At the time President Obama made his proclamation against un-civil political discourse following the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, many pundits, myself included, projected that the decree would end up being unilateral in application and short lived at any rate.
That did, of course, end up being the case, as underscored by a speech given last Monday by Teamsters Union boss James Hoffa Jr. introducing the President, in which he broke every contrived rule of the new civility code in a span of less than a minute – including martial references, a rhetorical call to war, and an admonition to his followers to “take these son of b****es out”.
President Obama condemned neither the tone nor the content of the speech, while White House spokesmen and Democrat leaders employed more than the usual amount of circumlocution in evading questions designed to elicit some sort of official response to the comments. This naturally led to some questioning of the sincerity of the President’s directive, made nine months ago.
Mr. Hoffa’s remarks Monday were not the first violation of this edict to come from the left, though they stamped an indelible exclamation point to the charge that the President’s well intentioned admonition toward a more civil tone in political discussion has unfortunately devolved into little more than an hypocritical joke.
Mr. Hoffa’s comments make that much clear. Of equal note, however, is the deeper hypocrisy revealed in the less ostensibly offensive parts of the speech.
Hoffa stated that the tea party – and by extension I assume he means the Republicans, and all other arms of conservatism – has “declared war against workers”, and that these workers stand ready to serve as Obama’s “army”.
An army supporting what? Here’s where things get tricky for the union boss, not to mention the President himself. Hoffa’s speech implicitly and explicitly declared that the President’s policies are good for, and by extension are to be supported by, America’s working people.
And yet the speech was back dropped by two recent events which belie this contention. The first being the most recent report on job creation, for the month of August – which reports that no jobs were created in the month of August.
This is an acutely stinging indictment of the administration’s policies. It cannot be explained away as some sort of snapshot anomaly either, not when the unemployment rate remains about where it has been stuck at for the past 24 months. If we accept the assumption that being employed is in the best interest of workers, then the conclusion that Obama’s policies have been beneficial to the worker is a stretch that requires a particularly elastic imagination.
As damaging as the empirical employment numbers (or lack thereof) are to apologists for the President’s economic strategy, the greatest monument to date of the failure of the Obama agenda is the collapse of California-based solar panel producer, Solyndra.
Solyndra was the crown jewel of the Obama “green jobs” program, earning it not only the directed praise of the President and Vice President, but also a half-trillion dollar “investment” of taxpayers money, justified as an investment in the business of tomorrow. Unfortunately, the business of tomorrow was quite ill-prepared to operate in the market of today.
One has to wonder if the fate of the 1100 now unemployed Solyndra workers is what Hoffa has in mind as an objective as he prepares orders for his “army”.
Solyndra was a tragically perfect example of the folly of government’s attempts to create jobs through market manipulation. Obama thought that he could create demand by decree – the realities of the marketplace declared otherwise, and what we are left with is $500 billion wasted, more people unemployed, and absolutely nothing accomplished in terms of economic recovery.
So it was under these shadows that Mr. Hoffa offered his latest class warfare diatribe. If he were serious about advocating for the American worker, he would be a little more careful about fraternizing with a party and policies that have a track record of sustaining unemployment, and perhaps embrace policies that would re-open opportunities for American workers – policies such as lowering the corporate tax rate, relieving regulatory pressure, and producing domestic energy resources, to name a few – rather than bombastically heap aspersions on those who advance such ultimately pro-worker policies.
Until then, it would appear the left is about as serious about jobs and workers as it was about civility in the public arena.