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SEIU officials: Blanche Lincoln should forget about our support in general election

In a move that's likely to ratchet up already-white-hot post-Arkansas tensions between organized labor and the White House, officials with the labor powerhouse SEIU are confirming that they are all but certain not to back Blanche Lincoln in the general election.

SEIU sends over a statement from national political director Jon Youngdahl that constitutes the first on-the-record threat since the election not to support the Democrat:

For all the talk about what this race meant, the pundits are missing the point: all around this country their are families who've lost their jobs or watched their paychecks shrink. They are fighting to keep homes they've owned for 20 years. They are wondering how they are going to send their kids to school. These voters are demanding candidates who are speaking for them, not for the special interests who have destroyed our economy. And we will be at their side making sure that our members, their families and their communities have a voice in the process.

We'll see if Blanche Lincoln is made a better Senator for having to answer to working Arkansans over these past few weeks. And if you are Larry Kissell (NC-08) or Zach Space (OH-18) or Mike McMahon (NY-13) or Michael Arcuri (NY-24) or another candidate who stopped advocating for the needs of working families once elected, the labor movement is going to be at the side of those voters who demand change.

The lumping of Lincoln with other Dems who "stopped advocating for the needs of working families," all Dems the union is not supporting, is unmistakable. And a second senior SEIU official confirms to me that Youngdahl's statement is meant to be read as a clear sign that the union won't back her.

"We have a responsibility to our members," this official says. "We have issues our members want us to fight for. She doesn't fight for those issues. It's not realistic that she should expect our support."

Asked for comment, SEIU spokesperson Michelle Ringuette didn't dispute this interpretation, saying only: "We're interested in candidates that are going to go out there and fight for working people in this country."

An anonymous White House official yesterday took a hard shot at labor for backing Halter, describing it as a "pointless exercise," a barb that reflects deep anger among White House advisers at unions for bucking them and the Dem establishment. But labor doesn't appear to be willing to change course.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 9, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Comments

Great. So now we can throw money at states that we can win, right? And so does the WH argument that $10 million should've been spent in places where we're not going to lose at least have merit now, even if we don't agree with the sentiment? Does everyone feel respected now?

Posted by: fbacon2 | June 9, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

IMHO: This is nothing more than hyperbole, positioning, and CYA. This is SOP.

And frankly, while I agree with the unions on substance, this whole mess boils down to: politics, first, Arkansas politics, second, and netroots politics, third.

I think WAYYY too much is being made over a couple of comments.

Also, silver lining in all of this, if Blanche loses in Nov and the Dems retain their majority, that means that she will be OUT as Ag Committee Chair and maybe someone better will fill the spot (not sure who, but while they might be another corporate ag Dem, they may prove to be more effective).

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 9, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

And Greg, I WOULD be interested to find out from Dems, who would take Blanche's Ag committee chair seat if she loses in Nov and Dems hold the Senate. They might not want to go on the record, but any comments from the powers that be on this would be very interesting to me.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 9, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

i'd call that bluff...

Posted by: sold2u | June 9, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@fb2:WH argument that $10 million should've been spent in places where we're not going to lose at least have merit now

Answer NO! That money spent in Arkansas is what drove Lincoln to actually propose progressive derivatives legislation. Without a primary, this legislation would never have come out of the Ag committee.

Exactly why should organized labor support a candidate that was perfectly happy to accept campaign donations from union pacs and then stab them in the back by not supporting the EFCA and being one of the holdouts that forced the dropping of the public option? If she had made her position on these issues clear, labor pacs would never have given her a dime.

Where is her advocacy for shrinking or eliminating farm subsidies, which is basically welfare for some commodity growers while most farmers who grow other crops get nothing?

Instead she is in favor of eliminating the estate tax, which only effects .1% of the people in the country, while whining about the deficit. Better to cut working people's social security than tax the windfall that the heirs of billionaires will get. That's fighting for working people.

Posted by: srw3 | June 9, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

With friends like Obama and these Blue Dogs, who needs enemies? Corporations are 100% "for profit". That means that if it doesn't put money in their pocket - it isn't in their interest.

Since the time of Clinton, we've seen Democrats move quickly to the right - right into the pocket of the corporations.

Do we no longer have a political party "of, by and for the people"?

Posted by: rjmmcelroy | June 9, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Jane Hamsher is not the focal point. We know that she is a nut job, who did not hesitate to partner up with Grover Norquist. So, she is in no position to whine about who the White House has sided with. She sided with Grover Norquist, for cripes sake!!!!!


The important point is;

On election night, after the winner has been declared, the winning side always tries to bind up the wounds, and unite they party, for the coming election campaign.

The attack on the Unions, by the White House was one of the most counter productive, and stupid political moves that I have seen in recent years.

Instead of praising the losing side, for their hard fought campaign, and offering to meet with them, and take their concerns into consideration, the White House decided to piss out the window, on them.

Stupid Stupid Stupid.

Time to bring in a new chief of staff, and also bring in some one who knows how to stay on top of public relations.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 9, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Business has the moeny, but the working people have the votes. If unions and progressives could come that close in a conserevative state like Arkansas, they (we) will be decisive outside the South. If I wwere any of the named House members, who are all in blue states (per the Presidential), I'd be worried about the lack of bodies and money in my race. Kissell particularly was a disappointment.

Do they really think all the smal donors will be back in 2012 if there isn't more of a sense that Obama is fighting for the little people against the big business giant sucking squid?

Posted by: Mimikatz | June 9, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Liam: "The attack on the Unions, by the White House was one of the most counter productive, and stupid political moves that I have seen in recent years."

Couldn't agree more.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Greg, thanks for giving such good coverage to this issue and the Arkansas election overall.

Sadly, back at your old haunt, prospect.org, TAPPED today (supposedly pro-labor!) has nothing more on this than some pathetic water-carrying for Lincoln and pooh-poohing of Halter's challenge. They're even monitoring comments now; I'm a semi-regular who posted a critical argument 25 minutes ago and it has yet to appear.

Posted by: Former_Prospector | June 9, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

My issue is that this kind of bareknuckle politics shouldn't be coming directly from President Obama's Chief of Staff.

Look at the bush Administration's relationship with the right-to-lifers or Club for Growth, for example. The bushies would throw them a bone every now and then but you would NEVER see Andrew Card or Josh Bolten publicly trashing them. That kind of stuff should be kept out of the Oval Office and Rahm needs to learn to keep his petty grievances to himself, or get out of the White House, putting aside the question of where labor chooses to spend its political dollars.

The President is ill-served by Emanuel and his cheap political shots.

Posted by: TomBlue | June 9, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like someone woke up a little grumpy this morning. But how dare anyone call the SEIU's holy war on Blanche Linclon a pointless exercise. Just because it totally was a completely pointless exercise with pretty much no hope of anything in the way of any real potential upside, that doesn't give anonymous White House officials the right to go around being all insensitive like that. :-b

Posted by: CalD | June 9, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The White House attack has put Halter in a terrible spot.

There attack on his union backers, have made it far more difficult for him, to throw his support behind Lincoln, and campaign for her, since it would look like he was abandoning his union backers.

Who the hell do we have running the staff in the White House; a petulant tantrum throwing child?

Posted by: Liam-still | June 9, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

edit:

their attack.....

Posted by: Liam-still | June 9, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

rahm is the worst (dem) chief of staff i can remember. i don't believe a dem official would diss a traditionally-dem base so thoroughly before. what a maroon!

Posted by: skippybkroo | June 9, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The ONLY reason for unions to support Democrats is if Democrats deliver JOBS. If Democrats are only going to bail out BigFinance and place mis-guided elitist concerns about the deficit over American JOBS- what good are they? If Democrats will not support JOBS and JOB creation, then union voters are free to vote over their preference on social issues.

It is the STUPID ECONOMY and the Democrats have done too little to address unemployment.

Posted by: bakho | June 9, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

A second to CalD remarks! Why should the admin make nice with the SEIU when the union is a direct threat to the Obama agenda?

From Foster at The Corner:

"Party affiliation matters, far more than actual ideology, in determining the fate of the Obama agenda...If you held everything else in the Obamacare debate constant and flipped the Ds to Rs next to the names of Landrieu, Specter, and Nelson — there wouldn't be an Obamacare. Simple as that."

Posted by: sbj3 | June 9, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah! Let's all pile on Rahm even though we don't even know if he said it! It's obviously HIS FAULT no matter what happens! Heckuva job.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 9, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Liam....as much as I disagree with you on a lot of things, you're spot on with this.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 9, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Rahm Emanuel again. After he decides what is feasible, we're supposed to fall in line.

The problem is that he was wrong about Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy and wrong when he told Obama to scale back Health Care. Rahm Emanuel, to quote him almost literally, is an 'effin retard.

Posted by: Rufus_Jones | June 9, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

OT, momentary pause in the Rahm-bashing for some more info into what went down right before the BP Oil Disaster:

* Rig survivors: BP ordered shortcut on day of blast *

The survivors' account paints perhaps the most detailed picture yet of what happened on the deepwater rig -- and the possible causes of the April 20 explosion.

The BP official wanted workers to replace heavy mud, used to keep the well's pressure down, with lighter seawater to help speed a process that was costing an estimated $750,000 a day and was already running five weeks late, rig survivors told CNN.

BP won the argument, said Doug Brown, the rig's chief mechanic. "He basically said, 'Well, this is how it's gonna be.' "

"That's what the big argument was about," added Daniel Barron III.

Shortly after the exchange, chief driller Dewey Revette expressed concern and opposition too, the workers said, and on the drilling floor, they chatted among themselves.

"I don't ever remember doing this," they said, according to Barron.

"I think that's why Dewey was so reluctant to try to do it," Barron said, "because he didn't feel it was the right way to have things done."

Revette was among the 11 workers killed when the rig exploded that night.

In the CNN interviews, the workers described a corporate culture of cutting staff and ignoring warning signs ahead of the blast. They said BP routinely cut corners and pushed ahead despite concerns about safety.

The rig survivors also said it was always understood that you could get fired if you raised safety concerns that might delay drilling. Some co-workers had been fired for speaking out, they said.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/08/oil.rig.warning.signs/index.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 9, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Rahm is the Chief Of Staff. He is responsible for what comes out of the White House.

We now have a situation where the White House refuses to engage in partisan attacks on the Republicans, who have called President Obama every name,in the book, but our historical Union partners, can be attacked, in a nano second.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 9, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I love it that we are taking Politico's anonymous quote to attack the White House and specifically Rahm.

Would we get all worked up about an anonymous White House quote on Fox News too? Or maybe Druge Report? Perhaps Limbaugh has an anonymous source at the White House.

Politico is a tool for the Republican party. And the Republican party plans to regain power in November.

Posted by: Beeliever | June 9, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@greg:An anonymous White House official yesterday took a hard shot at labor for backing Halter, describing it as a "pointless exercise," a barb that reflects deep anger among White House advisers at unions for bucking them and the Dem establishment.

Why give white house officials cover by not saying who made the comment. It is the worst kind of journalism, citing "unnamed sources" without giving a reason why they can't be named. If they are not willing to stand by their remarks, then don't publicize them.

Posted by: srw3 | June 9, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The AflCio deserved a good rebudke from the WH since they are always publicly castigating the WH via Trumka. This is the first time I've ever seen the WH publicly strike back at them. Frankly, they had it coming. SEIU, OTH has been more supportive publicly and I doubt they were thinking of them when they said this. The WH & Stern appeared to at least respect each other. I never got that feeling from Trumka.

Posted by: carolerae48 | June 9, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"...Labor doesn't appear to be willing to change course."

Right. Because it's a citizen's job to work for the government, not vice versa. How dare union workers oppose a Democratic establishment, notably including President Clinton and (I would argue) President Obama, who are working tirelessly against them in Arkansas and elsewhere? Boy, if we're not careful, EFCA won't even get a vote.

What? EFCA has gone the way of the public option? Oh well, my job must be to clap louder, I guess.

Posted by: stonedone | June 9, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

It's possible, but unlikely, that Rahm wasn't the SAO who was engaging in petty political bashing. Whoever it was, it shouldn't be coming from inside the Oval Office. This is aside from the question whether or not labor should or shouldn't support this or that candidate, or whether it served any purpose. The Chief of Staff for the President of the United States just shouldn't be engaging in public political spats.


What, has the Oval Office all of a sudden become campaign headquarters? It looks bad, it is not constructive, it detracts from the real business of the Executive Branch, which is conducting the business of government, not the business of the Democratic Party, or any political party. They need to grow the hell up.

Posted by: TomBlue | June 9, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"Would we get all worked up about an anonymous White House quote on Fox News too? Or maybe Druge Report? Perhaps Limbaugh has an anonymous source at the White House."

I guess that's why we're seeing such a strong pushback from the WH this morning on this story, right? A rush to deny, right?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 9, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The country looks at Greece and begins to turn away from the path espoused by the SEIU! Rahm gets it.

Posted by: Guarapari | June 9, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I don't trust Politico's anonymous quote nor all these new commenters today bashing the White House.

This has Republican written all over it.

Posted by: Beeliever | June 9, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Halter seemed pretty squishy to me on unions in general and EFCA in specific, which made me wonder why he became the darling of the AFL-CIO.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 9, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"This has Republican written all over it."

I'd think if this was the case, the denials from the WH would have been early, often, and pointed.


Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 9, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering where unions in AR will put their time and money now. I mean, there's likely a bit of outside-the-state phonebanking that can be done. But there's got to be a limit to how much time volunteers will be ok with spending on races that don't directly effect them.

And local union members will (and should) expect that their dues go to helping their own lives.

Maybe, even if just in AR, they could put all their resources into local issues, and basically ignore the national races. Shift normal phonebank hours into community service hours. Put the money into races, where smaller sums of cash can go a lot further.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 9, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The quote is typical Rahmbo-speak and gutless for not putting his name on it. What will DCCC say when they waste millions more on a failed general effort for Lincoln?

Bottom line, the Progressives and unions now have a good reason to sit out the General thanks to anonymous sources coming out of the WH.

Posted by: bmcchgo | June 9, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how the WH can complain about what labor is doing when labor worked its collective ass off for Obama and the Dems and didn't even get a vote on EFCA. Why exactly should labor bust its butt again? I think that rank and file will vote for dems again, but there won't be a big push to GOTV by them, especially for Lincoln and others that aren't willing to even allow a vote on EFCA.

Posted by: srw3 | June 9, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

BBQ, from what I have read and heard elsewhere, the union presence in Arkansas is minimal. There just aren't that many union workers there. Which, to me, kind of made it curious that there was such a huge union push for Bill Halter. (That said, I would have preferred him to Blanche.)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 9, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Gosh! With all the bashing of the WH and Raham, it's no wonder the WH feels negatively towards the Union and Progressives.

Actually, I don't know they do for a fact, but this sentiment is expressed often by the progressives.

They don't hesitate to criticize this WH and Chief of Staff when they don't have proof, and yet they expect to be respected and included.

Posted by: Jalenth | June 9, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Kaus in California has a related message:

"I'm a blogger. I spent about $40,000. I had one part-time aide, a recent college grad who was prepping for his LSATs. We had no headquarters, no pollsters, no highly paid strategists and consultants. We had a couple of laptops and an old Volvo. And we still ripped off more than 100,000 votes from a three term incumbent.

"...I entered the race because I wanted to start up an argument...about the need to say "no" to the unions and to insist on securing the border before we even talk about amnesty.

"We not only started that argument, but perhaps we helped demonstrate who, in the end, is going to win it...Many Democratic pols know this deep down...They know their days are numbered if they continue to obey the labor bosses and amnesty fantasists while denying average California voters the common sense solutions they want."

http://kaus.sitebuilder.completecampaigns.com/news/newsitem.php?section=PRS&id=8561&showcat=2&seq=1

Posted by: sbj3 | June 9, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I fully back the unions stance. Obama works for us, not the other way around. If you think Blanche "What's good for Walmart . . " Lincoln is the best Dem candidate, by all means give her money and vote for her. I'll pass.

But if you see here as the RINO she is, then don't expect unions to back her when she doesn't share the same beliefs. The truth is, the Dem Party today has more in common with the GOP of the 1980's than it does with traditional Democratic values. I'm for changing that.

Believe it or not, sometimes you have to act on principle. What's the point in backing Obama when he backs the status quo?

Posted by: bdop4 | June 9, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse


BBQ, from what I have read and heard elsewhere, the union presence in Arkansas is minimal. There just aren't that many union workers there. Which, to me, kind of made it curious that there was such a huge union push for Bill Halter. (That said, I would have preferred him to Blanche.)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 9, 2010 12:55 PM

................


The major reason why Unions have not been able to gain much of a foothold in the fairly small state of Arkansas, is because Wal-Mart has dominated political influence there, for decades, and they have moved heaven and earth to keep unions out.

The Unions are trying to break through the Wal-Mart anti-union monopoly.

There were no unions in the coal mines, for a long time either, which was all the more reason to fight for to have them established.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 9, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"They don't hesitate to criticize this WH and Chief of Staff when they don't have proof, and yet they expect to be respected and included."

BINGO.

We are the reality-based community. Fact-based community. And yet we jump on every little unsubstantiated right-wing promoted comment.

Frankly, imho, the comment by the Unions is beneath them and their activities.

They should have IGNORED the comment and went about their business running primary campaigns on "establishment/Centrist" Dems.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 9, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

How much money was wasted by the losing side, on behalf of Arlen Specter?

The White House are trying to have it both ways.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 9, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Liam: The Unions are trying to break through the Wal-Mart anti-union monopoly.

Yeah, I know that. BUT Bill Halter was/is pretty squishy on unions, too. He never would say that he supported EFCA. He obfuscated on it, which is supposed to be the #1 issue for the unions, no?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 9, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

All, more wacky Sharron Engel stuff comes to light:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/sharron_angle_in_wake_of_gulf.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 9, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"Gosh! With all the bashing of the WH and Raham, it's no wonder the WH feels negatively towards the Union and Progressives."

Look - I'm no firebagger - I think the "kill the bill" movement was one of the stupidest fracking things the left ever did. I've been very supportive of Obama and understood that a LOT of compromise was going to be necessary to push through the types of legislation we wanted to see.

I've also generally been pretty agnostic on Rahm - I was not overly impressed with the way he ran the DCCC, but I figured he played the necessary role of hardass for Obama, so, whatever, and spent a lot of my time rolling my eyes at the "Rahm as boogeyman" posts all over the nets.

I'm not in a union, have never been in a union, and I don't think I even know anyone who's in a union. I even understood why the WH felt compelled to back Lincoln in the primary.

Having said all that, this quote was enormously disappointing. I have no idea if Rahm was the source for the quote or not - but it doesn't really matter in the end. It was a stupid, petulent, politically tone-deaf move and as others have brought up - completely beneath the dignity of the WH. The fact that they haven't distanced themselves from it is all that much more disillusioning.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 9, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The BBQChickenSlave:
"And local union members will (and should) expect that their dues go to helping their own lives."

Y'know, it's talk like that that can put you in a 55 gallon drum full of gravel plugging an oil well.

The Yoonyun Bosses will determine how and on whom "your" money is spent.

And if "your" money is spent on advocating for some non-union schlub to get a minimum wage raise, or to let some Mexican come in and "break your rice bowl" by scabbing on you, well, that's really no business of yours, see?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still-a-slave:
"The major reason why Unions have not been able to gain much of a foothold in the fairly small state of Arkansas, is because Wal-Mart has dominated political influence there, for decades, and they have moved heaven and earth to keep unions out."

No, fool, yoonyuns have minmal traction in Arkansas because it is a "Right To Work" state, where the closed shop is illegal.
This means that you do NOT have to join a union to get a job, joining the union, where there is union representation in the workplace is OPTIONAL.
Staying IN that union is OPTIONAL.
Unions HATE HATE HATE "Right To Work", since it makes them "earn their keep" with their members.

"The Unions are trying to break through the Wal-Mart anti-union monopoly."

This may come as a great shock to you, but Wal Mart is NOT the only employer in Arkansas. Tyson's Chicken comes to mind.

"There were no unions in the coal mines, for a long time either, which was all the more reason to fight for to have them established."

Ah-yep...they're established. So now what?
Has having a union in the pits mean that there has never been a fatal accident now?

Is Appalachia now the "new 90210"?

Uhhh, NOPE.

So what's your point?

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@bm:Ah-yep...they're established. So now what? Has having a union in the pits mean that there has never been a fatal accident now? Is Appalachia now the "new 90210"?
Uhhh, NOPE. So what's your point?

If you think that the UMW hasn't improved the lives of workers in coal mines, I have some sea side property in Kansas to sell you.

Posted by: srw3 | June 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

slave rw3:
"If you think that the UMW hasn't improved the lives of workers in coal mines."

That's not what I said, nor what I implied.

Coach isn't impressed by how vigorously you tackle your own straw-man, ace.

The point is what have they done LATELY?

And even more pointedly, what have they NOT done?

Trumka should worry a little less about DC, and a little more about West-by Gawd-Virginia and Kentucky.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 9, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Can we get a NAMED White House source, pleeze?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | June 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Fire Rahm!

Posted by: JPRS | June 9, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The WH Official who made that comment about the Unions is a coward! Why not come out of the shaddows and say it in person! Why hide behind a secret quote? Why not be proud of how you feel?

Rahm is a coward. We all know it was him! Say it on Camera buddy!

Obama has split his base and most will stay hime in 2012. He hasnt changed anything because he continues to listen to these corporate schills who ruin the country every day!

Posted by: gamblndan | June 9, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I said it before the primary and I'll say it again now: Bye Bye Blanche. If I were labor I wouldn't spend one dime or waste one minute on her behalf. The unions should try to find a real Democrat in AR and run him or her for the House and get him or the ready for the Senate in 6 years. Let the Republicrats go. They undermine the Democratic Party from within and corrupt its message, damaging the party overall. Addition by subtraction. Bye Bye Blanche. I hope you enjoyed your "victory" last night. It's the last one in your political career.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 9, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, here's snarky one, the bluetexan on Blanche:

"First, this depressing point from Markos.

The GOP establishment tries to nominate electable candidates, and gets sabotaged by the teabaggers. We’re trying to nominate electable candidates, and we get sabotaged by the Democratic Party establishment.

Ugh. I used to think term limits were a bad idea, but I just don’t know how you drain the swamp of fetid money in the Senate without them. It’s simply become too difficult to take down a sitting Senator. Lincoln probably didn’t get into politics to become a handmaiden to the oligopoly, but that’s what she’s become. She’s served in the Senate for 12 years — that should be enough for anyone.

Now this, from Yglesias.

…and even though Bill Halter’s challenge to Blanche Lincoln gave her a real scare (and seems to have had a real impact on the course of the financial regulation bill) in the end it was turned aside pretty comfortably since Arkansas Democrats are a pretty conservative bunch.

What a lazy analysis. There’s nothing “conservative” about Lincoln — unless you buy the MSM’s formulation that “centrist” equals “corrupt.” As Markos pointed out, it was the Democratic establishment that defeated Halter — not the political orientation of Arkansas Democrats. I don’t think Halter lost because he was so much “more liberal” than Lincoln, I think he lost because the Clintons and the White House still have their hands on the levers of the Arkansas Democratic machine.

As I said, depressing."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca:

"he GOP establishment tries to nominate electable candidates, and gets sabotaged by the teabaggers. We’re trying to nominate electable candidates, and we get sabotaged by the Democratic Party establishment."

That, I think, is absolutely correct. And equally infuriating. As I've asked previously: Just what is sense in the EstDem "strategy" of insisting upon less electable candidates who undermine core party principles? It is stupid. Just plain stupid. ANd it makes me think that the people running the Dem Party just can NOT recognize that the country has changed a great deal since the Clinton Era (BTW: I also agree with your analysis of Lincoln's win). Triangulating is not only poor policy, it is dumb politics. Want a little proof? How about preemptively conceding to the Drill Baby Drill crowd just before the greatest environmental calamity in U.S. history. Or how about abandoning the public option, even though it was the most popular feature of the reform? And, no I don't have hard evidence, but I also have few doubts that Rahm Emmanuel is the "genius" orchestrating this idiotic approach. He is the Chief of Staff and if he isn't in control of the WH political operation then he is incompetent anyway. Unfortunately, I see few signs that Obama intends to dump Rahm, which makes me wonder about Obama himself, and what he really stands for.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, I really try not to be a "debbie downer" and I have reluctantly conceded on several legislative maneuvers to enact less than optimal policy, but it's beginning to become old. If the WH did not approve of the statements by "whomever", we would have heard something by now=tacit approval.

I am ever mindful of those here and elsewhere who remind us of what the alternative will look like, so I try to pick my battles carefully. One thing I will not do is be silent however. We have an enormous headwind in tackling the influence of corporate cronyism both inside and outside the halls of Congress. To me this is where the line gets drawn.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 9, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Poor union thugs are going to take their ball and go home. Boo hoo.

Posted by: roberth | June 9, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The fight against Lincoln, and an eventual refusal in November to help her hold her seat, is actually a reasonably smart bit of politics. Any interest group, whether on the left or on the right, often has to decide whether to show a 'good soldier' mentality and help get 'their guy' elected even when they might not be terribly good on that group's specific issue, or whether to provide a reminder of their own power by pulling back and refusing, thereby making others pay them more attention in the future at the cost of a potentially lost race right now. In this case, since Lincoln is more or less dead meat anyhow it doesn't cost them much to hammer on her (and while Halter would have started out badly behind, he wouldn't have as much baggage or as unhappy a base).

Posted by: notreallyhere | June 9, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, SEIU really proved what a "powerhouse" it is in this election. Give me a break. This proves once again that most Americans don't care a lick about unions, which represent a miniscule fraction of the workforce, think.

Doesn't the SEIU have a Red Cross to picket or the teenage son of a bank employee to scare somewhere? I think the phrase "corrupt thugs" may have actually been invented with the SEIU in mind.

Posted by: Bob65 | June 9, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Even more pathetic than their failure to buy Halter over the finish line in this election is the continued insistence of unions that they are the self-appointed spokesmen of "working families" Hey morons, get a freakin clue, working families have been rejecting unions at record rates for years now. The only thing you corrupt clowns stand for is the perpetuation of your own thugocracy.

Posted by: Bob65 | June 9, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Talk about spending money stupidly. There are only two names that matter in Arkansas (and, no, they're not AFL and CIO) and neither has any intention of seeing his operation unionized. Arkansas is not a battle the unions can win.

And while it gives me no end of pleasure to see unions, in particular the SEIU, flush $10 million down the toilet, I can't help feeling their rank and file (you know, the working men and women about whom they purport to care so much) would be far better served by having that money used to their actual benefit. For instance, bolstering their under-funded pension funds would be a good choice.

Posted by: SukieTawdry | June 9, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

And tomorrow the same idiots on this blog who are whining that Halter lost in this primary and are slapping the SEIU on the back for withholding support from moderate Democrats will go back to talking about the supposed GOP civil war without a hint of irony crossing their walnut-sized brains. If it weren't for Lincoln, the Obamacare "reform" bill wouldn't have passed, nor would the financial reform bill, etc, etc. But hey, nothing says "big tent" like having to pass multiple tests of ideological purity put forth by organizations, unions, that have been soundly rejected by a gargantuan majority of the American public, yet still cling to the arrogant conceit that they represent "working families". Give us all a break.

Posted by: Bob65 | June 9, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"These voters are demanding candidates who are speaking for them, not for the special interests who have destroyed our economy."

That a union can put out a statement containing the above sentence is hypocritical to the point of being surreal.

Posted by: Bob65 | June 9, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh this is rich coming from the SEIU. First they drop $10 million of member’s money into Arkansas to teach America a lesson to not mess with the unions? Are you kidding me? Well, that didn’t work out too well now did it. Youngdahl spent $10 million for what exactly? Regardless, you rolled those dice and lost Youngdahl.

Now you say the unions won't support Lincoln going forward. Shiver me timbers, don't maul me tiger.

In the private sector had you rolled dice and lost $10 million with any company in one shot, you wouldn’t be able to get a job as a shepherd, anywhere.

All Unions area now radioactive thanks to the NEA, UFCW, AFSCME, LIUNA, etc., and your own union’s attitude towards the economic realities of which you all helped to create and we all find ourselves in.

And now thanks to Andy Stern’s very high visibility and his BS, 90% of America now knows how really worthless your organizations are. Now the voters get to participate in taking the unions apart which will happen, it’s just a matter of it being before 2012 but the heat is already being applied.

I do feel sorry for the promises made to members that won't manifest but this whole union thing was a do over as soon as Obama circumvented 200 years of bankruptcy law telling lawful GM secured bondholders to pound sand giving that equity to the UAW. This has subjected every Union agreement with any industry or among themselves to lawful breach, meaning pensions and entitlements goodies you thought would be coming your way will be whittled down at the end of the day by 75%, at least.

Youngdahl! You’re late to the party dude and last call has been announced. Now get trottin and get a job!

Posted by: spiderbyte88 | June 9, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Blanche, not only will the union not back you, you will find the general election a nightmare as well. You are to be replaced.

Posted by: GregBoo | June 9, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

OK, those jerks in the White House are beyond stupid. And arrogant. I'm not even especially pro-labor and this latest little assininity just burns my butt BECAUSE it is so stupid. What are you high and mighty fools going to do without labor support and money? Idiots.

Posted by: nicekid | June 9, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"...officials with the labor powerhouse SEIU are confirming that they are all but certain not to back Blanche Lincoln in the general election."

LOL! After you just wasted 10 mil trying to unseat her, I think it is redundant to announce you are not going to support her.

Posted by: Azarkhan | June 9, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Simply the tail trying to wag the dog.

OK, SEIU, what is it, are you an arm of the Democrat party, or is the Democrat party an arm of Labor? I'd like to know you're opinion, it'll help me decide for whom I will vote.

Posted by: weimerrj | June 9, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

These are the same fools who attacked Howard Dean for his 50 state strategy. And were proven wrong.

Obama needs to get rid of the morons running his political operation. The progressives are the ones who are trying to save the party from defeat in November be supporting candidates that Democrats will turn out to vote for.

The right and the GOP base is already fired up and will vote anyway.Moving to the right won't get them to vote for a Democrat. That's just plan stupid. And independents go with the winner and who they perceive of as being straighforward and trying to solve problems. Not the corporate butt kissers the White House is backing.

Posted by: Hesiod_2k | June 10, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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