Barack Obama tried using his State of the Union speech in part as a defense of ObamaCare, showing that he was not prepared to retreat from his signature legislative achievement even after the disastrous rollout. The intent was clearly to reset the debate on both metrics and anecdotes, with presidential guests including a woman who finally could buy insurance through the new system, as a way to help Democrats fight the issue in the midterms. Republicans countered by inviting a number of guests whose lives, coverage, and medical care have been disrupted by ObamaCare in many different ways.

Not everyone was thrilled with the defense of ObamaCare, including a couple of surprising critics. Jon Ralston reports that two national union leaders have sent a letter blasting ObamaCare to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — representing in one case a very important union to Reid in Nevada:

In a scathing letter to congressional leaders, the head of the Culinary’s parent union and the national laborers’ organization lambasted the administration’s implementation of Obamacare, saying it “undermines fair market competition” and emphasized they are “bitterly disappointed.”

Las Vegas’ own D. Taylor of UniteHERE and Terry O’Sullivan of LIUNA sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this week, part of an unrelenting campaign against the health care law’s implementation that they have been waging since last year.

Ralston notes that the culinary union’s political director started firing shots at Obama during the speech, including this angry response to his claim that “nine million” have found insurance since ObamaCare’s rollout:

The letter makes their displeasure known in no uncertain terms, especially their denied request for special dispensation:

Once we realized the ACA would not let us keep the health care we had, we spent three years presenting the Administration with reasonable fixes to the ACA’s problems. All of them were rejected and the proposed regulations offer virtually no assistance toward any of these solutions.

We were bitterly disappointed upon reading the proposed regulations put forward by the Administration. If the Administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care.

Well, then the unions can join the millions of Americans who have already had the same impression about the Obama administration, and Obama himself. They concluded with a parting shot at Obama’s sudden embrace of “income inequality” while pursuing a system that encourages businesses to cut hours to avoid costs:

It would be a sad irony indeed if the signature legislative accomplishment of an Administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers.

Given what Obama has already done to the living standards of the middle class through Obamanomics, which produced a rapid decline of the workforce participation rate, this concern seems a bit late from the unions. We already have millions of “bitterly disappointed” Americans who have left the workforce thanks to economic policies that these unions support. Now that their own ox has been gored, they’re angry — and they should be, of course, but that is a bit late in coming.

Last time Harry Reid ran for election in Nevada, he ended up getting rescued in part by the culinary union. This sounds like a warning that the labor cavalry might not bother to show up next time Reid needs help.