The AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka, a man not known for his grasp of nuance, just released the following statement to commemorate 9/11:
Wealthy CEOs, anti-government extremist front groups and frothing talk show hosts—from the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks to the Koch brothers, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group, Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the American Legislative Exchange Council—also pushed open the door to hate.
Make no mistake—setting workers against workers is a highly profitable endeavor. How many times during the vilest state attacks on public workers did we hear the question: “Other people don’t have pensions. Why should he?” Prompting that question required twisting the American psyche—which, by its founding nature, seeks to lift the common good. The appropriate question should have been, “Why doesn’t everybody have a pension?” followed by collective action for retirement security.
We’ve seen the costs of hatred in ill-thought wars, in shameful attacks on immigrants and our LGBT neighbors. We saw it in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. We saw it in the racism that has found overt and covert expression since Barack Obama began his run for office—from outright declarations of people who said out loud they would never vote for a black man to the ridiculously persistent obsession with our president’s birth certificate.
In sum, the leader of the nation's largest union -- who was an honored guest of the White House at the president's jobs speech last night -- thinks it's appropriate to commemorate the tenth anniversary of horrifying and deadly attack by foreign terrorists that killed thousands of Americans by attacking a host of other Americans whose cardinal sin is not agreeing with Richard Trumka.
But the AFL-CIO has spent over $100 million electing Democrats in the last two election cycles. So if anyone asks Barack Obama about Trumka's 9/11 remarks -- just go ahead and expect the president to forget all about that speech back in January where he said "only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation."