Dear Sarah Palin:
After your insensitive rhetoric regarding teacher walkouts in Wisconsin this week, you’ve merged into the next level of Offensiveness. Congratulations. Have fun bumping elbows with Montgomery Burns, Sheldon Adelson, and a slew of attention-seeking, anti-union cable TV hosts.
When you begged your union “brothers and sisters” to “make sacrifices,” were you temporarily in some kind of parallel universe where you had something in common with dues-paying members? Surely you can’t be that ignorant of blue collar etiquette after having flaunted your familial roots in American labor for the past two years.
Let’s be clear about a few things:
- Your husband, who used to pay dues to the Steelworkers when he wasn’t conveniently going back and forth between supervisory positions, is not a union member like you’ve blathered on about for the past two years. Furthermore, there are many reports about Todd Palin’s failure to support members during nearby pickets as well as of his practice of not contesting the hiring of non-union workers to replace bargaining units. Face facts, Palin; If you didn’t live in a closed shop state, Todd would likely be a scab;
- The Steelworkers Union, your husband’s brothers and sisters, spoke out heavily against you in 2008. Todd’s dues went toward fighting against your candidacy:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(412) 562-2444 or
- 901-8442 (c)
August 29, 2008
Statement by USW International president Leo W. Gerard on John McCain’s selection of Sara Palin as his running mate:
“It is important to realize that while the governor’s husband is a member of a union, this does not automatically qualify her for an on-the-job training program to become a heartbeat away from the presidency. And while her husband is one of 850,000 dues-paying members of the steelworkers union, it does nothing to absolve Sen. McCain of his long history of anti-union sentiment and anti-worker actions, including continuously pushing an anti-working family agenda that:
*Opposes giving workers the right to bargain collectively;
*Jeopardizes retirement security by privatizing social security;
*Further threatens job security by signing more job-stealing trade deals without the regard to human rights and environmental abuses; and,
*Erodes the ability of working families to secure quality health care by taxing their employer -provided coverage for both active and retired workers.
McCain’s choice is another example of his poor judgment and his desire to play politics as usual. McCain-Palin is not a team that works for working families. The first-term governor’s record is thin and divisive. And John McCain has a life-long record of being for the rich and powerful. No union card can hide that any more than Ronald Regan’s union card did.”
3. You are not my sister. You’re a fire-starting, self-serving, anti-union, wannabe politician, and I’m not falling for your dog-and-pony show, Miz Lady.
Palin, perhaps you might want to divert your misguided comments to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who wants to eradicate all collective bargaining agreements under the guise of necessity during his state’s economic crisis. Earlier this month, Walker granted $117,000,000.00 in tax breaks to Wisconsin’s corporate interests who he claims are responsible for creating new jobs (when there’s no justifiable data supporting his assertion of this trend occurring or increasing). Sarah, why should working class Americans have to “sacrifice” any further so that Walker can do everything possible to assist anti-union businesses tear down workers’ rights? You’re a union gal in that parallel universe. Why aren’t you speaking out about this injustice? If employees making less than 50 grand a year, with decades of seniority, are expected to “sacrifice,” do you really believe Gov. Walker is interested in preserving the ideal of a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage? No. Certainly not. He wants to make things cushy for businesses to ignore cost of living, employee benefits, and anything else that is responsible for catapulting our nation into a big fat oppressive oligarchy.
But, I forget…you don’t care about those things either. You campaigned and ran with a senator who was against raising minimum wage and voted against it for nearly ten years. You were against the Employee Free Choice Act (Hey, way to express your concern for Todd’s professional welfare!). You were in the middle of a scandal within your own gubernatorial office involving unfair hiring/firing on the basis of nepotism. You sure don’t mind wasting the public’s tax dollars when it benefits you. Why in the world would you ask the people of Wisconsin to ignore their legal RIGHTS to collective bargaining agreements? It’s not as if these workers are demanding unsuspecting Americans pony up for private LEER jets and $150,000 wardrobes. After all, that’s just greedy.
There’s some sort of misconception that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is akin to Satanic literature passed out by the Temple of Set. Sarah, you should clear this up since, in your infinite union wisdom, you’ve probably crossed paths with at least five billion of these contracts. CBAs are not secretive, Pig-Latin-encoded scripts for corporate takeover. Rather, they’re handbooks distributed to members that outline what’s expected from employers as well as workers. In fact, these contracts are the result of negotiations agreed upon by both sides — usually with heavy compromises on behalf of both parties.
Some of the poorest people I’ve known in my life carry active union cards. I can’t say the same about the wealthiest people I’ve met. To suggest that union workers are undeserving of the wages they earn is like arguing that rich people should receive food stamps. My neighbor, a GM autoworker for 40 years, doesn’t wear a Rolex. He doesn’t go on expensive vacations with his wife, who works in the school’s cafeteria. We’ve both cracked up about our “greedy union pay” because we know the truth — it’s nothing compared to the kind of cash the other side brings home.
Look, you’ve had a bad year. Your reality TV show was cancelled. You put those nasty crosshairs over the infamous map of targeted districts, including that of Giffords’. You demonstrated your inability to handle guns and hunt large, still mammals within very close range. You’re weathering rumors about infidelity within your marriage. And now there’s this business about having to deal with your barrage of ignorant, anti-union sentiment! Heavens alive, Sarah. Will it ever end? Maybe you should just call it a political day and focus on the Miss Senior America Pageant. No sense in delving further into that which hasn’t worked for you or America thus far. I think the grownups can handle this one without your complete lack of diplomacy and common sense screwing it up any further.
You pissed off 15 million union workers today. Man, that’s a lot of votes. Maybe you should think twice before you take something people died for so lightly. We’ve watched your cronies ship our jobs overseas. As a group, we’ve taken pay cuts while execs received bonuses. We’ve lost pensions, work hours, been laid off indefinitely, and are scorned for our “greed” while your conservative affiliates do nothing but make things worse for workers. In December, you were against getting rid of tax breaks for the richest of the rich, Sarah. Remember that? And now you’re asking middle-class people — teachers, police officers — to “sacrifice?” OMGWTFBBQ. I think I hate you. Seriously.
I hope Al Franken is taking note of this trip you’ve been taking through Crazytown. Your bullshit deserves to meet his pen.
In solidarity against your insensitive remarks,
Kristan <—real union member (in an open shop state, even)
P.S. Lose the Peggy Hill costume. It’s not making you look like you know anything about foreign or domestic policy anyway.