Wednesday, November 12, 2003
The Right Union Label http://www.msnbc.com/news/992384.asp
They seemed the most conservative of American institutions. Asked his goals, the great union organizer Samuel Gompers was summarized as saying, simply, "more." It seemed to me, coming up in the 1960s, that they mainly fought automation and business change. I saw them as run by fat guys with cigars. And I saw them as corrupt.
The image, I know, was misleading. But the fact is that unions, like businesses, must either grow or die. They exist to serve people who would otherwise be trampled. Despite unions' best efforts, many of these people are trampled anyway.
That's why I'm proud of the particular unions endorsing Gov. Dean today. The SEIU and AFSCME are organizing, they're growing, and they're representing people who, absent representation, are trampled routinely.
SEIU, for instance, recently organized the staff and professionals at the University Hospital in Iowa City. AFSCME is the largest union in that state.
Organizing is hard work. Fewer workers than ever are organized. The tools available business to stop organizing are better than they have been in nearly a century, and they are often used ruthlessly. Those who sign with unions are fired, those who seek to organize them are harassed.
SEIU and AFSCME are at the heart of this work. They're not fat cat unions. They're fighting unions. I'm glad they're the ones fighting with us.
And if you see the above as a criticism of other unions, if you think I've committed some gaffe in my zeal to make a point, well then, just wrap me in a flag and call me Howard!
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Obama 2008 - I want my country back
Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.