President Obama’s decision to speak about the George Zimmerman verdict in racial terms, even though the jury decided that race was not an issue, may reflect a different political agenda – to convince American taxpayers that their money should go to Detroit.
Does this sound like an illogical juxtaposition? Perhaps not.
In failing cities like Detroit around the country, the largest expenditures are often the salaries and pensions of municipal employees, compensation that is often considerably higher than what comparable employees in the private sector are receiving. Municipalities have been unable to contain those costs because the powerful government civil service unions resist any efforts to lower their compensation packages, arrangements that were made during the roaring 90’s and 00’s before the economic crisis hit. These unions are among the biggest campaign contributors to Democrat candidates locally and at the federal level. Their members are also the front line foot soldiers for Democrats in elections. They man the polls and turn out the vote for Democratic Party candidates. In the large urban centers like Detroit, the majority of these municipal workers are African-American.
It is not a stretch to say that President Obama won his Democratic Primary against Hilary Clinton and later won two Presidential elections because these municipal workers worked like gangbusters for him. They are going to expect that he pay them back.
It is no secret that the New York Times is a Progressive newspaper whose editorial board has a pro-union bias. The paper has worked with Democratic Party administrations and especially the Obama Administration to advance his Progressive agenda. This morning, the Times ran a story that paints the municipal workers of Detroit as guilt-free victims of a broken system. The article suggests that Detroit is about to betray those hard-working union workers. All of the images on the article are African-American faces, which accurately reflects the reality in the Detroit municipal workforce.
Late Friday afternoon, President Obama cast Trayvon Martin, himself, and all other African-Americans as victims of cultural racism. This gave the weekend talk shows plenty of fodder and took airtime away from the IRS scandal the NSA over-reach, and other examples of government abuses. It also indirectly reshaped the Detroit bankruptcy not as an example of failed Progressive policies and the greed and excess of government labor unions, but as a case of betraying African-Americans who are being screwed by the system.
This may seem like an overly cynical analysis, but we know that Progressive politicians have repeatedly used race as a justification for increased federal spending. President Obama has taken that strategy to new heights, and in this case, he appears to be using his own status as an African-American to advance that political strategy. By not speaking uncomfortable truths to his Progressive, union, and African-American constituencies about the Trayvon Martin and Detroit situations, the president is missing an opportunity to instill personal responsibility. He continues to foster destructive entitlement.
Conversely, Tea Party Senator Rand Paul recently said Detroit will get a bailout “over his dead body”. Paul believes such a bailout would be immoral and unconstitutional.
Opposition to bailouts and federal spending were the two main rallying cries of the Tea Party Coalition that Paul represents and may have been the impetus for the alleged targeting of Tea Party groups by civil service employees and their unions at the IRS and throughout the federal government. Federal sources and Progressive politicians all over the country called Tea Party adherents racists, which injected race into a protest movement that was about the Constitution and spending. That dynamic galvanized the union base and gave permission to Progressive actors in multiple capacities to stand against the Tea Party onslaught, perhaps even illegally if the charges against the IRS and other federal agencies are true.
Consequently, this political battle is largely between taxpayers represented by the Tea Party Movement and the people in the government civil service unions and Progressive politicians that support them. President Obama is on the side of his foot soldiers in the government unions. In this unfolding scenario, President Obama may be continuing a well established strategy with support from favorable media of using race as justification to repay his union troops in Detroit, despite objections from the majority of American taxpayers.
You may read more from Kevin at his common sense wisdom blog. His book, Discovering Possibility: A Common Sense Conservative Manifesto, is now available on Kindle. The working title for his upcoming book is, Discovering Possibility: The Revolution for Virtue and Common Sense. Kevin offers common sense community building coaching to grass roots groups around the country that are interested in pursuing common sense approaches to community building.
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