President Obama is in Detroit today, joining in for the Labor Day festivities and scheduled to give a speech about - what else? - jobs and the overall awesomeness of the federal government. From the Detroit News:
Detroit— President Barack Obama arrived in Detroit on Monday just before 12:30 p.m., returning to a city desperate for jobs, where one in four is out of work and union workers are at a crossroads in the post-auto bankruptcy era.
On the plane with Obama was Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, UAW President Bob King, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Michigan Sen. Carl Levin.
Obama's afternoon speech in a parking lot decorated with red-white-and-blue bunting outside General Motors Co.'s world headquarters in the Renaissance Center follows the annual Labor Day parade downtown and he is expected to tout the federal government's auto industry bailout and talk about jobs.
Of course, this is a major campaign moment for Obama, as his presidency has not been quite the glorious revolution for which organized labor was hoping, reports Bloomberg:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he wants President Barack Obama to propose a multitrillion- dollar job-creation program in his speech to Congress next week and that the president needs “another course” to boost his skills in negotiating with Republicans.
“I’m hoping that he’ll be very bold,” Trumka said on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “He’ll stand up for the American worker and say, ‘This is what needs to be done to fix the problem, and I’m going to fight for it.’”
Trumka, head of the largest U.S. union federation, has warned of waning enthusiasm for Obama from the labor movement, a critical part of his political base, ahead of next year’s re- election bid. Labor unions are disappointed in Obama’s tax- reduction agreement with Republicans last December that extended Bush-era cuts for even the richest Americans, and in continuing efforts to cut federal spending by $2.4 trillion amid the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
It feels somewhat discomfiting that the President and the workers of Detroit can get together and talk about the benefits of organized labor with a straight face, since the evidence of labor unions' full power in Detroit is everywhere. And it's not pretty. I can't say this any better than Steven Crowder already has, so I'm going to have him take it away with one of his slightly older but most eye-opening videos: Detroit In Ruins.