While President Obama is fond of belittling the GOP leadership of the nation and claim all Republicans want to do is regain control of Congress and go back to past policies, it is clear he is stuck in his own desire to bring back the past. The liberal past of big government programs, make-work projects and deficit spending over the cliff. He longs for the days of big union power and a strong workforce presence.
The President flew to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to deliver his Labor Day speech to the union members and their families at a huge annual picnic held there. As is his habit, the man who promised a post-partisan way of governing, devolved into cheap partisan political talk about the GOP. From the text of his speech:
But there are some folks in Washington who see things differently. (Boos.) You know what I’m talking about. (Applause.) When it comes to just about everything we’ve done to strengthen our middle class, to rebuild our economy, almost every Republican in Congress says no. (Boos.) Even on things we usually agree on, they say no. If I said the sky was blue, they say no. (Laughter and applause.) If I said fish live in the sea, they’d say no. (Laughter.) They just think it’s better to score political points before an election than to solve problems. So they said no to help for small businesses, even when the small businesses said we desperately need this. This used to be their key constituency, they said. They said no. No to middle-class tax cuts. They say they’re for tax cuts; I say, okay, let’s give tax cuts to the middle class. No. (Laughter.) No to clean energy jobs. No to making college more affordable. No to reforming Wall Street. They’re saying right now, no to cutting more taxes for small business owners and helping them get financing.
You know, I heard — somebody out here was yelling “Yes we can.” Remember that was our slogan? Their slogan is “No we can’t.” (Applause.) No, no, no, no.
The reason he went to Milwaukee, besides to pander to working class voters in a state hit hard by the economic policies of Democrats and those who support union boss demands, was to announce his big idea of spending even more borrowed money from China on a new stimulus/spending project. This stimulus project is to be pushed as a 'small' stimulus program to put people back to work (read union members) improving our nation's infrastructure.
This president is beholding to union support. This is nothing new for the Democrats but he has ramped it up to new levels. There is a revolving door to the Oval Office from top union leaders and their access to the members of Team Obama. Andy Stern who headed up the SEIU until April, 2010 is a close advisor to the president and has visited the White House numerous times according to the visitor log. Stern is credited with growing union membership during an era when America saw declining support for unions in general.
If the infrastructure package is to stimulate employment, why didn't he include it in the initial spending bill when he entered office? Instead of simply throwing money in every direction imaginable with abysmal results to date, the stimulus was to target the increase in unemployed Americans. It failed miserably.
From The Wall Street Journal, an on target summary of the efforts of this administration's economic strategy:
In sum, never before has government spent so much and intervened so directly in credit allocation to spur growth, yet the results have been mediocre at best. In return for adding nearly $3 trillion in federal debt in two years, we still have 14.9 million unemployed.
The president was in Milwaukee to tout his support for working class Americans. It is his default tactic - class warfare. If he can't win an argument by pitting Democrats against Republicans, as he does by blaming the GOP for blocking his legislative proposals though the Democrats have a super majority in Congress and don't need GOP support on legislation, he then falls back on pitting the middle class against the wealthier Americans. There is simply no new thinking from the candidate who promised to 'change' the ways of Washington and lead in a new era of post partisanship.
An interesting bit was when the president who is so dependent on his beloved teleprompter veered off his prepared speech to insert an ad lib - that Republicans are berating him like a dog. Odd. Especially coming from a man who has employed smearing talk against GOP members who oppose his policies, including continuing to blame the previous administration and president for his own failures. When does the exalted new leadership kick in?
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, rallyed the union members by bashing any of the opposition groups to the failed policies of the Obama administration. Here is a bit of his speech:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pressed President Obama and the Democratic agenda heading into midterm elections, a day after steadfastly defending the administration’s efforts in the face of stubbornly high unemployment.
The union leader opened for Obama at the annual Milwaukee Area Labor Council Laborfest, along with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.).
“President Obama and Democratic leaders share our vision of an America built on good jobs — and together, we’re going to get America back to work,” Trumka told the union crowd. “It won’t be the bankers. It won’t be the Tea Partiers. It won’t be the ‘party of no’.”
Trumka, too, has been the recipient of unprecedented White House access as a union big shot. He is a pro at pitting union versus non-union sections of the population. He encourages disdain for the very people who can provide the environment for his union members to work - bankers providing credit lines to business, and business owners responsible for hiring, as well as those demanding less government spending to stabilize our economic future.
At a time when the president finds his approval ratings at 40% for his handling of the economy, you would think he would try a reversal of course and listen to others for alternative solutions which may provide better results than his so far.