« SEIU: Remaking 2004 Election | Main | RIAA Shakes Down Housing Project Kid »

September 09, 2003

Tapped Disses Labor

What the hell is wrong with Tapped these days? They are going rightwing on immigration, trashing "identity politics", and now they are sounding all DLC-like in dissing labor unions. Talking about the candidates, Tapped writes:

Tapped would like to hear more about Kerry's educational proposals and how they compare with those of Edwards, as well as more about how he thinks we're going to stablize Iraq and get the economy moving again.

No one in the entire Democratic field has been able to answer those last two points to Tapped's satisfaction, come to think of it. Pandering to unions and the manufacturing sector on the economy won't cut it, either. The fact is that those jobs are gone and they are not coming back. And besides, 91 percent of us out in the private sector are non-union and doubt we'll ever benefit from anything to do with organized labor, other than its electoral interventions and the workplace changes won by unions more than half a century ago.

What is the new sector that will arise and reinvigorate the American economy again? What are the candidates going to do for those of us who are non-union workers? Anybody have any ideas?

There are so many f----- up things in that quote coming from a supposedly liberal outpost that I don't know where to start.

Let's start with the word "pander"-- talking about the needs of those activists who are most loyal to the overall progressive agenda is not "pandering", it's basic respect and courtesy.

Second, Tapped equates labor and the manufacturing sector-- a really illiterate statement to make the day after the candidates addressed the SERVICE EMPLOYEES International Union, the largest union in the AFL-CIO. Oh yeah, what are the other largest unions? The National Education Association, the American Federations of State County and Municipal Employees, and the Teamsters-- all largely service workers of various kinds.

And what's this crap about workplace changes won "half a century ago"? Who does Tapped think did the heavy lifting to pass Medicaid, push through education funding for university students, and pass the Family Leave Act?

But the stupidest thing is for Tapped to listen to the candidates talking about the "right to organize", "card check" and all the other promises made to the unions and ask what does this have to do with unorganized workers. Get a clue-- already unionized workers don't need card check, they have a union. It's the non-union workers who need the right to stand up for their rights without being assaulted by union-busting tactics.

The right to organize is all about having a plan to help non-union workers get the pay, workplace rights and power to fight on their own behalf.

I don't understand why a magazine that usually argues for workers rights is spinning this kind of anti-union rhetoric. I hope it stops soon.

Carter Wright has more in his post Reinvigorating the Economy: What TAPPED Misses.

Update: TAPPED replies here and my additional reply here.

Posted by Nathan at September 9, 2003 07:15 PM