Imagine a business leader openly saying this about politicians: "We need to stand by our friends, punish our enemies and challenges those who, well, can't seem to decide which side they're on."
If a business leader said this, he would be pilloried in the press and likely called in front of Congress and given the third degree...and perhaps more.
Yet, when the unions' soon-to-be-coronated boss of bosses says: "We need to be a labor movement that stands by our friends, punishes its enemies and challenges those who, well, can't seem to decide which side they're on," the press reports it as though it is merely another news story on the health care debate.
No reporter questions about the audacity of threatening members of Congress, not even a raised eyebrow, nor a whimper of dissent. No question about the appropriateness of the remarks or the boorishness of the manner in which Trumka views elected officials.
Of course, then again, we're talking about Richard Trumka, the same union boss who twice pled his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination for the Teamsters money-laundering scandal a decade ago.
Trumka, who is set to take the reins of the AFL-CIO (unopposed) in just two weeks, was speaking to the Center for American Progress, a liberal "think tank" that backs nationalizing America's health care system.
According to a New York Times blog:
Mr. Trumka, who has been the labor federation’s secretary treasurer since 1995, gave examples on the type of lawmakers he had in mind: “Legislators who don’t understand that their job isn’t to make insurance companies happy; it’s to keep Americans healthy. Legislators who say they’re are all for health care reform, but refuse to stand up for a public system that puts people before profits.”
Oh, really? Perhaps Mr. Trumka doesn't quite understand that putting Americans under the thumb of a federal bureaucracy while further bankrupting the nation is what might have these legislators refusing to stand up to nationalizing health care. And, unfortunately, Mr. Trumka's thuggish and behavior appears to be going unchecked by the media and the legislators he's threatening.
Join LaborUnionReport's group on Linkedin for more news & views about today's unions delivered to you daily.