m old! Some better than others. Not necessarily their policies, but they were still Dems. I think Clinton appeared more “Republican”, if we use that term, because he had strong, hyperpartisan, determined, opposition & he wanted to be reelected, so he went along with Legislation I didn’t care for. I still think they’re all Dems. I don’t remember Carter that well because I didn’t follow Politics that closely as I was a new mom during that time. None of them would have repealed Social Sec or Medicare so they were all Dems!

  90. 90
    Bruce S says:

    #83 kay – I totally agree. I was commenting on something I had seen that was in synch with some rampant BS I happen to see here…so I guess I’m guilty of snark.

    Yeah, it’s not helpful to promote this as some deep division, whether you’re doing it because you’re pissed off at Obama in some juvie mode or pissed of at his critics who are pushing their issues as they’re supposed to.

  91. 91
    Bruce S says:

    Also – I don’t think those ratings of how “liberal” a President is make any sense out of the context of their time and political situation. FDR’s social security was both paltry and pretty racist, he totally compromised as part of his coalition with Southern Democrats who were explicitly racist and he interned an entire minority group, including American citizens. He also had a very significant social movement to his left pushing him on policy, as did LBJ. But I guess FDR gets props for having a wife who was a lesbian? Stupid joke, but it shows how ridiculous it is to drag these guys out of history and say that Obama isn’t as yadda, yadda. The fact that Obama’s most “progressive” (hate that term) piece of legislation conforms to mid-90s GOP health care wonkery – on paper – says more about the politics of the GOP in its current configuration, and their explicit strategy to derail Clinton’s plan at the time than it does about Obama’s inner liberal. Silver’s rating system is also a totally contingent measure that is useful, but obscures as much as it tells you.

  92. 92
    Binky the consumer bear says:

    @Marc McKenzie: You mean, when the CIA shot Bobby Kennedy leaving the election a toss up between dumb and dumber?

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