INTERPRETING WEASEL WORDS
I just received a newsletter from my union local, the one that shows up a few weeks ahead of every election. I will reconstruct the first segment in the upper left-hand corner:
President and Vice President
Barack Obama & Joe Biden – Dem
(endorsed by our IAFF & AFFI)
John McCain & Sarah Palin – Rep
(neither party contacted Local 2 for endorsement)
“Neither party contacted Local 2 for endorsement.” Isn’t that some carefully worded chicken shit, now? Like they had to wait to be asked! Chicago is a Democratic machine city and Chicago firefighters’ salaries are paid predominantly by Democratic taxpayers, so why shy away from endorsing the Democratic candidate when both the international and state firefighter’s associations have endorsed Obama/Biden? (I didn’t even mention that Barack Obama currently calls Chicago home; I felt that would be piling on.)
I have a hunch based on a preponderance of anecdotal evidence: most of my colleagues are likely going to vote for McCain/Palin, bless their little right-wing hearts. Either the Local 2 executive board is aware of this and doesn’t want to piss off the membership by endorsing the ni– I mean the hometown candidate, or they are also mostly McCain/Palin supporters themselves.
If either or both facets of my hunch are correct, then why not just openly endorse their favored ticket? Are they afraid that a union of handsomely paid public servants backing an openly anti-labor, anti-union presidential ticket during a recession and while the city is laying people off might look bad during contract negotiations? I agree that it might look bad, but it certainly wouldn’t send the wrong message.