The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Abject Kerry kow-tow to Boston cops
No Beantown Sister Souljah for John Kerry.
How good a deal, politically, is it for the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate to be seen to quaver before a tiny, grandstanding union of fat-cats, who are holding to ransom taxpayers many of whom are far worse paid than they are, and, in the process, shafting a Democratic mayor and ducking out of a meeting to put across to mayors from across the nation his proposals to improve the lot of folks who don't have the luxury even of paying taxes?
Union membership is down to 12.9% of the workforce (in 2003 - the proportion has fallen steadily ). Union votes are certainly not sewn up for Kerry - in 2000, Bush snaffled 35% of them.
But how many union swing voters in the current campaign would be impressed by a cringing obeisance to shibboleths of past ages, and how many might prefer to have seen a pro-active candidate who found a way to meet the mayors (albeit with some ritual genuflection to the good old days of labour relations)?
Why not fly the guy in by helicopter - a jesuitical approach to not crossing picket lines that Boston Police Patrolmen's Association leader Thomas Nee might appreciate? Or arrange a separate venue - there are only 200 mayors in attendance.
(Kerry seems, by the way, to have pissed off not only Menino but a good many of the visiting mayors - who, it seems, found no difficulty in crossing BPPA lines.)
At the minimum, it's a failure of news management by Kerry's people: whilst he clearly does not want to get involved in the minutiae of the dispute, all we see is him surrendering without a fight to a minute (1,400-strong) band of trouble-makers.
Whereas, the story should have been framed with Kerry as striving to deal with the pressing issues of the cities fighting against the outrageous, anti-democratic tactics of special interests. In support would have been footage on the nightly news of burly picketing cops harassing elected representatives.
At the very least, Kerry should have spoken to the mayors by video link. (See - even a transpondian kibitzer can come up with solutions!)
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