Department of Distraction: “Taking Care of Business”

A Wee Bit of Political Theater

Here we are in the season of presidential conventions.

In time past the IAFF has been fully geared up, focused on supporting a candidate who can be depended upon to both care for and about working Americans and union members.

Formerly, IAFF leadership has been out on the trail rallying the troops to stand up and make a difference.

Not this year.

Where’s Harold?

Our Dear Leader

Our Dear Leader

Not on the presidential campaign trail, that’s for sure.

A man who has endlessly wined and dined anyone thinking of a run for the presidency, including McCarthy stand-in Ted Cruz, is nowhere to be found.

At this crucial moment the IAFF is totally absent from the national stage because leadership is far more interested in feathering their nest than making tough decisions.

Port Chester, Here We Come

At the very moment when we should be solidifying our campaign recommendations and influencing the positions the candidates will take, Harold Schaitberger has taken off for suburban New York to engage in some political theater.

It’s purely an effort to distract us from the sad fact that the IAFF is dead in the water.

The general president, weeks before the most important political decision in years, is hiding out in Port Chester, New York, fully engaging their city counsel over lay-offs.

Isn’t that what we have district vice-presidents for?

It’s a bit like a battalion chief chasing embers at an all-hands fire.

While I am sorry for the members in Port Chester, Schaitberger has bigger fish to fry, or at least he should have.

Sadly, the pathetic Port Chester diversion will work with many IAFF members who enjoy a show at the expense of the future of the IAFF.

The Decision Not Made

Donald Trump has flummoxed the wily Schaitberger.

Trump’s popularity, or rather the popularity of his neanderthal message, especially among angry white men, has paralyzed him.

In addition, Schaitberger double-crossed Hillary Clinton months ago, reneging on an endorsement for which the roll out was being planned.

The phrase “silence equals consent” readily applies here as Trump’s comments regarding minorities, the rights of women and questioning the fairness of a federal judge, where he made clear reference to his ethnicity, an obviously racist attack, should have prompted Schaitberger to speak out.

Of course, he didn’t.

If Schaitberger really cared about the diversity of IAFF membership, that was the time to both show it and to make a decision.

But, courage would be required.

More and more respected Republicans are fleeing the Donald’s ranks as he subverts the Constitution and preaches hate and division.

If Schaitberger was looking for cover to finally make a difference they have more than offered it, in spades.

Richard Armitage, a no nonsense Republican, is quoted in the Hill, as saying, “If Donald Trump is the nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton,” Armitage, who served as a deputy secretary of State under Bush and as an assistant secretary of Defense under Reagan, told Politico on Thursday.

“He doesn’t appear to be a Republican. He doesn’t appear to want to learn about the issues. So I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.”

Leaderless

The invisibility and virtual non-presence on the national stage of the IAFF during this critical time is proof positive that we are foundering and leaderless, unable to chart a course forward because elected officers protect their cushy positions rather than make tough decisions to advance our union.

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1 Comment

  • Bill says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t use the “Clinton hasn’t been nominated yet” excuse. I suppose it isn’t a given just yet. Perhaps they are waiting for the convention and will rollout a campaign afterwards.

    In many state and local elections, state associations and locals endorse candidates that are, overall, not always the best candidates. I know. I’ve explained it time and time again with our members who ask, “why did we endorse candidate xyz.” The only measure is that if they pledge to support firefighter issues or have done so in the past. It isn’t always easy to figure it out and admittedly, there have been endorsements of unsavory and distasteful candidates. I know. I’ve participated in candidate screenings.

    I suspect that there was some behind the scenes grumbling on the Obama endorsements. Perhaps the saving grace was VP Joe Biden who has always been a friend.

    While I understand that a profession dominated by white men might have difficulty swallowing a Clinton endorsement, it is the best for our members for many reasons. Not the least of which is the future makeup of the SCOTUS.

    When legislative bodies on all levels proceed to chip away at the rights of our members, the first question is usually, “what is the Union doing about it.” My typical response is, “we ask our members to support candidates that are friendly to our causes, that’s the first step and often the most overlooked until those elected begin their witch hunt on public employees.”

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