The president was warning budget balancing governors today not to beat up on public sector trade unions:
“I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon,” the president said.
Meanwhile, the trade unions have been doing all they can to vilify, and in some cases literally slap down, the folks who support budget cutting.
Around the country, union activists have been unleashed to intimidate or get a rise out of tea party activists. Occasionally, those encounters go way over the line, as this one did in Sacramento.
We'd think if the president was trying to calm down anyone in this debate he'd focus on this kind of action, rather than on the folks in the state houses trying to change things through the democratic process. But the president's loyalties are clear.
AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka brags about talking to the White House a couple of times every week. And Trumka's a guy who wasn't at all shy about using thuggery when he was head of the united mine workers union. Here's what Virginia Circuit Court Judge Donald McGlothlin, Jr. said about Trumka's leadership during a particularly nasty strike in 1989:
"…the evidence shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that violent activities are being organized, orchestrated and encouraged by the leadership of this union."
If Trumka's up to his old tactics of sending out the goons, he needs to be slapped down by his friend, the president. As for the president, there's nothing wrong with him standing up for the unions. But if in doing so, he's also seen as standing up for the bullies sent out by the unions, he could lose even more support than he already has.