Bil Browning

Comment of the Week: Bill Perdue

Filed By Bil Browning | February 27, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Site News
Tags: Bill Perdue, Jillian T. Weiss, President Obama

From Jillian Weiss's post, "What the Obama Administration's Decision on DOMA Means" commentofweek1.pngcomes this reply to a thread on whether or not President Obama is just covering his ass in a setup to allow the courts to decide the issue:

Jillian, I think it's merits as a step forward don't have much bearing on the key question, which in my opinion relegates it to tactical posturing to help his CREEP efforts.

We've seen several charades like this recently from the WH and we'll see more as November 2012 draws nearer.

Remember Obama crocodile tears about the GOP attack on Wisconsin workers last week. What utter BS from the president who busted the UAW and shattered their contract.

Now Obama is condemning Republicans for not having a jobs plan. He's right but where is his multi-trillion dollar, Manhattan Project plan to use union hiring halls to create 15 million jobs and green industry, agriculture and the infrastructure.

It's in the same basket under his desk with his orders to pull out of Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan and his orders to arrest and prosecute predatory bankers like Goldman Sachs for the loss of 15 million jobs and torching the economy and the outline of his plan to put his prestige on the line fighting for ENDA.

We won't see any of those measures because the Democrats betrayed everyone in sight and lost 20 million of Obama's 2008 voters and no longer can, assuming they ever wanted to, pass legislation for our benefit.

Your thoughts?

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Okay----so what do progressives do? Start a third party behind Ralph nader?

Our struggle, as it intensifies, won't be primarily electoral and it'll be in alliance with unions and other struggle organizations. It'll consist of some electoral work as an educational tool, keeping in mind the fact that the rich will only allow so much change. Combined with electoral work our strategy will begin to resemble the mass movements in Wisconsin and those in Egypt that inspired them. All that's lacking is a massive left wing party to organize and lead.

For years leftists have pointed out that mass action is the only viable strategy to get what we want. Supporters of the two major parties have dismissed mass action but they can't point to any major advances in US history haven't had their origins in a display of the determination of masses of people for change. Social change may be codified in the courts or legislatures but they have their origins in the streets, factories and barracks.

Now we're in a new period of US history and any mention about the role of Democrats, Greens, Libertarians or Republicans in the events in Wisconsin is beside the point. Those parties didn't call and aren't leading a long forgotten process in US politics - a rebellion by workers. As events in Wisconsin and elsewhere unfold the too-little, too-late AFL-CIO leadership will become irrelevant if they don't begin to provide some honest leadership that puts the needs of working people above their partisan fetish with the Democratic (sic) Party.

The Wisconsin syndrome, being repeated in many states is the first real expression of a sea change in class consciousness and class polarization. Events there are not the result of 'progressives', 'populists', liberals and they have nothing to do with the 'middle' class. It's workers fighting for each other, a shock and awe response of the American working class to the class warfare of the rich, the Depression they created, the unemployment they artificially maintain, the betrayals of Democrats and Republicans and above all to the breathtaking heroism of workers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Iran and elsewhere.

The Wisconsin uprising is characterized by indifference to the partisan bickering of Democrats and Republicans and the go slow approach of the national AFL-CIO leadership. It's drawn tens of thousands into sustained, massive direct action. It's 's broken, if only temporarily, the bond between the rich and the police and it's excited the imagination of hundreds of thousands of trade unionists across the country. It's revitalized the left and the unions.

The early years of the Depression from 1929 to 1934 were characterized by demoralization created by the shock of massive poverty and unemployment. Working people remained quiescent until the 1934 wave of general strikes signaled a turnaround and workers began to fight back and win against the looter classes and their supporters in the Democratic (sic) and Republican parties. In 1924 three general strikes broke out in trucking ( Minneapolis), longshore and shipping (San Francisco) and in auto (Toledo). The signaled the transformation of a demoralized working class into a vast army of determined, steel hardened workers and unions that, until Pearl Harbor, were ready and willing to challenge the rich for state power.

Trade union victories from 1934 until 1947 were the foundation for decades of prosperity. That prosperity was ended by the wave of anti-worker, anti-union administrations beginning with Nixon's wage and price controls, Carter and Reagan's S&L deregulation, and export of jobs that created the Rust Belt. Bush1 and Clinton followed up with more job exports, welfare cuts, and NAFTA and finally came Bill Clintons deregulation that led inexorably to today's Depression and mass unemployment. Bush2 completed the attack unleashing predatory lenders while Obama has concentrated on union busting and transferring tens of trillions to the looter class to cover their losses.

The three strikes in 1934 were like Jefferson's "alarm bell in the night" and so is last week's call for a general strike by the The 97-union South Central Federation of Labor of Wisconsin. Things have changed and we're on the offensive. Now our fight begins.

Or strategy should be to get into unions and insist that the AFL-CIO unleash the crouching tiger of American politics, the AFL-CIO's Labor Party and the hidden dragon of mass action general strikes.

I admire Bill's passion. But you asked for our thoughts:

I'm profoundly grateful his view is in the minority. And that I don't wake up every day that freaking angry.

We seem caught in this never-ending battle between accepting the advances made, and demanding more.

I'm all for the Demand side of the equation. Loudly.

I guess I just don't understand the argument that refuses to accept victories. And make no mistake, this IS a victory,.

Tardy, perhaps. But a victory.

I wake up every day happy because more and more supporters of the Democrats are moving on, moving left and deserting that party of biogts and union busters.

You feel loyalty to Ralph Nadar for his election of George W. Bush in 2000 ? There would have been no problem in Florida if he hadn't siphoned off Democrat votes. Politics is the art of the possible. Fringe types like Nadar have no chance.

I would like to see Nadar finally step out of the closet, if in fact he is gay, as has been speculated for decades. He could really help gays and lesbians by doing this. Gay or not, he should repudiate his 1996 statement that gay rights constitutes "GONAD POLITICS". He owes the gay community an apology, and the truth about himself.

Nader is a simple liberal reformist. Large numbers of 'liberals' are anything but liberal when it comes to our struggle. If I remember about 30% of self-described liberals voted for Prop 8 in California in 2008.

I wouldn't vote for him even if he were gay.

I have no problem with him exercising his right to run and I don't care if it hurts the Democrats or not. They're a party run by bigots.

I would. however, vote for any leftwing or socialist candidate who uses elections to break the two party monopoly.

Direct action protests are futile in this country without the power of the ballot backing it up.

See November 2010 as an example

I don't think I even referred to direct actions, which are small and which can be effective especially when directed against bigots.

GetEqual's small direct actions did have an effect on the Bigot in Chief in terms of DADT.

My remarks were about the overwhelming power of mass action as in Cairo and Madison.

November 2010 was a massive defeat for bigots like Obama whose policies on the wars, bailouts for the rich, union busting etc, angered tens of millions.

The big problem now is the urgent need to force the office dwellers at AFL-CIO HQ to unleash our Labor Party so people have somewhere to go as they leave the swamp of the Democrat party.