Barack Obama seems to believe that Unions are not "special interest" groups. Either that, or he really believes we're just too stupid to understand what he says and pay attention - over time - to what he actually does.
In his Book "Audacity of Hope" then-Junior Senator Obama had an interesting comment about Unions (via OnTheIssues.Org) [emphasis mine]:
The leaders of service workers unions broke ranks & chose to endorse me over [my opponent], support that proved critical to my campaign. It was a risky move on their part; had I lost, they might have paid a price in access, in support, in credibility.
So I owe those unions. When their leaders call, I do my best to call them back right away.
Now, I refuse to buy this book (there IS a point at which you've made enough money, after all... why should I give him more of something he aleady renjoys in great abundance that I don't have enough of?) but these selected quotes are rather enlightening. Especially so when you consider his proselytizing about so-called "special interests" just a handful of pages before these inspiring words about the SEIU and couple them with his Weekly addresses of 23 January and 1 May 2010.
Obama wants us to believe he is waging a war against the very people he means to put in charge of the American working class, and the very people that bought and paid for his election victory, his Executive Orders that lay the groundwork for a Union takeover of the private-sector workforce, and his recess appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB. Before you call me crazy, think EFCA, High Road contracting, and the frightening words of his newly recess-appointed NLRB member: "workers should not be able to choose against having a union as their monopoly-bargaining agent."
More after the jump...
Unions stood to gain more than most with the passage of Health Care. Obama got it done for them. Unions are accusing Wall Street of destroying 11 million jobs and are demanding they (Wall Street) be made to pay. Obama is getting closer every day to getting that done for them as well. Though, for now, Obama has taken Immigration reform off the table, Unions will CLEARLY benefit more than anyone else by a reform that gives them millions of eligible workers to fix their pension woes and shore up their control of the Political ruling class...and it's only a matter of time before Obama gets THAT done for them as well.
And while Obama expects us to hate one kind of "special interest" (the ones that control Congress' behavior) he makes no similar effort to rise up against those "special interests" that exert such similar control over his own behavior. Consider his whining about access in the context of those evil "special interests": [again, emphasis mine]:
Few lobbyists proffer an explicit quid pro quo to elected officials. Their influence comes from having more access than the average voter, having better information, and more staying power when it comes to promoting an obscure provision in the tax code that means billions for their clients.
For most politicians, money is not about maintaining status and power. It is about scaring off challengers and fighting off the fear. Money cannot guarantee a victory, but without money, you are pretty much guaranteed to lose.
When I decided to run for the Senate, I found myself spending time with people of means. As a rule, they were smart, interesting people, expecting nothing more than a hearing of their opinions in exchange for their checks. But they reflected, almost uniformly, the perspectives of their class.
I became more like the wealthy donors I met, in the sense that I spent more time above the fray, outside the world of hardship of the people that I had entered public life to serve.
Repeated for emphasis: "I became more like the wealthy donors I met, in the sense that I spent more time above the fray, outside the world of hardship of the people that I had entered public life to serve."
I'm speechless...words like stunned, gobsmacked, chicanery...none of them seem strong enough here.
As I have written before, Obama and the Democrats got north of $400 million dollars from Organized Labor in the '08 election cycle. Ten days into his Presidency, Obama set forth on a series of Executive orders (and there are more in the pipeline) that directly repays those dollars by trending the entire American workforce into forced Union membership. And, most recently, he recess-appointed a complete lunatic to the NLRB that not coincidentally used to be a lawyer for the same SEIU that got him elected to the US Senate.
Obama's subservience to Organized Labor will not only enrich their pension coffers, but it will entrench the Union mentality and its ruling class in every facet of American Society...AND, it will be on the backs of the American worker. If this President isn't made to understand the effects of his agenda on the "people that [he] had entered public life to serve" we're going to wind up being ruled by the Unions who will take our money to pay for keeping the Obama ruling class in power. Or perhaps Obama already does understand that...and has been planning this coup against America's working class all along.
I've been doing a bit of research for a piece contrasting the Obama of today with the Obama his screaming, shirt-tearing fans came to love around the time of the publication of that "Audacity of Hope" nonsense I've said I refuse to buy. What I was most curious about was his old position on immigration reform (and his voting record) because of the explosion we're facing on this issue vis-à-vis Arizona and her decision to shove the 10th amendment down the throat of that big bloated blustery ineffective bureaucracy known as the Federal Government. I chuckled through some of the more inane proselytizing found amongst that list of selected quotes from the book but ultimately got what I was looking for on the immigration issue. Until I finish that essay suffice it to say Barry then ain't Barry now. Surprisingly, in the matter of America v. Organized Labor (special interest group with more influence than any other), Barry then ain't Barry NOW...either.
My problem begins with Obama's Weekly Address on May 1, 2010, and his outright lies about lobbyists and special interests and his faux outrage over their role(s) in America's Governance as he bemoans the SCOTUS decision to spit in his bowl of Campaign Finance peaches. In his book, Pre-President Obama believed that lobbyist influence came from access, not money, and that "[m]oney cannot guarantee a victory, but without money, you are pretty much guaranteed to lose." But this notion doesn't square with what Unions got in exchange for THEIR money, now does it...given the access he has fought to maintain for his Union stick buddies?
Over the past few weeks, as we’ve debated reforms to hold Wall Street accountable and protect consumers and small businesses in our financial system, we’ve come face-to-face with the great power of special interests in the workings of our democracy. Of course, this isn’t a surprise. Every time a major issue arises, we’ve come to expect that an army of lobbyists will descend on Capitol Hill in the hopes of tilting the laws in their favor.
That’s one of the reasons I ran for President: because I believe so strongly that the voices of ordinary Americans were being drowned out by the clamor of a privileged few in Washington. And that’s why, since the day I took office, my administration has been taking steps to reform the system. Recently, however, the Supreme Court issued a decision that overturned decades of law and precedent – dealing a huge blow to our efforts to rein in this undue influence. In short, this decision gives corporations and other special interests the power to spend unlimited amounts of money – literally millions of dollars – to affect elections throughout our country. This, in turn, will multiply their influence over decision-making in our government.
In the starkest terms, members will know – when pressured by lobbyists – that if they dare to oppose that lobbyist’s client, they could face an onslaught of negative advertisements in the run up to their next election. And corporations will be allowed to run these ads without ever having to tell voters exactly who is paying for them. At a time when the American people are already being overpowered in Washington by these forces, this will be a new and even more powerful weapon that the special interests will wield.
Obama is helping make sure that the voices of ordinary Americans will be drowned out by their Union bosses. Where's the difference? I bet it has something to do with how much money the AFL-CIO has to spend on anti-Obama ads...but that would make me paranoid and cynical. Let's look back at January's weekly address:
One of the reasons I ran for President was because I believed so strongly that the voices of everyday Americans, hardworking folks doing everything they can to stay afloat, just weren’t being heard over the powerful voices of the special interests in Washington. And the result was a national agenda too often skewed in favor of those with the power to tilt the tables.
Ahh, yes-drowned out voices and tilted tables...but I am especially fond of this:
I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington, or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.
I can't think of anything more devastating to the Public interest than socializing America's workforce right alongside the socialization of our health care system and our financial system...and the cars we drive or the air we breathe or the energy we consume. Apparently, however, that audacious President of ours smiles into a different mirror.