Jan 24, 2010 12:01 AM
Lil Joe - email@example.com
This is an FYI and not an endorsement of the AFL-CIO's bureaucracy's analysis. Most of the union leaders in this union coalition are members of the Democratic Party and delegates to the Democrats State and National Conventions, even speakers there. My analytical expose is a denunciation of the Democrats as political representatives of the capitalist class who masquerade as 'friends of labor' and 'the Party of the common man', that only reinforce illusions prevalent among the American working class that it is a 'unique' and 'classless democracy' (American exceptionalism). The reaction to the Democrats doing the business of the capitalist class rather than the working class is consistent with that Party being financially and socially based in capitalist funding and associations. The US Senators don't hang out at working class bars and bowling alleys, and certainly not in Roxbury.
The labor union bureaucrats are a barrier to the development of a rank and file based trade union politicalization that endorses and participtes in the building of a Labor Party that is financially based on the trade unions and socially in working class neighborhoods, including Roxbury. By 'barrier' I mean in the Hegelian sense that they limit by restricting working class consciousness and politics to the confines of the Democratic Party. But, for every barrier, once the defective character of the unity or being is recognized, there springs antithesis to it: there arise consciousness of its need to be negated, therefore an ought within which inhere the new possibilities that can be freed and those limits destroyed.
In the Science of Logic Book I Hegel wrote:
"Determination and constitution showed themselves as sides for external reflection; but the former already contained otherness as belonging to the something's in-itself; the externality of the otherness is on the one hand in the something's own inwardness, on the other hand it remains, as externality, distinguished from it, it is still externality as such, but present in the something. But further, since the otherness is determined as limit, as itself negation of the negation, the otherness immanent in the something is posited as the connection of the two sides, and the unity with itself of the something which possesses both determination and constitution, is its relation turned towards its own self, the relation of its implicit determination to the limit immanent in the something, a relation in which this immanent limit is negated.
"The self-identical being-within-self thus relates itself to itself as its own non-being, but as negation of the negation, as negating the non-being which at the same time retains in it determinate being, for determinate being is the quality of its being-within-self. Something's own limit thus posited by it as a negative which is at the same time essential, is not merely limit as such, but limitation. But what is posited as negated is not limitation alone; the negation is two-edged, since what is posited by it as negated is the limit, and this is in general what is common to both something and other, and is also a determinateness of the in-itself of the determination as such. This in-itself, therefore, as the negative relation to its limit (which is also distinguished from it), to itself as limitation, is the ought. In order that the limit which is in something as such should be a limitation, something must at the same time in its own self transcend the limit, it must in its own self be related to the limit as to something which is not. The determinate being of something lies inertly indifferent, as it were, alongside its limit. But something only transcends its limit in so far as it is the accomplished sublation of the limit, is the in-itself as negatively related to it. And since the limit is in the determination itself as a limitation, something transcends its own self." See Hegel's Logic @ (http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/index.htm)
Sublation in philosophical epistemology and Hegelian concept of history is transition, an activity that is not to be confused with Freud's psychoanalytic concept of 'sublimation', which resigns the individual in his problem. As Hegel wrote in the Science of Logic:
"To sublate, and the sublated (that which exists ideally as a moment), constitute one of the most important notions in philosophy. It is a fundamental determination which repeatedly occurs throughout the whole of philosophy, the meaning of which is to be clearly grasped and especially distinguished from nothing. What is sublated is not thereby reduced to nothing. Nothing is immediate; what is sublated, on the other hand, is the result of mediation; it is a non-being but as a result which had its origin in a being. It still has, therefore, in itself the determinate from which it originates. 'To sublate' has a twofold meaning in the language: on the one hand it means to preserve, to maintain, and equally it also means to cause to cease, to put an end to. Even 'to preserve' includes a negative elements, namely, that something is removed from its influences, in order to preserve it. Thus what is sublated is at the same time preserved; it has only lost its immediacy but is not on that account annihilated." (See Hegel's Logic @ http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hl/hlbeing.htm#HL1_107)
Sublation is as Hegel said elsewhere 'negation is just as much affirmation as negation'; the negation - overthrow - of the labor union officials of the trade unions that also function as members and therefore agents of the capitalist class party, the Democrats. By new leaders who are instead affiliates of the working class party, the Labor Party will be at once the negation of the bourgeois barriers to working class independent politics and affirm the trade unions as class organizations fighting no longer this or that capitalist employer but the capitalist class itself. The struggle of class against class is a political struggle, a struggle by the ruling class to conserve and maintain their political power and for the rising class to overthrow ruling class power by becoming the new government and State.
The labor union officials are at once workers' representatives that confront employers and at the same time functional members in the hierarchy of the Democratic Party. I am not talking about the 'average worker' in the union who merely votes for Democrats, and have nothing to do with them organizationally, nor even those trade unionists that donate money and shoe leather promoting Democrat candidates. "Forgive them, for they know not what they do!". But trade union officials that are part and parcel of the capitalist class parties political hierarchy know exactly what they are doing and are not to be forgiven but negated - overthrown; thereby the unions, freed and transformed from an appendage of a capitalist class party, become the ground to the basis of a working class party.
"In America the need of an independent workingmen’s party has been made manifest. They can no longer trust politicians. Rings and cliques have seized upon the legislatures, and politics has been made a trade." (Marx)
The trade union officials in the Democratic Party apparatus is not the representative of labor in that capitalist class party but are representatives of capitalist political interests in the trade unions. This political representation of the capitalist's class party in the trade unions makes those union officials barriers to workers formation of their own independent class party. The union officials are therefore a barrier that needs be negated. From negation of negation emerges the new from the old by an upsurge of trade union members who will throw out these Democrats and instead associate these unions with the struggle to build a working class party, the Labor Party.
Union officials can serve two classes: they will either serve the interests of one in the ranks of the other or the other in the ranks of the one. To be consistent, trade unionists they must represent the working class and this means to oppose the capitalist as a class: one cannot serve both labor and capital. The function of the Democratic Party's trade union officials is not just to 'get out the vote' for Dem candidates, but they are, year in and year out, the main medium of bourgeois culture and ideology operating in the organized sectors of the American working class, where the most rebellious workers and the most potentially class conscious political cadres of a labor party will arise. The Democratic Party's labor union officials are the direct representatives of ruling class politics in those unions and a channel of bourgeois ideological domination in the working class.
Therefore it is consistent with their role as representatives of the Democratic Party as a capitalist class party to limit workers analysis of the outcome of the recent Massachusetts election. The Democratic Party's political interests are the economic interests of capital. The Democratic Party's union officials are diverting workers praxis from a practical engendered critical class analysis of the Democratic Party as a capitalist Party by the claim that the Democrats in government merely 'stopped listening' to workers.
By means of this 'analysis' the Democratic Party's trade union representatives' objective is to keep workers subjective, that is to keep the workers epistemologically empty and passive by the preservation of the illusion that the Democrats are 'still' a 'friend of labor' and the poor, 'progressive' and all that rhetoric and demagogy that got them elected to the majorities in the House, Senate and office of the Presidency. The only way the Democratic Party could be a 'friend of labor' and 'the poor' would be if America were a classless democracy, but this is an illusion.
Politics is not philanthropy: it is not the subjective conscience of the Democratic Party's politicians that determine their campaign rhetoric, but objective economic material interests of the capitalist class wich they represent that determines their masquerade as men and women of conscience to dupe the gullible into voting for them. The labor union officials who are at the same time Democratic Party officials, or part and parcel of the social hierarchy that dominate that capitalist class party, use the campaign speeches and tricks of those who were selected by the Democratic Party hierarchy to campaign for office to use their office, and credibility among unionists and workers as trade union officials, to funnel this masquerade into the labor movement, to endorse it and from there spread this illusory consciousness throughout the working classes.
Once elected to the office of the President and others to the Senate, Obama and those Senators went on about the business of promoting the domestic and international interests of American capitalists and imperialists.
Democrats Drop Key Part of Bill to Assist Unions
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: July 16, 2009
A half-dozen senators friendly to labor have decided to drop a central provision of a bill that would have made it easier to organize workers. The so-called card-check provision - which senators decided to scrap to help secure a filibuster-proof 60 votes - would have required employers to recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signed cards saying they wanted a union. Currently, employers can insist on a secret-ballot election, a higher hurdle for unions. The abandonment of card check was another example of the power of moderate Democrats to constrain their party's more liberal legislative efforts. Though the Democrats have a 60-40 vote advantage in the Senate, and President Obama supports the measure, several moderate Democrats opposed the card-check provision as undemocratic. In its place, several Senate and labor officials said, the revised bill would require shorter unionization campaigns and faster elections. While disappointed with the failure of card check, union leaders argued this would still be an important victory because it would give companies less time to press workers to vote against unionizing. Some business leaders hailed the dropping of card check, while others called the move a partial triumph because the bill still contained provisions they oppose. The card-check provision was so central to the legislation that it was known as "the card-check bill." Labor had called the bill its No. 1 objective, and both labor and business deployed their largest, most expensive lobbying campaigns ever in the battle over it. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/business/17union.html
Senate Finance Committee Rejects Public Plan
By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: September 29, 2009
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Finance Committee defeated two amendments to add a public health insurance plan to its healthcare reform bill, with a handful of Democrats joining Republicans in voting against the public option. The first amendment, offered by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), would have added a public insurance option to the package that would reimburse doctors and hospitals at rates similar to Medicare. It would have put the government in charge of starting up a new insurance option, but would finance the plan through premiums, and not with government money, as Medicare is. While Sen. Max Baucus(D-Mont.), the chairman of the committee, said he understands why Democrats want a public plan, he said there just isn't enough support in the Senate to garner the necessary 60 votes for the bill to pass. "I can count," Baucus said after four hours of debate over the issue. "I want a bill that will become law."
"After four hours of markup session debate, Rockefeller's amendment was rejected by a vote of 15-8, with Democrats Max Baucus of Montana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Blanche Lincoln of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, and Tom Carper of Delaware joining all the committee's Republicans in voting "No".
"On the heels of Rockefeller's defeat, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) offered a similar amendment that swayed a few Democrats who had voted against Rockefeller's proposal. Schumer's amendment would have created a public plan but allowed physicians to opt out of accepting patients enrolled in it. Also, payment rates in Schumer's public insurance option would not be modeled on Medicare rates, which are lower than private plans. "Schumer's amendment does make a significant improvement because it's not tied to Medicare levels of reimbursement," said Conrad. "You are moving much closer to where we need to get to have a package where we can have 60 votes on the floor." But apparently not close enough to earn Conrad's vote -- he voted against the Schumer amendment along with Democrats Baucus, Conrad, and Lincoln, defeating the measure 13-10." http://www.medpagetoday.com/Washington-Watch/Washington-Watch/16203
President Obama and Congressional Democrats rejections of the Employee Free Choice Act [Card Check] and Single Payer Health Care legislation by their refusal to even bring it up for consideration in the Senate or House of Representatives, were not confronted openly in public by trade union mass mobilizations of workers in marches and rallies to force the elected government to implement their campaign promises. Even though these working class concerns were articulated and action upon them promised by Obama the candidate, that he would champion these concerns in pursuit of legislation, passage and signing into law, once in office, the Democrats as the ruling class toadies that they are, instead served capitalist corporate and class interests.
Labor union officials as quislings of the ruling class in the working class and lickspittles of the Democratic Party in the unions are consequently facing the rising wrath of an angry rank and file that realize they have been made fools of by campaigning for candidates of a Party whose members of Congress function as capitalist's political toadies. This anger was expressed by gullible workers who consider themselves "Independents" going to the polls and voting for the Republican 'alternative', Scott Brown. The more class conscious and therefore less gullible workers, recognizing the Republican Party is openly a capitalist class party and anti-union didn't vote for Scott Brown or Martha Coakley, the Democrat.
"In the special election for Massachusetts Senator, young voters (age 18-29) preferred Democrat Martha Coakley over Republican Scott Brown by 58%-40% (with 2% for other candidates), according to a survey of 1,000 voters conducted on January 19, by Rasmussen Reports.
"About 15% of Massachusetts citizens between the ages of 18-29 turned out to vote.* For citizens age 30 and older, turnout was about 57%.
"For comparison: 25% of young citizens (age 18-29) voted in the 2008 Massachusetts presidential primaries, and 47.8% of young Massachusetts citizens voted in the 2008 presidential elections, according to CIRCLE's analysis. Seventy-eight percent of under-30 voters in Massachusetts chose Barack Obama in the 2008 general election; 20% chose John McCain.
"While national youth turnout was very strong in 2008 (when 52% of young American citizens voted), youth turnout in the 2009 Virginia and New Jersey Gubernatorial races was poor (17% and 19%, respectively), and even lower in Massachusetts this Tuesday. "Three state elections do not necessarily make a national trend, but there is clearly an issue right now with youth turnout and enthusiasm," said CIRCLE director Peter Levine. "It will be interesting to see the turnout of young voters in November's mid-term elections."
"According to the Rasmussen survey, most young people who did vote were enthusiastic about Coakley: 89% of her young supporters said they voted for her, not against Scott Brown; and 43% were "very favorable" toward her. Their most important issue was the economy, whereas for voters overall, the number one issue was health care." http://www.civicyouth.org/
These are the young workers who are likely to be drawn to the Labor Party, were it operational. Since it isn't, these workers personally boycotted this election round altogether by individually boycotting it by staying away from the polls.
The Democratic Party's trade union officials are in a panic, trying to keep their jobs as union officials, pretending they are not the Democratic Party's labor union quislings by verbally seperating themselves from the Democrats in government. This explains all the militant sounding and threatening big talk by AFL-CIO to the Democrats, and Obama particularly, warning: "Voters sent a powerful message for Democrats: 'Ignore the working class at your peril!' - This is nothing but militant sounding empty rhetoric to placate rank and file trade unionists who are fed up with the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party's members of Congress. It is equally empty bravado, selling wolf tickets by threatening the government not to 'betray' the unions and workers - after the 'betrayal' is already an accomplished fact.
The analogy is closing the barn door after the horses have already escaped, or something like that? The Democrats have already killed Card Check, Single Payer and even a 'robust' so-called public option, as well as have already prolonged the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, sending tens of thousands of fresh troops to Afghanistan and have escalated the war against Pakistan villages. So, what is it that the AFL-CIO officials are shaking their fists at?
The audience that these labor union officials is addressing in this militant costume performance is not Democrats in government but is a show - a masquerade of trade union militancy of words rather than actions - performed for angry working class audiences. They have to put on this masquerade because their job as Democrats in the unions is to keep union members in the Democratic Party electoral column.
One union official in the Democratic Party and a Democrat in the trade union sounds the alarm thus:
schap1932 on 22.01.2010 at 11:09 (Reply)
"As union members - and union leaders - we need to be honest, for a change, about what happened in Massachusetts. Really looking at what happened and why, rather than coming up with a finding or spin which is more to our liking. According to the AFL-CIO own Hart poll on the election, Sen-elect Brown got more votes from union households than Coakley, 49 vs. 46 percent. Brown also got 20 percent more votes from non-college educated voters; a constituency that should belong to us. Yet, this fact is missing from the analysis on the election on the AFL-CIO website. We are not going to hope to learn the tough lessons of the election unless we swallow hard, and accept that we have to change our strategy and improve communications with the bulk of union members."
What "tough lessons" for whom and in doing what? Schap1932 isn't talking about lessons that expose the Democratic Party as beyond reasonable doubt a capitalist class party, which is the lesson workers are learning by obervation, but ostensibly how to force Democrats to implement 'campaign promises' made to working class and poor citizens. This is not going to happen. He is talking about learning how to be successful in keeping trade union member's votes in the Democratic Party electoral column.
To do this, the union officials have to pretend to denounce the Democrats and yet keep the trade unions as appendages of the Democratic capitalist class Party. By the specificity of their rhetoric 'criticizing' the Democratic Party, or rather Obama as its Presidential personification, for Martha Coakley's defeat, the pundits and union officials claim it was because "Obama lost touch" with his 'base'. Implicit in this 'spin' is that everything will be all right with the world if only the Democrats in office will 'return to their base' (sic!) &/or 'get the message' of having become 'alienated' from 'the American people' (also sic!). Also see my analysis of this election @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/laborpartypraxis/message/24545
The Working Class Has Spoken. Will Democrats Listen?
by Tula Connell, Jan 21, 2010
Massachusetts voters sent a strong signal to Washington lawmakers Tuesday that they want results--and aren't seeing any. Not on health care reform, not on job creation and not on fixing the nation's economy.
Voters also sent another powerful message for Democrats: Ignore the working class at your peril.
Some 79 percent of voters polled on election night said the most important issue for them was electing a candidate who will strengthen the economy and create more jobs. Controlling health care costs was next on their list, with 54 percent citing that issue as the main determinant of their vote.
The poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates among 810 voters for the AFL-CIO on the night of the election, also found that although voters without a college degree favored Barack Obama by 21 percentage points in the 2008 election, Democratic candidate Martha Coakley lost that same group by a 20-point margin.
And as AFL-CIO Richard Trumka has pointed out, Massachusetts voters have the same goals for reforming health care, creating good jobs and strengthening the economy as they did in November 2008 - but President Obama and the Democrats have done too little.
Voters showed they don't think Democrats have overreached--they think that the Democrats underreached.
In fact, voters were not worried about Democratic "overreach"--47 percent said their bigger concern about Democrats is that they haven't succeeded in making needed change rather than tried to make too many changes too quickly (32 percent). Even voters for Scott Brown were more concerned about a lack of change (50 percent) than about trying to make too many changes too quickly (43 percent).
These results puts a lie to the corporate media spin that Democrats have gone "too far" in pushing a reform agenda.
Nor was the election result about health care reform. Brown actually lost among the 59 percent of voters who picked health care as one of their top two voting issues (50 percent for Coakley and 46 percent for Brown). Voters for Brown (55 percent ) were less likely to cite health care as a top issue than were voters for Coakley (66 percent).
The election also should be a wake-up call for those in Washington who support taxing working families' health care. Voters who thought their health care would be taxed voted by 64 percent for Brown, while those who did not think their health care would be taxed voted by 54 percent to 40 percent for Coakley.
Our polling results show the election was not an endorsement of a Republican agenda or a call to abandon health care reform. Voters strongly disapprove of the job being done by congressional Republicans (26 percent approve and 58 percent disapprove), a much lower rating than they give to congressional Democrats (37 percent approve and 51 percent disapprove).
Other polls show the need for Democrats in Congress to take immediate action to create jobs, reform health care, stop catering to Wall Street and address the needs of America's working class. As John Judis wrote, the election showed Democrats have lost ground primarily among white working and middle-class voters and senior citizens.
The Suffolk University poll in Massachusetts singled out two white working-class towns, Gardner and Fitchburg, as bellwethers. Obama won Gardner, where Democrats hold a 3-1 registrations edge, by 59 percent to 31 percent in 2008. Brown won it by 56 percent to 42 percent. Obama won Fitchburg, with a similar Democratic edge, by 60 percent to 38 percent in 2008. Brown won it by 59 percent to 40 percent. That suggests a fairly dramatic shift among white working-class voters.
Summarizing the findings from election night polling conducted by Research 2000 Massachusetts Poll, MoveOn.org said the results show voters worry that Democrats in power "have not done enough to combat the policies of the Bush era."
Both sets of voters wanted stronger, more progressive action on health care reform as well. In summary, the poll shows that the party who fights corporate interests--especially on making the economy work for most Americans--will win the confidence of the voters.
The working class has spoken. Will Democrats listen
Mary E. on 21.01.2010 at 15:34 (Reply)
I am really disappointed in Obama and the Democrats. There is money for a war in Afghanistan, but no money for genuine health care reform for working people.
I think we should start all over and fight for what we actually want - a single payer system like Canada's — not what the insurance-industry-owned US Senate is willing to give us.
I also think it's way past time for labor and its allies to start building toward a third party, a people's party.
Henry Noble on 21.01.2010 at 16:41 (Reply)
The Democrats threw the race.
Life's so much simpler now: they don't have to produce a Health Plan and they can blame the Republican filibuster threat. They are totally off the hook as regards their insurance fatcat backers and the working people who are the party base. They starved the Democratic candidate by withholding national money! Check it out.
I agree that the labor movement needs to mobilize US and fast!!
schap1932 on 22.01.2010 at 11:09 (Reply)
As union members - and union leaders - we need to be honest, for a change, about what happened in Massachusetts. Really looking at what happened and why, rather than coming up with a finding or spin which is more to our liking. According to the AFL-CIO own Hart poll on the election, Sen-elect Brown got more votes from union households than Coakley, 49 vs. 46 percent. Brown also got 20 percent more votes from non-college educated voters; a constituency that should belong to us. Yet, this fact is missing from the analysis on the election on the AFL-CIO website. We are not going to hope to learn the tough lessons of the election unless we swallow hard, and accept that we have to change our strategy and improve communications with the bulk of union members.
davidmsw on 22.01.2010 at 11:39 (Reply)
While not the one in that state voting, I would nevertheless hate to think as an IBEW member that the AFL CIO and affiliated unions held back supprt for Ms. Coakley due to the health care insurance issue (Cadillac Plans) that were resolved. If the Huntington Study just concluded reflects that the state's union members did not turn out in force as did not the Black/African American and Hispanic voters who initially supported the President, then all Democrats have lost as the Republicans will do no better for the working man or woman except oppose union representation as they did with their fear of union rep for the TSA and the nominee.
As a VN vet and now permanently and totally disabled no one hates this war more than I do, but this country needs to come to the realization that we will never stop terrorism and certainly not by being present in another's country. Finally, the president does need to be held accountable for jobs: But if small and large business will not hire or rehire and the banks will not lend money where will the jobs come from. And yes we cannot continue to pour billions into foreign countries while our own goes down their broken infrastructures. Why is not the AFL CIO more verbal nationally on the issues that cost the Ms. Coakely the election.
kcwookie on 22.01.2010 at 13:20 (Reply)
I think the AFL-CIO needs to take a page from the GOP and push purity. We are associated with the Democrats and they don't always serve us well. We need to become a swing interest and publicly support Labor friendly candidates. By breaking our lockstep with the Democrats maybe they won't take us for granted.
We also need to do a better job reminding everyone that free enterprise also means collective bargaining. As labor, our value isn't decided by management, the GOP, or anyone else. It's decided by us.
www.dmocrats.org on 22.01.2010 at 13:24 (Reply)
An open letter to President Obama. Please forward this to every person you can through private and public email lists. Thank you.
Dear President Obama
I want to tell you a true story which just happened a few days ago. I came into this world 4 years after World War II. When I grew up partly in New York City and Partly in Nassau Country New York, as a young boy I would watch Meet the Press. I watched this show as a boy of 6 or 7. I watched the people of the era talk about the issues. I also watched Mike Wallace's You are there as well. I recall seeing other programs about famous people. I saw newsreels of a man who wore a white sheet. NO! not that kind of white sheet! Mohandas Gandhi, wore a white sheet of cotton. Why did Gandhi wear white sheets? He wanted to set an example for his people to make their own cloth and not buy goods from his oppressors who occupied his country.
He appeared a modern day Moses, but of another religion. I have a number of heroes like Gandhi. Most of them died, except for Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu. Considering myself a Jewish person, I find that good that people from other religions and other people's can serve as examples for heroes as it tends to unite people of different backgrounds. Each of these heroes, Moses, Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Tutu eventually brought their oppressors down by not cooperating with their oppressors.
The other day, I spoke to the great grandson of Mohandas Gandhi. I had sought to speak to his father, the grandson of Mohandas Gandhi. I never expected to ever speak to anyone in this family of Gandhi. I told him that I thanked his great grandfather for his work and that he inspired me as I used to see newsreels of his great grandfather during the 1950's and 1960's and especially using boycotts to eventually uniting his people of India to eject their oppressors out of their country. I told Gandhi's great grandson of my electronic PAMPHLET on the web and again thanked him and said good day.
Now, I say to you Mr. President, that I want a real populist President similar to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and I and other people will make you do it, just like FDR told his supporters to make him do what they wanted him to do.
So in the tradition and inspiration of Moses and Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu and their people I say to you again we will make you do it.
How? By boycotting the products of those of your friends in corporations who donated money to you, and donated money to Republicans and to conservatives in the Democratic party who have led this country down a path to the second great depression. The only reason that we have not descended further appears that we had citizens back about 77 years ago who made FDR do it and had good regulations in place today that the conservatives in both parties want to repeal. So from now on I will no longer donate money to the Democratic party although I remain a member. Again I will not buy products from major companies that donate money to conservatives in both parties and I will demand progressive legislation that really helps the poor and middle class people instead of the undeserving wealthy at this point of crisis in our country, of the CEOs that run those companies and until that happens they will lose business from me and many other people such that we will put pressure on those CEOs to help get us the legislation that we want.
I agreed with the bailout of the banks and the partial nationalization of GM and Ford but now it appears OUR turn such that we get a $10 an hour minimum wage, a passage of the employee free choice act, a passage of the women's freedom of choice act, a passage of a compromise SINGLE PAYER PUBLIC OPTION paid for by general taxes which will allow private health insurance but in which those who choose this new single payer public option will have no premiums, no copayments, no yearly deductibles, no recisions, no rejection for preexisting conditions and cover everything: doctors visits, surgery, hospital stays, abortion, dentistry, eye care, nursing home and hospice care and home care and it will serve as a health insurance EXODUS so that the private health insurance companies will let our people go. We also need to end the war in Iraq and a way to end the war in Afghanistan but we need to help build Afghanistan up so the Taliban and Al Qaeda will no longer get the favor of some people in Afghanistan. We need other legislation that helps those less fortunate in our country.
Republicans only talk about freedom but they offer us no real solutions. These Republican corporate masters only offer us FIEFDOM and wage slavery and a kind of slavery to insurers where they exploit the economic conditions of those who don't have enough money to pay for their insurance and not freedom. These Republican corporate masters offer their middle class and even poor supporters FREEDUMB organizing them in a rabble of misnamed fake populist Tea partiers for which those Boston patriots of a few centuries ago would probably say, hey these Republican FREEDUMB lovers HAVE REPRESENTATION, so what excuse do they have for disrupting government town halls that we helped to establish?
Really Mr. President, those present day so called tea partiers appear a perversion of those real patriots that helped liberate our country a few centuries ago. Do these false tea partiers stand for a living wage? No. Do these false tea partiers stand for unions? No. Do these false tea partiers stand for helping those less fortunate in our country? No.
These Recruited Republican FREEDUMB lovers claim that they appear PATRIOTs.
I say NAY, those Recruited Republican rabble appear as
stand PAT RIOTers
disrupting government who attempt to help the less fortunate in our country. How many times have I seen or heard this Republican rabble express their contempt for the poor and less fortunate in the middle class? I have seen and heard such contempt by these conservatives for decades blaming most of the poor and less fortunate middle class for their own problems as an excuse to shift blame away from many corporations who disadvantage such people and also as an excuse to have government dissolve in the area of social justice.
These Republican rabble stand PAT RIOTers want us to stand pat for their corporate masters to continue to profit on the suffering of people in many areas and not just health care. They want us to stand pat and yell no more higher taxes deliberately wanting the American people to not see the way corporate governors want to PRIVATELY TAX people with low pay aka Cheap labor aka wage theft not giving workers in many cases the worth of their work that they do and suppressing the organization of people in unions. These corporate governors also tax people privately with high prices in a cartel working with other corporate governors in fixing prices so even though you have a few companies in a sector of products you really have a polyopoly keeping PRIVATE TAXES high in a lot of product sectors. Yes high prices and low wages function as a PRIVATE TAXATION system run by private government which the Republicans support and come from and they have their stooges in the stand PAT RIOT movement to pose as as populists. NAY!
So next time Republicans criticize our party for taxation in their miscommunications at election time we Democrats will remind the people that the Republicans continue to tax us PRIVATELY and raise these PRIVATE TAXES through POLYOPOLY, DUOPOLY, MONOPOLY, cheap labor and high prices and that Republicans need to get relieved of their power in government which they deliberately sabotage social programs through deliberate deficit creation through oil wars, unjust tax breaks for the wealthy and cutting of social programs. This deliberate deficit creation has gone on for 30 years now started by Ronald Reagan the miscommunicator and it has to stop. The Republicans create a huge deficit so when they get relieved of power then the Democrat has to clean up the mess and cannot or will not continue on the path of social justice or water it down such that supporters of Democrats get angry as they did in Bill Clinton's time and now yours!
So Mr. President, we will make you promote real social justice and not catering to corporations in the quest for social justice and eliminate these so called public private partnerships that these corporations take too much money from the poor and less fortunate that the Republicans have done in the past years and until this day and create regular government programs that do not allow these corporations to leech upon the public and profit to the detriment of middle class and poor people.
I have seen this in Medicare Part D and Medicare Disadvantage and now thanks to conservative Democrats we face this in the new health insurance and Pharmaceutical company enrichment act of 2010.
No more Mr. President. No More.
Help the middle class and the poor and until then, the Democratic party gets no money from me and in 2010 and 2012 I will go to the polls and only vote on referenda, meaning I will not vote for anyone for representative, senator and President. I will stay in the Democratic party and do what I can to rid us these conservatives in OUR party from power by peaceful means through boycotts of consumers products of their contributors that give them money and convince other Democrats to also boycott these contrbutors to conservatives in both parties and force these CEOs to go to congressional leaders and tell the leaders that hundreds of thousands of people will no longer buy from the CEOs companies until congress passes real progressive legislation that citizens want and have petitioned the CEOs for.
In the end, Mr. President we will get this done peacefully and we will do everything peaceful to make you help us.
In the tradition of Moses, Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu, we will get this done for social Justice for the less fortunate in our country. I encourage other people reading this open letter to the President to organize and petition the government and the CEOs of corporations that aid meanspirited conservatives in both parties to go to my electric pamphlet at http://www.democratz.org and sign those petitions that you see best to accomplish social justice for the less fortunate in our country. Once you sign them, electronic letters will go out right away to congressional leaders and the Corporations that aid meanspirited conservatives. Do this for the less fortunate! Let our people grow and to meanspirited conservatives, let our people GO from your greed, high prices and wage slavery and private taxes and your religious oppression.
So let it get written so let it get done.
coloneblogger on 22.01.2010 at 13:24 (Reply)
Is it possible that the "activist left" has gone into dormancy, abandoned by Obama and the Democrats? Is it possible that could be the problem in the Massachusetts Senate election, tomorrow? After all, the left jumped full force into getting Obama elected, in order to change the ruinous direction of America under Cheney/bush. Now after a year at the helm, we have Obama's Democrats doing things Cheney/bush Republicans would have done: the bank bailouts without conditions; an auto bailout bush would have done; Iraq withdrawal timeline was drafted under bush; the build-up in Afghanistan could have been authorized by bush; Quantanamo is still open; a health care bill has emerged that bush could easily have signed to benefit the special corporate interests; there's still no EFCA; the energy bill is being compromised and watered down by Democrats; an administration that, like Cheney/bush, still thinks "top-down" not "bottom-up." Is it just me? We have a prevailing Conservative-Republican condition of pro Wall Street and anti Main Street. We have some Congressional Democrats more conservative than the most conservative members of "the Party of No" and they're all committee leaders. Is it just me or is it possible that the "activist left" is pissed and has chosen to disengage? It seems to me that the interests of the people have been "back-burnered" by Democrats; a recipe to return quickly to minority status.
wmcg on 22.01.2010 at 13:24 (Reply)
The revolt is against spending government money to create jobs. This is also the position of the AFL-CIO. What about the option of shortening the workweek - the idea that built the labor movement in the 19th century. Can't you consider something like that?
jgordon on 22.01.2010 at 13:42 (Reply)
Democrats, including the President, have 'sucker punched' American workers and their unions and they have squandered an opportunity to help set this country back on its feet. They didn't need 60 votes to bail-out Wall Street and its greedy CEO's. They didn't need 60 votes to bail-out banks that they should have let fail. And, they didn't need 60 votes to fund Billions Dollars more for a war that can not be won.
But they sat on their Asses in Mass. and, after endorsing John McCain's Tax on employee benefits, lost the Kenedy seat and any hope for Healthcare reform.
Next I expect we will hear from the DNC and AFL-CIO how we desperately need 101 votes in the Senate and 501 votes in the House to do anything for working men and women. And even then, the Democrats will still "screw it up".
I am sick that I spent six weeks in Denver in 2008 General election, walking precincts for the "Yellow, Blue and Unworthy Dog" likes of a Udall. And in other states, where Labor helped the other "egg-sucking dog" Democrats who have so quickly abandon working men and women.
Guess what? We don't need a "Filibuster Proof" Senate. Let the SOB's stand in the Well of the Senate and read the phonebook. When the American public sees what they are doing there will be a real revolt. Rosevelt didn't need 60 votes to pass the New Deal programs. Why does Harry Reid? Thank God, Nancy Pelosi is not bringing the Senate package before the Congress. No bill is better than the CRAP we are facing.
Senate Democrats SUCK EGGS !
Hoodsportwriter on 22.01.2010 at 13:59 (Reply)
We have one political party in the United Oligarchy of Amerika called the Money Party. Like a single coin it has two sides. One side called "Republican" and the other "Democrat". Both serve the universal whore of man - Money! Labor needs to hit the streets. Stop these stupid little "rallies" I keep getting emails for and start the kind of street action workers conducted in the 1930's. You have to disrupt the system and shut it down to get capitalism's attention. Plus we need to start worker's banks, worker's hospitals, worker co-ops and begin to rely on ourselves and not on the bosses! Why isn't every labor hall an unemployed worker center??? Why are the unemployed standing in Home Depot parking lots...organized labor is lazy and has no vision!
maximus on 22.01.2010 at 14:36 (Reply)
All the comments above are very thought provoking and we need to pay atention and learn from this experience. I am a simple blue collar working man, but I can even see how bad people have it out there today. There is no work for men and women out there today, if there is a job in the paper it pays nothing $8 or $10 an Hour. Construction work is just not there, not even any adds in paper. I have worked all my life working in construction what do we do? If you go on an interview they check your credit rating! How can you have a good credet rating when there are no jobs! Health Care, how can I have health care when I have not worked in almost a year. Now I support President Obama and Im a strong Democrat but maybe the voters of Massachusetts have had it, and would not stand for any more promises from the Democrats? I cant understand why or how someone could vote for a Repub-SCAB-lican and there empty promises. But some democtats are also SCABS? I believe in President Obama and President Trumka and I know we need JOBS good paying UNION JOBS. The Democrats and our UNION leaders have to start screaming for JOBS good paying jobs get on TV and start screaming start some Rallies some protests get some attention get people back to work. When I was a kid in the 70's Union leaders and Politations buth had rallies and protests to bring attention to the communitys for the lack of jobs and gave families some hope. Union Leaders were on TV making speeches and creating attention to the lack of work. WHERE IS ALL THE ATTENTION WHERE IS THE SUPPORT WHERE IS THE HELP? We need our leaders to start something. I believe our Union leaders and Politations both Democrats and Repub- have to start some noise and we ( Labor ) should support the Politians, that make the most and stand up for us. Maybe this feeling of support was lacking in Mass? I am also sick and tired of reporters and political commontaries blaming President Obama. He has been in office for one year! Lets see what he can do!! Bush was in office for Eight years and did nothing but get he and his friends Rich. Now lets put some attention on creating JOBS!! Remember You have to Keep the Faith!!
Free Guy Md. on 22.01.2010 at 15:04 (Reply)
I think myself, and most other correspondants in this forum agree, that President Obama and the Democrats in congress , as well as the leaders of our unions have forgot working class Americans, not just union workers. But, I don't buy that would make them vote for a Republican. When they know very well that the Republicans have never done anything for working people except to make them go backwards. during my 40 some years of working life, I only ever lost money and benefits when Republicans were in power. We lost negotiated raises , and cost of living increases during the Nixon Ford years, but everything else still went up . And we lost big time when Reago was president. We lost wages vacations ,holidays and they changed the formula for cost of living ,so that it was almost impossible to get cost of living raises. It improved some during the Clinton years, but,not enough
We need jobs, and the economy straightened out We need real healthcare reform where there is a public plan that people can choose instead of insurance companies plans. There should not be any kind of tax what so ever on employees benefits. I hope our union leaders take note of that , and stand firm .
We also need to end these wars , and get our people back home safely. There has to be smarter and better ways to defeat these terrorists wherever they are, without invading countries. That only makes more people hate us, and work against us. I think we need to be clandestine like they are. I'm sure we have capable people.
People talk about labor and their allies forming another party to represent us, but I don't think the numbers are in our favor. Unions don't have all the members they used to have, and I'm not sure who they can count as allies. Where I live, companies , and the A.B.C. have brainwashed most non union workers that unions are no good and all the union companies here, but one are gone.
Hey, Democrats, Remember Us? | Save Self on 22.01.2010 at 19:01
[...] Coakley spent time raising money from insurance lobbyists in Washington instead of campaigning in Mattapan because that's the way the system works. Obama listened to an MIT economist instead of us-about our own benefit plans-because that's often the way the Democratic Party works. Neo-liberalism reigns, money flows from and to those with power, and extremist free market ideas have permeated every corner of public life. Many national Democrats will conclude this election was lost because Democrats were-you guessed it-"too left." The AFL-CIO election night polling shows they are wrong. [...]
JerryWells on 22.01.2010 at 19:21 (Reply)
"The Working Class Has Spoken. Will Democrats Listen?" Obviously not! The Democrats and Obama are now the ruling party to further loot the treasury and working people. Everything "accomplished" in the last year has been to restore and expand the wealth of Wall Street, Big Business, the military-industrial complex with more wars for more profits, the "Health Care" corporations, etc.
All this "recovery" of the economy invariably further impoverishes working people.
The more important question that must be asked now is this:
"The Working Class Has Spoken. Will President Trumka Listen?"
President Trumka has refused to listen to the delegates to the AFL-CIO in Pittsburgh in September that unanimously voted to support "single-payer" health care legislation. He also refused to listen to the 500 plus union locals that voted for "single payer" Medicare-for-All. Mr. Trumka continues to support Obama's "Health Care Reform", with all it's obvious faults, often posted on this blog.
There are powerful steps that Mr. Trumka, the AFL-CIO leadership, and the leadership of organized labor could easily take, if they would just listen to the explicit demands of union members. Organized labor must listen to the painful outcries and demands of millions of un-organized working, including many "middle-class" workers, as they and their families are being impoverished and destroyed the Obama and the Democratic Party.
This is the "listen" but more importantly to act! Organized labor leadership must now SPEAK OUT NOW and to ORGANIZE NOW to promote the economic interests of all working people. In the process, the organized trade union movement membership will undoubtedly increase and trade unions will become the powerful instrument of working class power.
Here are ACTIONS that the trade unions need to make, after listening and understanding, based on the needs of the working class today:
1. Announce that the AFL-CIO no longer supports Obama's "Health Care Reform" in any form, and is supporting the legislation for "Medicare for All" single payer health care.
2. Announce that the AFL-CIO no longer supports either Republican or Democratic Parties, as both are consumed with corrupt corporate money and interests. Neither party represents the economic interests of working people, organized or unorganized. Both corporate controlled parties have betrayed the vital economic needs of all working people, organized and unorganized.
3. The AFL-CIO realizes now that simple trade unionism and the struggle for a contract with an employer is now an inadequate strategy to meeting the needs of organized workers.
4. The struggle for economic betterment of organized working people must now be greatly expanded into a political struggle. Sociali Security, Medicare, minimum wages, OSHA safety conditions, section 8 housing support, pensions, unfair working conditions, etc. are all now protected and secured from government legislation at federal, state and local levels of government.
5. Therefore, the AFL-CIO, along with other union organizations, under these dire economic and political conditions, is announcing a call for a founding convention of a new political party dedicated to promoting the economic and social interests of all working people, organized and unorganized. The new party, refusing all corporate money and agendas, will involve millions of working people in democratic political struggle to secure the vital needs of the people.
6. The the economic and social needs of working people never find a voice or expression in the corporate owned mass media or even the corporate controlled public media such as NPR and PBS. Thus a new effort to secure a democratic media, with daily programing on weekdays and weekends, will be undertaken. Working people desperately need easily accessed information and education to overcome the complete corporate suppression of working class perspectives on current affairs.
7. These steps above will ultimately result in an upsurge in the organization and power of the existing trade union movement.
catbear955 on 22.01.2010 at 20:20 (Reply)
Brothers and sisters,working families need to decide what it is we really want and then we have to be willing to do the work to get it. Sure,we're all dead tired after a hard shift at work-but look at what has happened to our unions and our country while we entertain ourselves to death! One hour a week won't hurt any one of us if it will help keep working people's issues alive and kicking. If we can't educate, maybe we can agitate, and take our destiny into our own hands.
We need to be active in our unions, supportive of our brothers and sisters when they are under fire, and help the unorganized to get what we cherish-good paying jobs, affordable health care,retirement without poverty, and a strong middle class to build on. We need to rebuild a foundation that gives our children something besides a mountain of debt when they come out of school-jobs,jobs,jobs.
williamrayson on 22.01.2010 at 23:21 (Reply)
Every country with a real national health care system and not an insurance moneymaking scam has something we have not been allowed to have - one or more political parties which exist only to assure political representation for workers. None of these real health care systems has any restrictions on abortions or requires women seeking to terminate a pregnancy to pay for it out of their own pocket. Yet a significant group of congressional "democrats" saw the health care debate only as an opportunity to limit women's rights to this legal and safe medical procedure. Instead of ostracizing them, Obama @ Co catered to them, just like they did with Lieberman and Nelson in the Senate. Anything but free health care for all paid for by taxing the rich is a complete sham. Life for American workers will continue to become ever more miserable unless and until we produce self-sacrificing, principled leaders unafraid to tell the truth and take this monster head on. The beaurocrats running (ruining?) our unions today are more concerned with preserving their cushy jobs than forcing public investment in our jobs. They have us helplessly tethered to our class enemy's political parties like domesticated farm animals, leading to disappointment, demobilization and demoralization at the very time our ranks need to be called into militant mass action. Campare our hacks to real leaders like Nelson Mandela and MLK and you can't help but see what is wrong. Real leaders go to jail, and suffer for their cause, like Eugene V. Debs, not ride around in limos, make statements and playing golf. Lead, or get out of the way. The longer the rising tide of discontent is contained, the more violent the tidal wave will be when it breaks through, and sooner or later it will.
williamrayson on 22.01.2010 at 23:49 (Reply)
When the deadbeat officers of our union "movement" finally decide they have more to fear from the greed and violence of the bosses than the militancy of their own members, they will give in and make the call for what is so desparately needed right now - a national workers march on Washington for jobs and against Wall Street's greed and wars. That will be just the beginning, once the floodgates are opened.
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