Here is a taste of Michael Tomasky’s New Republic piece “Democrats, Wake the Hell Up!”:
Nobody seems to have noticed this, but over the course of the spring, the country’s four leading freight rail carriers agreed to grant the vast majority of their workers paid sick days.
Everybody remembers what happened last December. The workers threatened to strike over such days, among other issues. President Biden, generally very friendly toward labor, made it illegal for the workers to strike. He was criticized by unions and workers and fellow Democrats and liberal media outlets, this one included.
None of that criticism was wrong at the time. But it wasn’t the end of the story. The Biden administration, chiefly through Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and then–Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, kept imploring the rail companies to come around. Of course the unions took the lead, but the administration’s support was crucial. Last week, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers issued a statement that included these two sentences from Railroad Department director Al Russo: “We’re thankful that the Biden administration played the long game on sick days and stuck with us for months after Congress imposed our updated national agreement. Without making a big show of it, Joe Biden and members of his administration in the Transportation and Labor departments have been working continuously to get guaranteed paid sick days for all railroad workers.”
I want to focus on two points here. The first is that these stories don’t stop developing just because cable news stops paying attention. Joe Biden when elected was the most pro-labor president since Harry Truman. He was that last December. And he is that today. He and his appointees have proven it again.
The second has to do with Russo’s phrase “without making a big show of it.” It’s understandable that the administration and the unions wanted these negotiations to take place out of the limelight. But still, somehow, “without making a big show of it” pretty much describes the Biden administration and the entire Democratic Party. And they’d damn well better wake up.
Biden has been a terrific president. The big legislation. The way he played Kevin McCarthy on the debt deal. The global leadership against Putin. The plain human decency restored to the White House after four years of self-obsessed thuggery. Oh—the 13 million jobs created since he took office, which is more jobs in 28 months than created under any other president, in all of our history, in a full four-year term.
I bet you didn’t know that last fact. The president and his administration mention it, as in this press statement. But do they crow about it? Do congressional Democrats crow about it? What percentage of the American electorate do we think knows this fact—2, 3? And let me ask you this. If a Republican president had accomplished that, what percentage of voters would know it? A hell of a lot more, because congressional Republicans and the propagandists on Fox and elsewhere would be saying it every day, several times a day.
Read the rest here.