A couple of months ago at a campaign rally held at Lansing Community College, in Lansing, Michigan, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, launched a barrage of abuse towards organized labor unions and President Obama by claiming that the President ‘takes his marching orders’ from union bosses that are costing American jobs.
Writing on the progressive blog site ‘Campaign For America’s Future‘ Dave Johnson asked, “Is this guy a Presidential candidate from a major party, or a fringe nut?” then quoted Romney’s now infamous line; “But like many politicians of the past, President Obama takes his marching orders from union bosses, rails against right-to-work states, fights to win union elections by eliminating the vote by secret ballot, and even denies an American company the right to build a factory in the American state of its choice.”
The irony is that many labor union bosses have been critical of President Obama for not doing more to promote the cause of organized labor unions. Ever since President Obama made his now infamous campaign speech back in 2007 claiming he would ‘put on a comfortable pair of shoes and join the picket line if Americans were denied their right to organize and collectively bargain’ he has come under fire from the unions. In the recent Wisconsin governor recall vote President Obama remain eerily silent, and as long ago as February of last year Peter Wallsten’s Washington Post article reported just how frustrated the labor movement felt about President Obama’s policies.
Going forward, as Romney will no doubt discover in the coming months, campaign promises can come back to haunt you – especially if you incur the wrath of the unions. Many of President Obama’s union critics accused him of being too much of a centrist. Peter Wallsten’s article carried a quote from Rose Ann DeMoro, the Executive Director of National Nurses United, which has 160,000 members and is affiliated to the AFL-CIO. She was critical of President Obama saying “He’s basically trying to be everything to everybody. Until you look at the policies, and then it’s clear he’s there for the corporate sector.”
It’s blindingly obvious that President Obama will have more union supporters than Romney come November, even if those who supported him back in 2008 are somewhat displeased by his policies. And the reason for that? Just take a look at the alternative. The union members and union bosses are fully aware that President Obama doesn’t take his orders from them — it seems the only person who doesn’t realize this is Mitt Romney. The one thing Romney does know how to do is take away American jobs and make money, he’s got a fabulous track record on that count. And the question of who does Mitt Romney take his orders from? Well that’s not hard to answer, the puppet masters at the GOP and whoever is writing him big checks.
Since making his now infamous quote about President Obama taking his marching orders from union bosses Romney has been strangely quiet on the subject of unions. He has been strangely quiet on a lot of things just recently, so maybe that’s part of his agenda? I doubt it; it’s more likely that one of his puppet masters has pulled him to one side and said something along the lines of ‘you need to look at the big picture’.
The outcry over his links with Bain Capital, outsourcing and, of course, his evasiveness regarding his tax returns helped detract from further questions on his stance regarding the unions. As the clock ticks down to November I, for one, hope to see more debate, more questions and hopefully some answers about what the GOP’s puppet masters think about the future of America’s unions.