Among all the union bosses cutting backroom deals with the White House in 2009, one has been noticably absent and that is Tom Buffenbarger, the president of the International Association of Machinists.
Buffenbarger, most-famously known for his 2008 tirade (see below) against then-candidate Obama is apparently on the White House’s growing list of enemies and, therefore, is apparently not welcome in all of the back rooms at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where union bosses cut their deals.
Last night, following Obama’s State of the Union address, Buffenbarger (who seems to be a frustrated poet) released the following statement:
It is hard to reconcile the images of a year ago – millions of Americans watching as one as President Barack Obama took the oath of office – and the faces of 31 million Americans who have been idled in this Grave Recession. Even the pomp and ceremony of this State of the Union address could not dispel the sense that something has gone terribly awry.
The clarion calls of hope and change have faded like the last notes of Taps. The enveloping darkness, a darkness of deepening disillusionment and even deeper cynicism, is settling across the land.
When one-fifth of America’s workforce is idled to some degree, the full force of government, business, labor and academia must be marshaled to get them back to work. But no such comprehensive strategy was outlined tonight.
Tonight, for all those Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, the darkness grew deeper, the cold grew more penetrating, the hunger grew more acute and the fear – yes, the fear – of what tomorrow would bring grew more intense.
Tomorrow morning, when America’s jobless open their morning newspapers, they will know that their national nightmare will last through 2010. The winter, spring and summer of their discontent now will feel interminable. And their growing anger and frustration will find an outlet, most probably in the 2010 midterm elections. [Emphasis added.]
Even though the Machinists’ union reluctantlyeventually went “all in” by endorsing Obama once Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 primaries, Buffenbarger has never backed down from his 2008 comments when he called Obama a “silver-tongued orator from Kansas, Hawaii and Illinois? The man in love with the microphone” and his supporters “latte-drinking, Prius- driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies.”
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