Four weeks ago we reported how the Big Labor rank & file were chafing in the Hillary Trap and noisily yearning to break free and flock to the socialist banner of "Weekend Bernie" Sanders, but the national labor leadership were forcibly holding them back. Five days ago we reported how that grassroots pressure has escalated on the national labor leadership to the point where even they are stalling on issuing the expectedly obligatory endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Now the two sides of this Big Labor civil war are about to have it out once and for all:
I spent yesterday staking out the AFL-CIO’s executive council meeting in Silver Spring, Maryland, where the leaders of the fifty-six unions that make up the federation are gathering behind closed doors to mull a possible endorsement in the Democrat presidential primary. Sanders got an hour to make his pitch Wednesday; [Mrs.] Clinton will get an hour this afternoon. Then the union chiefs, who represent 12.5 million workers, will debate privately over what to do. Two-thirds of them need to sign onto any endorsement. That could be difficult at this stage in the nominating fight, especially with Sanders looking as strong as he does right now.
Top political operatives inside organized labor – already reeling from long-term declines in membership – do not want to lose even more juice by backing the quixotic bid of a self-described democratic socialist from Vermont. But others lower in the ranks, and those who have worked closely with Sanders over his twenty-five years in Congress, are more concerned about ideological purity than anything else. [emphasis added]
Sounds eerily familiar, doesn't it? The differences being (1) neither Rodham nor Sanders is electable next November after eight years of Obama- a quarter-century of Clinton- fatigue, whereas we have a candidate (Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker) who actually can win; and (2) Sanders actually is an ideologically "pure" leftist, especially compared to Mrs. Clinton, whereas the candidate most Tea Partiers are backing - Donald Trump - is a Democrat in Pachyderm clothing.
At any rate, it should be entertaining to watch, no matter which way the fur flies. If the Big Labor high command forces Hillary on the rank & file, we can watch their enthusiasm plummet, and if the latter forces Weekend Bernie on the the former - or the first option happens and a large chunk of the labor movement secedes and joins Senator Sanders anyway - then one of the Dems' biggest electoral assets will be functionally neutralized.
Maybe. That's something so politically suicidal it seems something only the Tea Party would do. But maybe the same purity fetishism that has bedeviled the Right over the past few years has jumped the "aisle" and will start burning through the Left as well.
We can only hope, pray, and have the popcorn and frosty beverages ready to go.
UPDATE: Um, if Mrs. Clinton's intent and goal was to have the proletarians leaping to their feet, pumping their fists, and shouting her name loud enough to rattle the rafters, I don't think this weaksauce is going to be enough:
Hillary Clinton on Thursday offered some support for a proposal in the Senate that would raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, hinting that the higher rate sought by labor unions doesn't have enough support.
Congressional Democrat leaders have backed legislation sponsored by Washington Senator Patty Murray that would increase the rate to $12 an hour by 2020, which is several dollars less than the $15 backed by labor and [pro]-poverty [extrem]ists.
Big Labor, like the rest of the Nutroots, doesn't want to hear about political reality or any other reason why Her Nib can't deliver them what they want. They want what they want, period, and any candidate who doesn't reflexively bark, "[Gender honorific], yes, [Gender honorific]!" is going to leave town buried in tar and feathers. And they were highly inclined to do that to the old puffgut anyway.
Of course, if she'd told them what they wanted to hear, they wouldn't have believed her anyway. But it might have at least bought her some time. At this point, she needs every edge she can get.