1 Baker and Coakley 1

^ a new GOP, of opportunity ? as Labor all-ins the Democratic party

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As the two major political parties get ready for 2016, the party in trouble is the Democrats. It is they who are being bullied to the extreme left by labor unions whose approach to poitics is “my way or the highway,’ who threaten Democratic office holders who don’t go along, who have all but taken over the Democratyic party’s boots on the ground.

We have seen, sadly, the same omnivorous extremism, in Tea Party form, almost devour the Republican party these past eight years. Tea Party intransigence cost the GOP many Congress and senate victories that should have been theirs. it help cost the GOP wins in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, by driving Republican presidential candidates over the right-wing cliff. Voters rejected the Tea Party — and also, in most states, religion-based extremism, preferring more or less centrist Democrats.

But this year the GOP’s realists managed to defeat right wing extremists in almost every major intra-party contest. Today, Tea Party extremism seems as quaint as a non-smart cell phone. Meanwhile, realistic Republicans, in charge again, look poised to win five to eight US Senate seats and to increase the party’s amjority in the House.

Now it’s the Democrats’ turn to be bent out of shape, by organized labor especially, as labor union PACs not only commandeer Democratic primaries and general election campaigns but also provide the bulk of the money. Here in Massachusetts, Treasurer candidate Deb Goldberg — whom we have endorsed, by the way — almost would not have a campaign were it not for labor union activists; and Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee for Governor, would find herself almost as soldier-less as Goldberg but for organized labor’s near monopoly of her “ground game’ and voice.

Coakley at a debate sounds like the nicest cocktail party conversant in the room; but in fact she is almost entirely the captiove of a labor movement that brooks no digression from, or moderation in, its mission to acquire absolute control of state policy, just as, in last year’s Boston Mayor campaign, it sought — and won — complete control of City Hall. that that move almost split the local Democratic party was no bar to organized labor’s purposes. Just loike the Tea Party in the GOP, organized labor was willing — and ready, and able — to squash Democrats who sought to answer to the public interest.

Anyone who doubts the ideological rigidity of the labor movement today — or its willingness to spit on the pib lioc interest as it crushes Democrats who don’t automatically do its bidding — should listen to hiow labor leaders talk. And they’re not shy about it. they tell uou : our way or the highway.

Sound familiar ?

That organized labor has reached this level of destructive influence is no accident. wages have stagnated, even fallen, as the money in our society accrues almost all to the top one percent. The minimum age, even raised, still fall s short, even far sgortm of according to thiose who earn it any participation in the economy other than necessities. Labor union members, just like the rest of us, want a better life, and they are willing to elect union leaders who will break whatever they have to break because, unless there’s much breakage, there’ll be no improvement in their pay checks.

For laborers it’s a state almost of desperation and definitely of frustration, that things for them are not improving and in many cases worsening.

The Tea Party folks feel the same way. True,l that unlike the Tea Party, labor union people are not usually bigots and are ready to embrace social progressivism. But that’s not much different from — if the revese of — the Tea Party’s allaince with religionists.

For “Clinton Democrats” — centrists on the issues, as President Obama has usually been — the future looks bleak as the Democratic party heads to its 2016 Presidential nominating process. Shamelessly greedy plutocrats and petty chambers of commerce have kidnapped far too much of America’s money and almost all of Federal fiscal policy, killing the economy and leaving tens lof millions of Americans living in crisis or close to it. In such a situation, what can we expect but extremist politics ? Since the Tea Party began its political terrorism in 2006, the solidity of the Democratic party kept America united. today, the unity is on the other side, as a newly opportunistic GOP works its way to the value system of inclusion and tolerance (albeit way too slowly) and a new economic agenda of innovation, chance taking, even optimism.

Nobody whom I have heard has expressed it better than Worcester civic activist Juan Gomez : “I don’t want more programs, i want more opportunity !”

Call it “Clintonian” : because it is. Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham made no mistake when she wrote that Charlie Baker is “running, basically, as a Clinton Democrat.”

I’m betting that the majority of voters will sign on to that. Because very few of us are happy in our souls being afraid and extreme.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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