There must be some pretty cynical political strategists inside the White House who, all knowingly, believe that defecating on the deli sandwiches of the Democrats' core constituencies before 2012 is an okay thing to do because—Hey! What're they going to do?...Support the Republicans? Nevertheless, while union bosses, liberal allies and even African Americans publicly put on a happy face about President Obama, they're privately grousing over a growing concern that they may be losing the war to further fundamentally transform the nation.
For example, as liberals, socialists and other Marxists realize they are nothing without the dues money and boots of unions behind them, the White House is still working to keep up a public image that all is well and good between the White House and the House of Labor. In so doing, last Wednesday, Obama's people did something rather unusual: They released press releases regarding the President's budget deal with the GOP on the White House website by both AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka, as well as AFSCME boss Gerald McEntee.
While McEntee's press release was praising of Obama's gimmicky budgetary "framework," Trumka's was a full-blown partisan attack on Republican lawmakers. Again, this was posted on the White House's website.
Yet, the very next day, Politico posted an interesting piece about a private, closed-door meeting that took place among the AFL-CIO bosses that suggests they are not at all pleased with the direction that their de facto Labor Party is being led by President Obama and Harry Reid. Despite all the favorable treatment they have received since Obama's ascension to the White House, union bosses are upset with the budget deal (who isn't?), the Columbia trade agreement, as well as still stinging that their attempt to rid workers of their right to secret-ballot elections is, more or less, dead.
As a result of all this, after the hundreds of millions they spent buying a political party and despite the praise they posted on the White House wesbite, when union bosses met last Wednesday, they were less than flattering in their reflections on Obama and Reid:
Top labor leaders excoriated President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a closed session of the AFL-CIO’s executive board meeting in Washington Wednesday, three labor sources said.
Furious union presidents complained about budget cuts, a new trade agreement and what some view as their abandonment, even by their typically reliable allies among Senate Democrats.
“Now, not only are we getting screwed by the Republicans but the Democrats are doing it too,” said one union official, characterizing the mood at a summit of labor leaders who are worried that Democrats seem unlikely to go to the mat for them as an election year approaches.
But even the semblance of a polite tone was missing at Wednesday’s board’s meeting, which a labor official described as “raw.”
The President of the American Federation of State, Municipal, and County Employees, Gerard McEntee, demanded that Democrats defend Medicare, which leaders in both parties are eyeing as part of an entitlement reform push. Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen lamented the White House’s support for the Colombia trade deal.
“My understanding is that many presidents at the meeting expressed frustration and disappointment on lots of issues,” said a spokeswoman for Cohen, Candice Johnson who said Cohen wasn’t available to comment.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, White House supporter Donna Brazille was none-too-pleased with the recent budget deal and the District of Columbia's exclusion from tax-payer funded abortions. However, she wasn't alone in her anger over Obama's capitulation:
She and other "tax paying residents of the District of Columbia have every right to be upset at this new deal," Brazile wrote.
Yet while her anger was carefully directed at the GOP for imposing its social agenda on a majority-black city - her city, she tweeted - other African Americans blame someone else: Obama.
"We have really found a great disappointment in President Obama," said Anise Jenkins, president of Stand Up for Democracy, which advocates for the District's long-time goal - statehood. "That he would use us as a bargaining chip to resolve this issue with the budget and the Republican threats, we find very disappointing - I'm extremely disappointed. I hope he got the message that we don't want to be used again."
"The discontent out there is pretty widespread," said Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's non-voting House delegate, describing the anger among Washington residents. Having voted for Obama in record numbers, she added, "They expected better of him."
Union bosses and DC Democrats aren't alone in feeling abandoned by the Obama White House, as The Hill noted last week:
Anxiety over President Obama’s shift to the political center is threatening to alienate the White House’s liberal base.
The concerns have surfaced after the White House rankled lawmakers on the left by agreeing to a 2011 spending bill that slashes funding for a number of programs long favored by Democrats and embracing a controversial trade agreement with Colombia.
Liberal lawmakers already were irked with Obama’s decision to support upper-income tax cuts he campaigned against and to launch military operations in the Middle East without congressional approval.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) this week said Obama should start acting like a Democrat, while two left-wing grassroots groups warned their members could withhold funds from the president’s reelection campaign.
The difficulty of navigating this tightrope was exemplified last week, when Obama announced his reelection campaign the same day his attorney general said the administration was all but giving up on holding civilian trials for suspected terrorists.
Among the groups the Hill notes who are upset with Obama's alleged move to the center are the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and MoveOn.org.
His lines may be better delivered, but Barack Obama is sounding -- and acting -- more like the heir to George W. Bush than the change-maker sold to the public in his award-winning ad campaign. Indeed, when not sending billions of dollars to repressive governments across the globe, the great liberal hope is authorizing deadly drone strikes and military campaigns in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and now, in his most morally righteous war yet, Libya.
Of course, for all of the liberal hand-wringing going on, ultimately, it matters not. After all, it's too late to ask for a refund and what are liberals going to do? Vote Republican?
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776