Have The Unions Lost The Jacksonians?

A Union Organizer can exert tremendous influence over the outward political life of a member constituent. The organizer controls whether the member keeps his card, which determines that union member’s eligibility for continued employment in a non Right-To-Work state. If the organizer likes President Obama, the worker’s official position had better be “mmm, mmm, mmm…”

This cozy suspension of union members’ 1st Amendment rights broke down in the Arkansas Primary. The unions were opposed to President Mmm, mmm, mmm’s preferred choice in the Democratic Senate Primary. That choice was incumbent US Senator, Blanche Lincoln. Furthermore, they aggressively campaigned to remove that individual from office against the wishes of the most important operation in Barack Obama’s White House; the political one.

The White House, apparently accustomed to exercising strong control over how unions spent political money to represent the American workers, issued a statement of anger. A White House official talks to Politico.com off the record below.

“Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise,” the official said. “If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.”

In a stunning rebuke to organized labor, Blanche Lincoln saw off their hand-picked challenger, Bill Halter by 4%. The Arkansas observer described the significant efforts big labor made in targeting Senator Lincoln.

Labor groups had been open about their desire to beat Lincoln partly to send a message to other Democrats to not ignore them. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee recently ran an ad accusing Lincoln of wanting to cut Social Security, which she said is false.

Committee official Adam Green said two committee employees “co-directed Halter’s field program.” Green said the committee “designed Halter’s grass-roots program,” raised $250,000 for Halter, and made more than 380,000 calls to Arkansas voters.

Ilyse Hogue, a political director at MoveOn.org, said 60,529 of her group’s members donated $2.4 million to Halter’s campaign and made 45,000 phone calls for him.

This should never have happened. Big Labor and Big Democrat are generally run by interlocking directory. Labor felt betrayed by Senator Lincoln, and therefore jumped out of lockstep. Senator Lincoln publically took a stand against Card-Check Legislation which would have given unions the ability to organize in manufacturing activities and represent them in collective bargaining negotiations without having to win the right to do so via secret ballot.

Labor attempted to force Senator Lincoln out and failed. Even more telling was the fact that Senator Lincoln had the support of Both President Obama and Bill Clinton. The last two men to win Presidential Elections on behalf of the Democratic Party endorsed Senator Lincoln against the chosen Labor Candidate.

Thus, Labor was opposed by both the political leadership of the Democratic Party and by the voters at the polls. The online left and the interest group left were blatantly engaged in telling both the party leadership and all of its members who was boss. They each look stupid in the present.

The Online Left could care less. They tried, they failed, but they had no real skin in this particular game. Most liberal bloggers know nothing about working class Americans that isn’t in their Sociology lecture materials. They associate with them in an uneasy political alliance to avoid being overwhelmed by Republicans. If the working class didn’t vote, the Kos Kids wouldn’t piss on them if they saw them on fire.

The Unions suffered a much more damaging defeat. The Unions must be the people, or they lose any moral gravamen to exist. If the workers don’t vote the way the unions believe they should vote, in what way does the union actually represent their interests? It doesn’t.

This could spell trouble for the Democrats this Fall. The Union movement gave them a valuable link to working class white America. Take the political power of unions out of Appalachia, and Democrats would be more likely to politically succeed in Wyoming. White, working class Democrats have a strong emotional sympathy with, if not a membership card from, their local union.

The unions give the Democrats the ability to project the image of themselves as protectors and representatives for the same people the unions claim to protect and represent. This remains true when the interests of both are seen as synonymous. These interests sharply diverged yesterday in Arkansas. The people were at war with the unions. If the Democrats cannot pacify them, they will lose either the unions or a chunk of their membership as ardent supporters next Fall.

Bill Clinton, for all of his manifold faults as a human being, understands what voters want and how they think as well as any politician alive today. He interpreted those wants and desires to run roughly along the lines of “Union No!” The Democrats not wealthy enough to self-fund or not gerrymandered enough to safely forego the votes of about a quarter of their faithful supporters, don’t have that option. If Labor and Democrat continue to be separate political parties this Fall, Rasmussen could have that +9 GOP generic edge right on the money.