Sunday, May 14, 2006

Labor and Netroots

Labor and Netroots
By diogenes

(Inspired by an AlterNet article on John Edwards and his support for labor unions as part of his anti-poverty strategy, reader diogenes was inspired to write the following piece which echoes what Markos and Jerome say in Crashing the Gate: there is an extremely important bridge that needs to be built between between the netroots and labor. They seem to be fighting may of the same foes — JH)

... CCD’s [Country Club Democratic (CCD) ‘leadership’] would rather eat their children than heed their membership. They dread us more than Republicans – they have more in common with Republicans. Unions are not going to listen to dues-paying members – the leadership has more in common with the CEO’s. CCD’s are counting on us to remember the Nader factor, hold our noses and vote for their guy – then on to business as usual on the cocktail weenie and corporate jet circuit. They are not going to accommodate us, or cede an inch.

We know Feingold gets this. Dean gets it. Edwards gets it, too. I can’t tell you how smart I think it is for Edwards to bypass the leadership, and address the roots. If you want to engage unions in the netroots, forget the hierarchy. Talk to local legislative and grievance committee members – they are already activists. They’ve already butted their heads against the corporate and union hierarchy, and are ready for alternatives. So are their members. These are the folks that do the dirty work of voter turn-out.

Hooking up net activists and union activists is a huge piece of the puzzle, and good on FDL for talking responsibility into their own hands, and making things happen. If we’re going to have a democracy, we’ve got to pitch in.