“Don’t any of you guys vote Republican,” Vice President Biden said to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters convention in Las Vegas last week. “Let me put it this way: Don’t come to me if you do. You’re on your own, Jack!”
Biden’s warning, which received virtually no coverage in the press, is part of the Obama re-election campaign’s 2012 strategy for organized labor. It’s a two-part plan. One, use the president’s executive powers to give labor all sorts of advantages that can’t be achieved through legislation. And two, when labor leaders complain that they haven’t gotten everything they want, tell them they have nowhere else to go…
“I have a message for some of our ‘friends,’ ” Trumka said at a union gathering in Washington last month — and yes, the Teamsters’ text of the speech put “friends” in quotation marks. Then he ad-libbed: “For too long, we have been left after Election Day holding a canceled check waving it about — ‘Remember us? Remember us? Remember us?’ — asking someone to pay a little attention to us. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a snootful of that s–t.”
Not much ambiguity there. And now, we have the White House response, delivered by the vice president: Sorry, Rich, but don’t even think about not supporting Democrats.