Beyond the Obama-Hoffa kerfuffle

posted at 9:39 pm on September 8, 2011 by Karl

We all had fun skewering the progressive hypocrisy over Teamster honcho Jimmy Hoffa, Jr.’s thuggish speech, but we should keep in mind the bigger picture behind Pres. Obama’s Labor Day appearance in Detroit.

In the 2012 election and beyond, GOP insiders want to win the Great Lakes/Rust Belt region. Obama has already made it clear he will use the auto industry bailout, begun under Pres. George W. Bush, as one of the central pillars of his reelection campaign, especially in these critical battleground states.

The Dems are going to tout a Center for Automotive Research study claiming the bailout saved over a million jobs, even though that study should be titled, “The Parable of the Broken Car Windows.” Commandeering the bankruptcy process for the benefit of the UAW was not the only hope for GM and Chrysler and the long-term costs of the bailouts will be enormous. Indeed, as bailouts go, the auto bailout was less successful than the bank bailout (which tells you how much this is about politics).

Ford, which did not get a bailout, is easily outperforming GM and Chrysler. Although the Obama administration wanted to turn these companies into flagships of its green jobs initiative, sales of the electric Chevy Volt are almost comically dismal; GM and Chrysler are making their money selling SUVs and pickup trucks. Indeed, while Obama blames our lackluster economy in part on the Japanese tsunami, the fact is that disaster helped US automakers.

As for Detroit itself, the official unemployment rate was 14.1 percent in July; the true unemployment figure in the city might be as high as an astounding 50 percent. The Big 3 automakers were the city’s top employers as recently as 2007; as of November 2010, the city’s five top employers were the Detroit Public School system; the City of Detroit; the Detroit Medical Center; the Henry Ford Health System (a non-profit, managed care health care organization); and the US government. It gets worse:

Though unemployment decreased in 2010, the share of people without work for 26 weeks or longer reached 50 percent — a greater proportion than during the recession of 1983. Among jobless adults aged 25-54, 55 percent were out of work at least 26 weeks.

And 26.6 percent of jobs people found last year didn’t pay enough to support a family, causing Michigan to drop from fourth best in the nation in 2006 to 36th place for the number of well-paying jobs.

Writers at the Detroit News have called Obama’s “victory” lap a “farce,” noting of his Labor Day jaunt:

He parachuted into this city’s sanitized, heavily-securitized downtown square-mile of corporate headquarters and Whole Foods markets – safe from the murderous streets of the city’s other 138 square miles that have claimed 250 lives already this year and put Detroit on path for a staggering 50 per 100,000 residents murder rate in 2011.

Hoffa’s vulgar rhetoric at the event — and the White House non-reaction to it — may expose the Democrats as gross hypocrites, but Obama’s appearance in Detroit raises more serious questions: Why should people vote to re-elect a man who is so plainly the political tool of the Big Labor goons who drove GM and Chrysler off the cliff in the first place? And why should people in the Great Lakes/Rust Belt region vote to empower a lame duck Obama agenda on the environment and energy calculated to kill jobs there?

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Hoffa is a tool… ALL Teamsters should be ashamed!

Khun Joe on September 8, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Vote Obama and vote yourself out of a job!!!

Blake on September 8, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Arrests need to be made and investigations launched into this lawlessness! I was appalled that they are planning a “day of Rage” on Wall Street on Sept 17th.

Union thugs are homegrown terrorists!

clnurnberg on September 8, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Detroit needs to be photographed and analyzed and billboarded as the poster child of socialist failure. It’s the American version of East Berlin in the 1970′s.
Compare it to almost any city run in a “free” state and you’ve got the campaign in a nutshell and served up on a platter. Tee it up and kick it through the uprights!!!

Lew on September 8, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Look for the Union label.
I label them as homegrown terrorists!
Where are you Big Sis?
It’s not the lone wolf white supremacists or Tea Party people that you need to worry about.

carbon_footprint on September 8, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Arrests need to be made and investigations launched into this lawlessness! I was appalled that they are planning a “day of Rage” on Wall Street on Sept 17th.

Union thugs are homegrown terrorists!

clnurnberg on September 8, 2011 at 9:51 PM

I’m not much the organizing type,but it seems to me a “day of Rage” at the White House might be a nice touch.

heshtesh on September 8, 2011 at 9:55 PM

According to Ulsterman’s “Wall Street Insider,” the Administration has a plan to UNIONIZE THE MILITARY.

Stayright on September 8, 2011 at 9:55 PM

He wants to win the rust belt on a campaign of … more of the same?!?! He must not have gotten off the plane last time he checked in on Michigan.

abobo on September 8, 2011 at 9:56 PM

According to Ulsterman’s “Wall Street Insider,” the Administration has a plan to UNIONIZE THE MILITARY.

Stayright on September 8, 2011 at 9:55 PM

I should have added the caveat that I read Ulsterman for entertainment purposes only. I threw it out for discussion only.

Stayright on September 8, 2011 at 10:04 PM

I should have added the caveat that I read Ulsterman for entertainment purposes only. I threw it out for discussion only.

Stayright on September 8, 2011 at 10:04 PM

It is entertaining, but what if? What if it were true?

Obama chain-smoking while isolated in the upstairs study leafing through People and Rolling Stone, wearing flip-flops and having the tv tuned into ESPN or Fox News? Sounds reasonable and probable.

carbon_footprint on September 8, 2011 at 10:09 PM

If you see something….Say something…..
Unless its longshoremen heading for the docks with baseball bats and duct tape.

Koa on September 8, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Richard Trumka makes Hoffa look like an alter boy:

http://nlpc.org/stories/2010/09/07/why-are-media-ignoring-trumkas-background

bw222 on September 8, 2011 at 10:13 PM

It is entertaining, but what if? What if it were true?

Obama chain-smoking while isolated in the upstairs study leafing through People and Rolling Stone, wearing flip-flops and having the tv tuned into ESPN or Fox News? Sounds reasonable and probable.

carbon_footprint on September 8, 2011 at 10:09 PM

If he tries it, I think the pushback would equal or exceed ObamaCare.

Stayright on September 8, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Stayright on September 8, 2011 at 9:55 PM

It does not strike me as wise to threaten people trained to kill.

Slowburn on September 8, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Why should people vote to re-elect a man who is so plainly the political tool of the Big Labor goons
=======================================

Yup,just look at Michelle Obamas dress in tonites Union Pep Rally,
and Hopeys purple tie,talk about sending a clear message to the Lib
eral base,and their Union Goons and GoonEttes!!

canopfor on September 8, 2011 at 10:26 PM

And why should people in the Great Lakes/Rust Belt region vote to empower a lame duck Obama agenda on the environment and energy calculated to kill jobs there?

Because they are stupid?

Lon Chaney on September 8, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Spread the news… that he is back! To help the helpless! To befriend the friendless! And to defeat… … the feetless! El Canopfor rides again!

Cheshire Cat on September 8, 2011 at 10:36 PM

That is a pretty horrible crime rate, isn’t the city’s population dwindling also?

Cindy Munford on September 9, 2011 at 2:37 AM

Union thugs likely killed Hoffa’s daddy. Apparently, not very many brain cells in the family gene pool when the punk aspires to be a thug as well.

trl on September 9, 2011 at 3:48 PM