Debbie Wasserman Schultz, congresswoman from Florida and DNC honcho, appeared on Fox and Friends, the show were IQs go to die, and was grilled by Gretchen Carlson about Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa, Jr’s remarks before President Obama’s appearance in Detroit on Labor Day.
Naturally, the right-wing is all ablaze over Hoffa’s tough language—”Let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out“—using it to attack Obama and the Democrats for not “calling out” the labor leader.
Wasserman Schultz, after Gretchen Carlson kept insisting that she say something bad about Hoffa, ask Carlson this question:
WASSERMAN SCHULZ: How many times have you called out coarse language at Tea Party rallies on this network?
WASSERMAN SCHULZ: Almost never.
The “almost” was quite generous.
One of the most hilarious responses to the whole thing came from, if you can believe it, the Tea Party Express, which also called on President Obama to “condemn the inappropriate and uncivil rhetoric” because it doesn’t belong in a “public forum.”
After you stop laughing, think about the oversized cojones on the guy, or in this case, gal, who wrote up that statement. After all the Obama-hate spewed at Tea Party rallies, after all the misspelled nastiness on placards held by Obama-hating Republicans, after all those chants of “take our country back” from that Scary Kenyan Socialist Muslim America-Hating Negro, it takes some kind of shameless moxie to put out a statement condemning anyone for intemperate language.
The Tea Party Express spokesman, Amy Kremer, also wrote this:
Jimmy Hoffa’s remarks are inexcusable and amount to a call for violence on peaceful tea party members, which include many Teamster members.
Well, no, his remarks didn’t amount to a call for violence on anyone. They were a response to the metaphorical war already raging against the working class by Republican anti-union zealots. Here are his remarks in context, as provided by ABC:
Warming up the crowd before President Obama’s Labor Day speech in Detroit this afternoon, Hoffa warned the largely union crowd that the Tea Party was waging a “war on workers.”
“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war,” Hoffa told thousands of workers gathered for the annual event organized by the Detroit Labor Council.
“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march…Everybody here’s got a vote…Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” he concluded.
You see? “We’ve got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers.” The-battle-we-face. That’s what he was referencing with his martial metaphor. And the weapons in Hoffa’s metaphorical army are votes not guns: “Everybody here’s got a vote,” he said.
So, there’s simply nothing to the so-called controversy.
But there is something to the war-on-workers metaphor. The following is a graph that I offer as evidence to support Hoffa’s claim that workers face a protracted battle with right-wingers, who have always targeted unions and union workers:
The correlation between union membership and middle-class earnings is unmistakable, and readers can judge for themselves whether there is a causal relationship, but for me the graph demonstrates that the relentless war on unionism waged by the Right has been wildly successful.
And successful, too, has been the war waged against President Obama, whose term, and by extension the economic recovery, has been sabotaged—yes, sabotaged—by Tea Party-backed Republicans in Congress. And now they seek to emasculate him by cornering him into condemning a leader of the one constituency—unions—that helped create America’s middle class and has held together the Democratic Party through the hard times.
This is no time for the President to yield to his political enemies, nor to those who want to destroy labor unions. As I wrote last week, before Jimmy Hoffa’s battle call:
For those Americans who are depending on you and your party, Mr. Obama, it’s time to be yourself. It’s time to fight those sons of bitches.