Unions: Democrat’s Own Extremists Taking The Local Parties Over?

-By Warner Todd Huston

Michael Barone, one of media’s sharpest observers of America’s political scene, has noted an interesting trend in Democrat politics: unions are knocking out regular liberal Democrats in America’s big cities. Barone calls it a civil war raging in the Democrat Party.

He points to several big city campaigns in which unions rose up to defeat the “gentry liberals,” as Barone calls them, and have replaced them in primaries with union backed, ultra liberals. For proof Barone points to several races in New York, Maryland, and Washington D.C.

In each there was a split between the public employee unions that do so much to finance Democratic campaigns and the gentry liberals who provide Democratic votes in places like Manhattan, the Montgomery County suburbs of Maryland, and Northwest Washington, D.C. And in each case the public employee unions won.

The most disastrous election result, at least for school children, is the loss of Mayor Adrian Fenty whose hiring of school chief Michelle Rhee gained accolades from school reformers across the nation and an equal amount of opprobrium from unions. Fenty lost to ultra lib Vincent Gray — a wholly bought union hack — who has promised to dump reformer Rhee and kowtow to all teacher’s union demands.

“Gentry liberals and public employee unions were allies in the Obama campaign in 2008. But now they’re in a civil war in city and state politics,” says Barone.

What is most interesting in all this is the idea of “extremists” in politics. The left is consumed with attacking the Tea Party movement as the right’s extremists taking over the GOP. Yet here we have the exact same thing in reverse happening in the Democrat Party. The Democrat’s most extreme members are gaining power and preparing to push politics in some of our largest cities and our most blue states even further to the extreme left.

The socialists really are killing off the moderate Democrat, not just in Congress as Nancy Pelosi kills the Blue-dogs, but in local politics as unions kill of the conventional liberals and replacing them with their own, bought and paid for candidates.

In a day when nearly every state budget is deeply in the red due to the unearned, overly generous union salaries, benefits, and pensions of their public employees unions, we see these cities doubling down on the failed policies that put them in this position in the first place.

Amusingly, unions seem to think that conventional liberals aren’t attentive enough to union demands. After all these years of Democrats bending over backwards for unions, union demands have grown so extreme that no reform at all will be allowed.

So, while the left may claim that the right is being taken over by its “extremists,” it is the left, rather, that is being taken over by its own worst parts: unions and socialists (one and the same, of course).

Of course, this political direction will drive America’s cities further into despair and poverty as union greed and corruption further empties the treasury into the pockets of thugs and thieves.

The big question is this: how long will Democrats be able to hold onto the cities at this rate? Even as they are gaining power in the big cities, many unions are shying away from criticizing Democrats up for federal elections as reported last week.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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Copyright Publius Forum 2001