Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rewarding Bad Behavior

Hey, I got to use that picture again!:
"If I lived in Chicago, I would vote for him for mayor," said Gerald McEntee, president of giant public workers union AFSCME.
. . .
McEntee clashed with Emanuel over elements of health care legislation and has at times been a critic of the Obama administration from the left. But while many in his wing of the party remain bitter at Emanuel — and plan to campaign against him in the Chicago mayor's race — McEntee said that Emanuel's record was, on balance "for progressive forces and ideas."

"We’ve had our ups and downs but mostly ups," he said. "We've also had some downs, over health care in particular. But what's over is over."

"When he was in the House he was an excellent vote for progressive forces," McEntee said. "He had a role to play in the White House. When he could, within that role, he was for progressive ideas and forces."

Asked for a message about Rahm to skeptical allies on the left, McEntee echoed Joe Biden: "Suck it up."
David Sirota:
Rahm Emanuel was the chief legislative proponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement under President Clinton. As an investment banker, he publicly campaigned on the pages of the Wall Street Journal to give China Most Favored Nation Status. Under President Obama, he was the chief architect of the deal that coddled insurance and drug companies by negotiating away the public option - a public option that union leaders said was crucial for their support of health care legislation.
. . .
That it comes from a political actor as amoral as McEntee is no surprise. Remember, while McEntee is paid by workers' hard-earned wages to jealously champion those workers' agenda regardless of party, McEntee made headlines in 2007 telling Democratic congressional leaders that he would personally crush labor-oriented groups looking to exert pressure on Democratic legislators:
"I'm the sheriff of the incumbent-protection program, and if you need help, let me know. In Blue America, there's no room for PACs to chase vulnerable members they have differences with."
So with McEntee, this is certainly par for the course. And while Politico notes that his personal endorsement is not an official endorsement by AFSCME, the announcement goes a long way to further highlighting how progressives outside of Washington have been undermined by those purporting to act in their name inside of Washington.
Nothing like rewarding those who worked their asses of to stop your agenda.

If unions make it clear that even people like Rahm can get their support, why would any Democrat try to push their priorities?

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