2:31 AM EST
Mr. Dionne seems to think that liberals vs. conservatives is a legitimate clash of honest ideas that results in some Hegelian goodness. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Politics is a criminal enterprise. It has been for many decades. Political issues are touted by our elected leaders as road signs to guide us on the path to righteousness. Hardly. They are quite simply fodder for the masses. A convenient way to divide and thereby “conquer” the clueless electorate. For the vast majority of those who make their living in politics, most notably those in Washington, it is nothing more than a path to personal riches. Our system is so completely dominated by moneyed interests there is no room for honest, decent people looking to improve things. In fact, when you enter politics, it is made clear that in order to succeed it is necessary to check your ethics at the door. You are admonished to follow the “rules” and above all else, make sure to meet or exceed your fundraising quotas. After all, it’s the money that matters.
Both Trump and Sanders are a small but interesting wake up call to all of us. People understand there is something about the system that is broken but aren’t sure exactly what. Hopefully we will come to understand that politics is not about representing the people but rather exploiting them. Perhaps that is worth considering the next time you are about to cast your vote for an incumbent.
…And Trump’s diagnosis of what is wrong with our politics — that the politicians are bought and paid for by special interests — is essentially correct. His supporters may disapprove of his extreme rhetoric, some of which is racially tinged, but still appreciate the fact that he is beholden to no one.
27 giant profitable companies paid no taxes
27 giant profitable companies paid no taxes
How U.S. companies are avoiding $695 billion in taxes
Johnson Controls, an industrial and auto parts supplier headquartered in Milwaukee, announced this week that is was selling itself to Tyco International, a maker of fire safety products based in Ireland. The deal will let Johnson Controls pass itself off as Irish and, in the process, cut its taxes in the United States by at least $150 million a year.
Johnson Controls is not the first American company to avoid taxes by merging with a smaller company in a low-tax nation, and it won’t be the last. Nor is it the biggest. That distinction goes to Pfizer, which is in the process of becoming Irish, having merged last year with a smaller company based in Dublin.
Johnson Controls is, however, the latest and quite possibly the most brazen tax dodger. The company would not exist as it is today but for American taxpayers, who paid $80 billion in 2008 to bail out the auto industry. Johnson Controls’s president personally begged Congress for the bailout, which came on top of huge tax breaks that the company has received over the years, including at least $149 million from Michigan alone from 1992 to 2009, according to The Times.
What’s galling about this and similar maneuvers is that Congress has done nothing to stop them. Since 2008, some three dozen American companies have used gaps and loopholes in the law to change their tax nationalities, a process known as “inverting.”
Inverted companies keep the benefits of being American, but have a much lower tax bill. They remain majority-owned by shareholders of the American company. They normally keep their headquarters and top executives in the United States. They also keep the protections on securities and patents provided by American laws, as well as their contracts and connections with the federal government and its research agencies.
Legislative remedies are available. One would be to deny investors the use of low capital gains tax rates when they sell stock in an inverted company, on the sensible ground that the company’s reduced tax bill is enough of a break. Corporate boards would surely think twice about approving an inversion if it meant higher taxes for investors.
As Congress dithers…
FACEBOOK paid only 4% tax on the billions of dollars in profits it generated from users in Britain and other overseas markets last year.
The Silicon Valley giant handed $123m (£86m) to foreign tax authorities after racking up profits of $3.4bn outside its home country, according to filings with the US stock market last week.
The miners who once pried gold and silver from the heart of the Rocky Mountains would attest that living in paradise has never been easy. These days, soaring home prices and a shift toward weekend vacation rentals have created a housing crisis in ski country, one that has people piling into apartments, camping in the woods and living out of their trailers and pickup trucks.
Mitch Bishop works at a ski-rental service in Breckenridge, Colo., but lives 40 miles away in a trailer in Leadville. CreditNick Cote for The New York Times
Local officials and housing experts say it is a symptom of widening economic inequality, one that is especially sharply felt in tiny resort towns hemmed in by beautiful but undevelopable public land. While the wealthiest can afford $5 million ski homes and $120-a-day lift tickets, others work two jobs and sleep in shifts to get by.
“It’s so much worse today than it’s ever been,” said Sara Flitner, the mayor of Jackson, Wyo., where the median single-family home price rose 24 percent last year to $1.2 million, according to the Jackson Hole Report. “When I go to the grocery store, I see the people who are sleeping in shifts. We see the gap continuing to widen between the uppermost levels of income earners and the rest.”
“Agents say that it’s a business relationship. It’s not a marriage at all. It’s a total fake, like everything else about Hillary. It’s just a big show and a scam.”
5/21/2015 11:46 PM EDT
I am a life-long Democrat and a native of Arkansas. I know where the Clintons come from. Bill is classic poor white trash [exactly], with a veneer of education. Hillary is from somewhere up north and the personification of ambition and greed. Clem Snopes meets and marries Lady MacBeth. Two completely amoral persons. Only Chelsea turned out okay. I guess two negatives equals a plus. Note that Chelsea stays as far away from her parents as she can get. The fact that Hillary leads in the polls over not only the other Democratic candidates but the Republicans as well is appalling. This may be the nadir [ exactly] of American politics. Surely there are better candidates out there in both parties than this mendacious woman. I have nothing against a female president. I would vote for Margaret Thatcher in a second if she were eligible. I would vote for Elizabeth Warren if she were to get the nomination. I would vote for Angela Merkel if she were eligible. Americans need to set a higher standard for presidential candidates. Persons who are almost surely guilty of felonies should not be considered.
Why Hope Is A Loser In This Election
American voters usually award the White House to an optimistic candidate. Not in 2016.
12/05/2015 10:12 am ET
Global Editorial Director, The Huffington Post
WASHINGTON — “Voters pick the guy with the sun in his face.” That’s how American pundit and talk show host Chris Matthews puts it.
It’s a truism of politics in a democracy that inclusive optimism usually wins. But it’s especially on point in the United States, a country that defines itself as the home of fresh starts and reinvention.
President Ronald Reagan won re-election in 1984 by declaring that it was “Morning in America again.” George H.W. Bush won four years later by vowing to create a “kinder, gentler” country. Bill Clinton defeated him in 1992 by saying, “I still believe in a place called Hope” — which, conveniently, was the name of his childhood home in Arkansas.
And after the dark, divided years of George W. Bush’s presidency, an obscure senator from Illinois won the presidency in 2008 with a campaign summarized by a now-iconic poster that had just one word: HOPE.
Well, that was then. It doesn’t feel that way now. There is no sun now, and I don’t know if and when it will reappear.
So far in the 2016 presidential campaign cycle, the mood in both major political parties and among the electorate as a whole is one of anger, division, wariness and resentment.
It is an article of faith — literally, our secular American faith — that our best days always lie ahead. It’s what we have wanted our leaders to tell us and what we want to believe.
Yet Donald Trump — himself a symbol of upward mobility and business success — continues to lead the Republican field with a starkly apocalyptic message. “The American dream is dead,” he declares at his rallies.
Trump, in fact, is the sum of all fears, summoning to his side every dark corner of American society: racial, ethnic and religious stereotypes at home; the specter of “evil” foreigners in China, Mexico and elsewhere aboard; the delusion that U.S. government leaders, starting with President Barack Obama, are secret agents with an agenda to destroy America.
Far from attacking him for these views and tactics, most of the other Republican candidates, most of the time, have tried to outdo him with the grim nature of their own message. After all, Trump is the clear leader in the latest CNN poll. GOP campaign consultants are even writing memos telling lower-level candidates how to mimic Trump. (If he doesn’t get the Republican nomination, expect Trump to run as an independent candidate, despite his vague promise not to do so.)
Republican Jewish activists cheered Trump in Washington this week when he implied that Obama was a Muslim agent. Then they sat in stunned, uncomfortable silence as he caricatured them to their faces as a roomful of crafty, money-obsessed, rich Jews. (So what did they expect? That they could laugh along with him and he would exempt them from his inflammatory profiling?)
The Democratic Party’s side of the conversation is hardly more upbeat. Front-runner Hillary Clinton isn’t campaigning as the cheerful inheritor of Obama’s successes, such as they are. Pressured from the left, she is fashioning herself as a tribune for the resentments of struggling middle-class voters. Meanwhile, her progressive foes denounce her as a lifelong tool of Wall Street and other elites.
Why has the sun disappeared from American presidential politics? Here’s a summary of the reasons:
TERRORISM. Fear is rising in the land, and Obama’s credibility as a voice of reassurance is at risk. He told Americans that the self-described Islamic State was contained in Syria and Iraq and that the U.S. homeland was safe. But then terrorists killed 130 people in Paris, and ISIS sympathizers killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
The president also vowed not to get involved in another land war in the Middle East, yet he is sending special operations troops to help combat the Islamic State.
Republicans are more than willing to play to the growing fear. Democrats, led by Clinton, are caught between an anti-war wing that gave rise to Obama in the first place, and calls for more military and security-state reaction to ISIS.
ECONOMICS. This is the most obvious and familiar reason, though it has recently been overlooked as concerns about national security rise. As campaign guru James Carville once said, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
The real income of middle-class households in the U.S. has been stagnant for nearly 20 years, even as the richest have grown richer and the poor, as numerous as ever, rely on government programs. It’s a recipe for resentment, which too often leads to racial backlash — even though black and brown middle-class Americans have actually been hit harder than their white counterparts.
RACE. Electing Barack Obama to the White House didn’t end the story of race in America. Instead, it opened a new chapter of anger and frustration.
Among African-Americans, that anger and frustration works on at least two levels. At elite universities and other institutions, black Americans are demanding change in a way they never had the power or opportunity to do before. On the streets, the fact that violence and police misconduct are still disproportionately aimed at black Americans has led to a vigorous new activism, called the Black Lives Matter movement.
Their reformist zeal and rhetoric, in turn, has stoked fear and resentment across white America, especially among those who have been long and loudly suspicious of the nation’s first black president.
The two political parties are perhaps more demographically divergent than ever before — a dangerous situation that often adds the flammable fuel of race to everyday arguments. A Trump rally, or almost any GOP presidential rally for that matter, is a nearly all-white affair, and the families there tend to be led by married (or remarried), church-going parents. The Democratic gatherings are starkly different: racially and ethnically more diverse, with fewer married and fewer parents.
MEDIA. Social media creates networks, but divides nations. Liked-minded voters find each other and live their political lives immersed in the partisan reality that “their” news outlets and social media circles create.
That division amplifies fear of the Other, of the mysterious Them whom a certain brand of American politician always has run against. Trump is only the latest, though one of the most potent, examples. His social media weapon of choice is Twitter — a perfect place, it turns out, for his brand of campaigning by fear and accusation.
Washington as a whole and Congress in particular are so gripped by partisan division that they can barely function. But rather than look for ways of fixing it, the two parties look for ways to exploit it — and thus make the situation worse. American voters cheer for their own narrow causes, even while their anger and contempt rises for leaders and national institutions.
GUNS. America is awash in guns and gun violence. And yet as the blood flows, the political system seems incapable of imposing even the simplest limits on, say, semi-automatic “assault” rifles or full-bore background checks. Meanwhile, as Americans see more videos of gun violence, their response is to … buy more guns. The ever-growing gun culture suffuses politics with an air of literal menace.
IMMIGRATION. Trump began his 2016 campaign by promising to be the man who built a wall to keep out Mexicans. But now he and most other Republican candidates conflate that cynical pandering to fear with an even starker and more sweeping call to brand, track and exclude Syrian war refugees and even Muslim Americans.
This kind of hysteria is not entirely new to U.S. politics. In the first half of the 19th century, Protestants rioted against what they saw as a culture-killing invasion of Catholics. Later in that century, especially in the South, white people used lynching and other gruesome tactics to intimidate black people after the Civil War freed them from official slavery. Jewish immigrants were persecuted, and even lynched, early in 20th century America.
HISTORY RHYMES. The late 1960s was the last time that U.S. politics were this divided and driven by the language of violence and fear. The 1968 election was a bitter affair that capped a decade of war, tumultuous social and cultural change, assassinations and riots.
It was a three-way presidential race featuring a stern Republican who was a master of xenophobic politics (Richard Nixon); a weak Democrat backed by labor unions but not progressive youth (Hubert Humphrey); and a third-party racist renegade (George Wallace), running in the name of the little guy. Nixon won a grim victory based on a promise to “bring us together” through “law and order.”
As the saying goes, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Something about that gloomy campaign sounds familiar.
America 2016: We’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore
Craig Ziemke has voted for Democrats all his life, including twice for President Barack Obama. Not this year.
“The whole country is going to hell,” the 66-year-old retired factory worker said, standing against the bleachers at a high school gymnasium while waiting for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to arrive. Ziemke’s fury is deep: Roads and bridges in the U.S. are falling apart, jobs are scarce and the U.S. border is wide open, he says.
“We’re letting all these people into the country. No one even knows who the hell they are,” he said. “We don’t need any more Arabs. The United States, anymore, is just a dumping ground for everyone.”
Ziemke plans to caucus for a Republican on Monday – and likely for Trump, “the only one with brains,” he said.
mannyv portland, or 14 hours ago
The fundamental problem with Unions is simple: people want to do better. Most American’s don’t hate the rich – they want to be rich. But they can’t. They do want a better life: more money, nicer stuff, better housing, and a future that’s better.
Do the Democrats talk about that? Not really. They talk about how the poor are downtrodden, how the rich are stealing everyone’s money, how it’s not fair, how it’s up to the government to make their lives better.
That doesn’t really resonate with the poor very well.
Trump, no matter what you think of him, is singing a message of optimism. People like optimism, which is why he’ll win.
Jonathan Midwest 14 hours ago
Border security and curtailing uncontrolled immigration is in the interest of any worker who relies on working to pay his/her bills. It boggles the mind how the Democrat Party can be for workers and increased wages while at the same time importing millions of unskilled workers to undercut their very constituency.
Bill Woodson Ct. 14 hours ago
I remember in 1992 when Perot was running for President He would say “that big suction noise that will be coming from down South” will be the jobs that will be lost if we sign the free trade agreement. How prophetic. The only people who gained from the free trade agreement is
the upper echelon of corporate America. The free trade agreement has shrunk the middle class thanks corporate lobbyists selling Congress their venomous snake oil. Now we have Trump saying practically the same thing as Perot, and it’s resonating with middle class voters.
Voters are tired of the same old congressional dog and pony show.
DSS Ottawa 14 hours ago
The Republicans have worked hard to break up Unions, denying them the right to organize. Trump understands labour and has their ear, and is not an establishment Republican.
Eric Cooper Chicago 13 hours ago
If union leadership had endorsed Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton, the rank and file might not be drawn to Donald Trump.
Mike Thompson New York 13 hours ago
As someone who grew up in a union household, I’m glad unions are finally getting some electoral attention despite the beating they’ve taken over the last 40 years. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have bought into the cult of neoliberalism over that timespan, and the effect of that on working Americans is obvious: more debt, higher medical and education bills, lower real wages, and outsourcing of good jobs. I live in New York so it’s not nearly as bad, but in many of the formerly great manufacturing areas of this country the economy has literally been hollowed out, its substantial wealth funneled to the 0.1%.
Contrary to what Hillary Clinton and her bourgeois liberal, establishment-backing supporters might say, people considering voting for Trump aren’t all inherently racist or xenophobic. They’re concerned about their jobs and livelihoods, and rightly mad at an establishment that’s sold them out. Immigration does have positive economic repercussions in an economy like ours, but the average worker does not feel it when nearly all of the wealth is funneled upwards. Meanwhile workers continue to struggle and pay their taxes, some of which is used to fund tax benefits for the rich and free services for illegal immigrants . A vote for Hillary is a vote for continuing the status quo, while a vote for anti-establishment candidates at least hopes for change. For me that candidate is Sanders, but I very much understand why someone would consider voting for Trump.
Michael F Yonkers, NY 13 hours ago
their fear that Mr. Trump, if not effectively countered, may draw an unusually large number of union voters in a possible general election matchup.
How much does that say about the disconenct between union leadership and union members.
Deus02 Toronto 12 hours ago
It is clear that even some union members have not come to grips with the reality that Donald Trump is saying what people want to hear and in terms of actual implementation and how? NOT. No matter what he might say, his pedigree is and always has been strictly embedded in the one-percenters and if they had their way, all unions would be eliminated.
It seems these union members have all but ignored the outsourcing of jobs that have occurred and if they think Trump can wave a magic wand and get them all back, they are sadly mistaken.
Steven McCain New York 10 hours ago
Maybe it’s not only a wakeup call for the right it may by one for the unions also. As a union member I have seen my wages stay flat for years. Unions are blamed for almost everything except the sinking of the Titanic. Being in the pocket of the left has done little for the average union member. It could be time to change horses in the race if the horse you are riding on is going backwards. Hillary should wake up also and not take the nonwhite vote for granted either. The right or the left has done little for the average working stiff but promise us they got our backs only to leave us for the wolves on the day after election day. Union leaders are not very good at public relations by letting the average union worker take the blame for bad management decisions of corporate leaders. Letting CEO’s making sometimes four or five hundred times what union members take little blame for running the economy into the ground. Trump is talking about rebuilding America and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know you can’t build anything without labor. It could be time to upset the applecart on the right and the left. Thirty years of voting and not once did I ever entertain what my union president thought about who I was voting for. It is disingenuous to think union members are like lemming to be lead off a cliff. I am putting my money on the horse that I believe is going to help me bring home the bacon.
Joel Parkes Los Angeles, CA 3 hours ago
Wow, what an interesting piece. As a liberal, a public school teacher, and a union member, I admit I’m surprised that Trump appeals to members of unions, but I can see now why he does.
So now it’s politics at its best. The “establishment” Republicans have traditionally been union haters and union busters, while today’s “centrist” Democrats (Read Bill Clinton and Obama.) have only given lip service to organized labor.
If Trump runs against Hillary, she could lose a big portion of the union vote because she’s just such a lousy candidate and apparently has no real core beliefs and values. But if Trump runs against Sanders, then we’ll see something worth watching.
By the way, I’m voting for Sanders or nobody. As a Californian, I have that luxury.
Concerned American USA 4 hours ago
The union members’ intuition is probably correct.
Eventually, the law-of-one-price indicates world-wide the workers will eventually be similarly compensated for the same work. So giving preference to non-citizens, illegals or even H-1Bs over Americans gives fleeting profit. In the long-term it displaces Americans in America and drives the same old cost structure for the firms. Perhaps anger is a very logical response.
Michael W Chicago 4 hours ago
Unless the Democrats find a new candidate who is both electable (Sanders is not) and likable (Hillary is not), the raging hordes of ignorant Americans are going to put Trump in the White House. Who ever thought it would be someone running under the GOP moniker who would be perceived as being in touch with the common man? Time is running out, and deep trouble awaits.
ayOutWest5 hours ago
Sure, people who work hard for a living may skew Trump-ward. Bill Clinton brought us NAFTA and the sucking sound of jobs being drained out of the USA. And I vividly remember when, a few months ago, the new TPP push was in the news: much was made at the time of the fact that Hillary Clinton waited and waffled a suspensefullly long time before she came out “against” TPP. Do you believe what she says? With Bill Clinton possibly at the controls? And she’s in favor of giving illegals the royal treatment, the better to get votes. Do you really need to wonder why union members and other working-class people are in danger of tipping towards Trump? Very interesting times in America, and I am betting money that the Dems are in for a rude awakening come November.
rfj LI 5 hours ago
The status of illegal immigration in this country will not change significantly as long as the two established parties continue to hold sway in Washington, for the simple reason that it serves the purposes of both sides. The Republicans want cheap labor, and the Democrats envision new voters.
Don’t kid yourself that there is any serious consideration in Congress regarding the humanitarian aspect of immigration – all of the rhetoric regarding “American values” is just political noise meant to seduce the well-meaning (but naive) among the electorate, who believe that the government actually has the best interests of both Americans and immigrants in mind. They don’t – it’s about money and votes, and nothing else.
This is actually an issue where Trump supporters and those on the left might discover some common ground, but the two established political orders have done such a thorough job at programming their respective adherents to despise each other that it’s just not going to happen.
In the meantime, as both sides of our divided electorate get played by the political establishment, the livelihoods of Americans with family roots that go back generations are kicked to the curb by the never-ending wave of illegals and H-1B replacement workers.
But never mind – back to the culture wars.
Reader In Wash, DC Washington, DC 5 hours ago
Some how the article did mention illegal aliens and their flooding the labor market and depressing wages.
Richard G New York 5 hours ago
It is fascinating that there is a general assumption that union leaders act for the benefit of the rank and file. Many people would say union leaders may act for their own interests to grow power. Union leaders and corporate executives are more similar than different. both groups (as do leaders of not for profit organizations) act for their own interest over that of the union members or corporate shareholders. In both corporations and unions there is often little accountability to shareholders or to members. It is quite conceivable could reject what his unions tell him
WestSider NYC 5 hours ago
Sure, anyone who got rich working the system should be afraid, very very afraid.
I can’t feel sorry for the elite, they should’ve known not to cross the line. Did they think the voters are going to take it forever? The revolving doors, the ‘lobbyists’, the banks, the corruption (the Petraeus piece in WP “How Petraeus avoided felony charges and possible prison time) is a must read.
Enough is enough. Our nation has been looted, our SS funds drained, we fight wars because our elected officials vote for what their donors want, we allow the financial industry to gamble with our savings, we let the so-called job creators create jobs across the border, on and on.
Now, all of them, including the media, are in full panic mode. They are trying to derail the 2 candidates that have been campaigning on the above issue. Today’s sudden reclassification of Clinton emails, and all the attacks on Trump is just that. The republicans are trying to shove their chosen Rubio, the kid willing to play nice with his donors down their throats, and the Democrats are trying to shove Hillary down ours.
We’re not playing. This election is going to be Bernie against Trump. They played dirty (the race card) with Obama, but they can’t do it with Bernie for obvious reasons. I’m feeling the Bern.
Brian Kings Park 6 hours ago
Does anyone think that a union endorsement carries much weight with its membership? Unions will support the liberal/establishment candidate, republicans will be against them, and the membership will vote as they feel.
Lewis Des Moines, IA 6 hours ago
What do rank-and-file members really believe Don J. Trump could, or ever would, do for them?
Here There 4 hours ago
If you think that Donald Trump has built buildings in New York for the past forty years without having a good relationship with the unions, then possibly you are from Des Moines or some such thing.
Charlie NJ 6 hours ago
Trump may be seeking the Republican nomination but he is not Republican nor is he Democrat. Right now he doesn’t nicely fit into either definition.
Nancy Upstate NY 6 hours ago
I’m a member of a union, and I’d rather vote for Satan and his pal Beelzebub before I’d vote for that megalomaniac Trump. He would crush a little guy under his foot to make a buck. This is what happens when you weaken public education: people can’t think enough to see through the lies and hypocrisies.
JavaJunkie Left Coast, USA 6 hours ago
I’m not a union member, never have been and at this point in my life most likely never will be.
I have throughout my career consistently earned much more than the median wage for workers in the US but I’m nowhere near Mr. Trumps income bracket.
I’ve been in corporate management for many years now.
I’ve had to deal with unions both “strong” unions and well not so strong…
They often can do good things for their members.
Their leadership is more often than not benefiting from union members more than the members benefit from their leadership…
I have some simple advice for union members…
I would if I were you think long and hard before voting for a Bloviating Fascist Billionaire who has never had to put in an honest days work or worry about putting food on the table for his family for 1 day in his life.
Good Luck with your decision!
Carsafrica California 6 hours ago
Most of the good jobs we have lost in the manufacturing sector have not gone to immigrants but have gone overseas and Trump and his best friend ICahn have been part of this drive
What little thought Trump has put into economic policy favors the rich .
Whoever the Democrats choose as their Candidate they have to come up with economic policies which grow our economy and reduce in come inequality.
They need to increase the minimum wage, pay equality, infrastructure program,
funded by an infrastructure tax levied at ports of entry and levies on the purchase of foreign currency.
We need personal and corporate tax reform eliminating corporate welfare and
Personal tax concessions for those with incomes over $200000.
All corporations must pay at least a minimum corporate tax rate of 20 percent
Taxes will be reduced for all those earning less than $10000
No more trade deals .
A clear program to reduce health care costs.
An economic agenda on these lines will make sense for all Americans and will drive the economy through building disposable income for most Americans
tony rains st louis 6 hours ago
Obama and the Democrats have abandoned the unions. Obama is pushing through another massive trade deal with 3rd world countries! Awful for America. Trump has said he will stop it. And you know what…I believe he will try. Trump 2016.
dcl New Jersey 6 hours ago
I’m a teacher & a proud union member. I’ve been Democrat for a while; I voted for Mr Obama. But he has spent his entire tenure, very consistently, along with Arne Duncan (who only recently left) attacking teachers unions.
With Bill Gates as his unvoted multi-billionaire literally at his side in many policy decisions (along with hedge fund mgrs & companies like Pearson), Mr Obama has pushed through heavily corporatist, top-down, punitive, non-transparent, & utterly non-data-driven tests & policies whose primary function has been to drive unionized teachers out. He has promoted charter schools (non unionized with an incredibly high turnover rate). Duncan literally said that Hurricane Katrina was “the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans.” And I quote. Katrina allowed the Democrats to fire en masse thousands of mostly African American unionized teachers & replace them with un-unionized cheap mostly white outsider teachers.
Currently only 11% of workers are unionized. Democrats have been the enemy of the union worker every bit as much (sometimes more) than Republicans. The kicker – as many have pointed out – is Democrats cheering on vast influxes of illegal immigrants whose primary function is to further devalue the working classes’ salary & undercut union power. If you complain you are either a racist or you are a lazy American.
Democrats should be the last party to be surprised by union members’ reaction. You reap what you sow.