I was watching a news item the other day on MSNBC about the very real anger that many in the labor movement are feeling towards the Democratic Party these days. This goes along with much of what I have been reading lately. A party which rose to prominence because of its proud ties with working class Americans, and identifying with their issues, it is difficult to find unions even mentioned in party fund-raising letters, let alone the attacks on workers across the nation.
The events in Wisconsin, where a Republican tool of Wall Street has launched an all-out assault on the rights of public employees may as well be happening in another universe altogether.
Rallies with thousands of workers in the streets are taking place across the country, and while the Republican Party alternates between attack mode and full-out hysteria, the national leaders of the Democratic Party are asleep at the switch.
Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin addresses a TP rally in Wisconsin, dismissing the worker rallies as “rent-a-mobs.” And a Democratic champion coming to their defense? Well, probably still trying to get permission from the DNC to issue some mild press release.
For several decades now, the base has felt that they have been taken for granted, that the Party arrogantly assumes that they will be there on Election Day. After all, where else have they got to go?
And, of course, there is the guilt-tripping, reminding American workers of what Democrats have done for them in the past.
It seems that the only lesson ( a false lesson) the Democratic Party has chosen to take from the 2010 results is that Americans want lower taxes, and that they should be more like the GOP - or, God forbid, the Tea Party.
But if you talk to regular folks, so many will tell you that they feel abandoned by the party. It’s sort of like what people used to say about their religious standing:
“I didn’t leave my faith. My faith left me.”
Democrats on the local levels may benefit from the political turmoil, especially those brave enough to stand up for traditional Democratic values and the rights of working Americans.
But for those who don’t, who make the assumption that folks will vote Democratic because “it’s the right thing to do” or because they can somehow guilt trip Americans into supporting the party yet again may have a more difficult time.
A sadly cynical view of the current state of affairs
It has been suggested to me some by more than a few people that the reason the party won’t openly rally to the side of the workers who are under attack may be because they are afraid of losing corporate donations.
Quote of the Day
I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged. It makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture, I’d buy a painting. - Andy Rooney