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Items worth reading on Labor and Dem establishment

As supplement to the two items I posted after the Iowa caucuses, I recommend Harold Meyerson's columun in this morning's Washington Post, "Labor's Iowa Implosion" He knows a lot more about labor movement politics than I do, and basically takes the same view but adds a hugely important point:

The irony is that the candidates who stole the show in Iowa, John Kerry and John Edwards, have surged in part by embracing, in the words of one union leader, "a populist-progressive message that labor's been promoting, and that few Democrats this side of Paul Wellstone were saying just a few years ago." On Monday night Kerry spoke of the "imbalance of power in the American workplace" and Edwards condemned the denigration of workers in George W. Bush's America. Labor's message still resonates, but its ability to pick a messenger clearly needs some work.

I should also agree with the person who in the comments noted that organized labor had done a good job of bringing voters to the polls, even if they didn't vote for Dean or Gephardt. Meyerson confirms this. That is a good sign for labor's ability to do the same thing in November, and, for a change, not exclusively for union members.

Second, in the post in which I argued that the insider/outsider distinction among Democrats was less important, I should have linked to Nicholas Confessore's great piece in the newest Washington Monthly, "The Myth of the Democratic Establishment."

Posted by Mark Schmitt on January 21, 2004 | Permalink


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