And by the way, what we shouldn’t do -- I just got to say this -- what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. (Applause.) We shouldn’t be doing that. (Applause.) These so-called “right to work” laws, they don't have to do with economics; they have everything to do with politics. (Applause.) What they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. (Applause.)
I mean that. I do. Should Obama stay in Washington and send out a tweet for this just because that's what he did two years ago? After all, it's not like Michigan's not epically screwed:
This governor has a checkered record on saying he wants to cooperate with Democrats and moderates and actually doing it.
First he signed a bunch of legislation that labor didn’t much like and there were no Democratic votes. The governor had control of the house and senate and he used it to advance his early agenda.
But when there was the uproar in Wisconsin over anti-labor legislation there, this governor reassured everyone, “Michigan will not be Wisconsin.”
Damn right. It'll be worse. Which is what happens when you delay fights for a better time. When you keep your powder dry.
Horwitz said he believed the White House would be more aggressive on the labor battle in Michigan than it had been in Wisconsin.
“There’s nothing but upside for him on this one. The landscape has changed,” Horwitz said. “In the terms of the way the fiscal cliff is being pursued, the president is fighting for the middle class and saying, ‘let’s tax the elites.’ … In the middle of that, the Republicans are saying let’s curb union rights.”
THAT'S WHAT THEY'VE BEEN SAYING FOR 20-30-40-100 GODDAMN YEARS JESUS GOD. This isn't a new thing. They've been pounding away here, trying to get to exactly where we are, where unions are so neutered and assailed as such anachronisms by every fuckstick with Sunday paper real estate that it's hard for them to even rate a seat at the table. And all the while Democratic politicians thought that if we just hunkered down and let this one storm pass us by the skies would be clear forevermore.
This has been building for a while. And I'm glad Obama opened his mouth and said something about it now, because every day you wait, every day you refuse to speak up, every day you hang back is another day they can dig in and poison the ground. Michigan's gonna need all the help it can get in the coming days. Luckily, Wisconsin's sending reinforcements:
Randy Bryce, an organizer for Ironworkers Local 8, is putting together a group of workers from Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to join the protest against legislation pushed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Republicans in the Legislature to make Michigan a right-to-work state.
Bryce, a Racine County ironworker who was involved in similar protests against anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin, said the issues involved are even greater in Michigan.
"A lot of things are eerily similar to parts of what happened here in Wisconsin," said Bryce, who expects 40 to 50 people from his union to travel to Lansing, Mich., by Tuesday when lawmakers reconvene and Snyder plans to sign the bills into law. "I would say what’s under attack there is even bigger because they decided to go after the public- and private-sector unions."