The rhetoric coming from Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, would be ludicrious if it weren’t so poisonous.
Speaking in Columbus, Ohio, the national union leader took the usual populism to a new, ugly level.
Some of our politicians, and some of America’s biggest corporations have given up on America. Companies are sitting on $837 billion without creating jobs. Banks are clutching a trillion dollars in profits without lending to small businesses and consumers. Too many companies aren’t investing in the future, or in the country that made them great. All they want to do is scrape every ounce of flesh from our hides — for their profit.
Well I say that is economic treason!
The big health insurance companies – the same ones that racked up tens of billions in profits last year and paid their CEOs megabucks – they say they need premium increases of 20 percent or more for no reason at all – except guess what? Greed.
That’s economic treason! […]
Right. And the punishment for treason is what, Trumka? Is that the next step?
One of Trumka’s political allies should tell him to knock it off. Stop questioning people’s patriotism. Stop debasing the public debate. Stop stirring up hate.
(Hat tip: Mytheos Holt, Battle ’10 blog.)
UPDATE (3 p.m.): The AFL-CIO Blog is now highlighting Trumka’s invective, “Trumka: Union Votes Can Beat False Populism and Economic Treason.” When repetition robs this particular accusation of its impact, how will Trumka ratchet up the rhetoric? What slur could possibly come next?
Thing is, you don’t start using rhetoric like this in speeches without first kicking it around the office, talking about it with colleagues. So, the use of this ugly attack comes not in the heat of the moment, but rather as a cynical exercise. Guess our blog headline should have read, “‘Treason! Treason!’ Trumka Shouted with Faked Rage.”
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