Scranton Joe’s UAW Photo Op
The president made a quick stop in the Motor City yesterday, but he can’t undo the damage his party’s policies have already done.
We’ll say this about Joe Biden’s presidency: It’s been marked by numerous historic firsts.
He became the first president to raid a former president’s home. The first president to have his son indicted. The first president to brag on videotape about having been bribed by a foreign country. The first president to enact an open-borders policy. The first president to declare war on American energy. The first president to celebrate his 80th birthday in the White House. The first president to poop his pants while meeting with the pope. The first president to implement a comprehensive anti-trip strategy as part of his reelection campaign. The list goes on.
And yesterday, another first, as Scranton Joey Baggadonuts Biden became the first U.S. president to walk a picket line.
Yeah, yeah, we know. Union Joe only rubbed elbows with those unkempt autoworkers for 12 minutes — just long enough to don a UAW ball cap, shake a few hands, grab a megaphone, and get away with a nice photo op before jetting off to California to hob-nob with billionaire cop-defunding Demo donors. See for yourself how he carefully climbs up the short stairs before getting the heck out of Dodge.
After spending about 12 minutes at the UAW picket line and just over an hour total in Michigan, Biden boards AF1 using the short stairs and heads to California for a ritzy fundraiser with Hollywood liberals pic.twitter.com/UyFFEKA4J8— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 26, 2023
As The Washington Free Beacon’s Chuck Ross reports: “It took ‘the most pro-union president in history’ two weeks to join protesters for one of the largest strikes in a generation. After his brief stop in [the] Motor City, Biden headed to Atherton, California, for a fundraiser at the home of hedge fund heiress Liz Simons. Simons and her husband, Mark Heising, run the Heising-Simons Foundation, which backs a variety of left-wing causes.”
Anyone else see an optics problem here? Anyone else wonder why the Democrat Party has lost its once-iron grip on blue-collar America? Anyone else wonder why the UAW endorsed Biden in 2020 but hasn’t yet supported him for reelection in 2024? Anyone else wonder why Donald Trump and the Republican Party are making serious inroads with the working class?
“For months,” as the Washington Examiner reports, “Trump has sought to capitalize on [the] UAW withholding its endorsement of Biden. The former president will deliver remarks at a rally in Detroit on Wednesday evening. Trump’s speech was scheduled before Biden’s trip was announced, though the White House claimed it did not affect Biden’s decision to join the picket line on Tuesday.”
“Wall Street didn’t build the country,” Biden told the crowd. “The middle class built the country. And unions built the middle class. That’s a fact.”
It was a patronizing and utterly predictable comment from this president, who’s trotted it out many times before. But it was also a deceitful comment, as his own party, the Democrat Party, became the Party of Wall Street back in 2008, when Barack Obama became the darling of the bankers and the monied elite. The Democrats haven’t looked back at blue-collar workers ever since, except when they need their votes.
“You guys, the UAW, you saved the auto industry back in 2008 and before,” said Biden. “You made a lot of sacrifices, gave up a lot when the companies were in trouble. Now they’re doing incredibly well and guess what? You should be doing incredibly well, too.”
Asked by a pool reporter whether these workers deserved a 40% pay raise — which is what union president Shawn Fain is demanding — Biden agreed that they do. We suppose that given his desperate electoral situation, Biden had no choice but to agree, but that comment doesn’t do anyone any good. A 40% pay raise, even over four years, sounds laughable to most Americans, especially those living paycheck-to-paycheck. And it makes the entire suite of UAW demands — some of which are rooted in solid ground — seem utterly unreasonable.
Biden is right that the unions gave up plenty to keep their employers from going under some 15 years ago. But his party’s green-energy policies haven’t done these workers any favors. In fact, they’ve done them great harm.
Indeed, Joe Biden’s quick swoop into Detroit — or, rather, into the nearby Willow Run Redistribution Center, which is closer to Metro Airport, and thus closer to California — was no doubt seen by many of those union workers as a slap in the face. After all, Biden’s continued kowtowing to the Green New Dealers has lent fuel to the fire burning between management and labor. As we wrote at the start of the strike:
The push for EVs by Joe Biden brings another consideration for autoworkers: If the Green New Dealers get their way, not as many UAW employees will be needed. It’s long been known that EVs require fewer parts and thus fewer assembly workers and parts manufacturers. And when we consider the environmental impact of EVs — whether to the lands in Africa that are being despoiled by mining, or to the health of the workers doing that mining, or to American roadways that undergo additional wear and tear due to the added weight of non-gas-tax-paying EVs compared to internal-combustion vehicles — the EV revolution doesn’t seem nearly as promising as it’s been cracked up to be.
As the Beacon’s Ross adds: “Biden has pushed the auto industry to embrace an all-electric fleet. He has repeatedly hosted General Motors CEO Mary Barra at the White House and credited her for pushing GM to embrace an all-electric fleet within the next decade.”
Apparently, Joe Biden hasn’t figured it out. There’s a serious tension between traditional manufacturing and environmental obsessiveness, between blue-collar workers and green-energy elitists — and the Democrats can’t have it both ways.
We wonder what these rank-and-file workers are saying to each other over a couple of beers and away from the cameras and the bright lights. And we imagine the message that many of them might deliver to this president and his party if only they had a chance: Thanks for nothing.
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