From the ruins of Detroit

Monday, September 05, 2011
Detroit -- a monument to years of Democrat urban planning
Obama went to Detroit, which strikes me as a strange venue to chose to highlight the success of Democratic programs, to deliver his Labor Day speech. Presumably this speech was meant to prepare the ground for his big Thursday night "jobs, jobs, jobs" speech.

Jimmy Hoffa Jr. was the warm-up act, and he ruffled a lot of feathers on the right with his comments. As the Wall Street Journal reported
Rousing the crowd Mr. Hoffa said that workers’ rights are being eroded by Republicans allied with the tea party movement, and urged the union crowd to vote them out of office. But the language turned militaristic.

“We’ve got to keep an eye on the battle that we face — a war on workers,” he said. “You see it everywhere. It is the tea party.” And he mentioned that “one thing about working people is, we like a good fight.”

To Mr. Obama, Mr. Hoffa said: “President Obama, this is your army, and we are ready to march.”

Addressing workers, he went on: “Everybody here’s got a vote. If we go back, and we keep the eye on the prize, let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out and give America back to America where we belong.”
More huffing and puffing on the part of a Union leader. I have no doubt that the Unions can contribute a lot of money to the campaign, but boots on the ground? As I've mentioned before, the Unions could not sustain the protests in Madison and had to bring in any other outside progressive group to swell their ranks. Those outsiders ended up dominating the protests, which did nothing to sell the Union message. If they eventually find a counter-weight to the Tea Party, it sure isn't going to be the moribund Unions.

Aside from that I'm not sure why, outside of sheer desperation, the Democrats would think that causing chaos on the streets would help their election chances. Such thinking seems rather like the Underwear Gnome business plan to me -- I'm not sure what the missing step is that gets you from rioting to inauguration speeches.

Ultimately, the result of Hoffa's red meat was to distract from Obama's message. He's already the Incredible Shrinking President, so I'm not sure getting up-staged yet again is in his interest. Then again, his campaign message seems to be the ridiculous notion that he's an outsider running against Washington (good luck with that Barry), so maybe, from Obama's perspective, the less focus on what he has to say the better.