International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) president-for-life Harold Schaitberger made a faint ripple of news this week when he urged former Democratic vice-president Joe Biden to run for president in 2020.
Biden is fondly recalled for being Barack Obama’s “wingman” and less fondly for never shutting up.
Schaitberger’s ardor for Uncle Joe approaches that of Trump for Kim, you can just imagine Schaitberger whispering, “We just fell in love.”
One very longtime IAFF leader chuckled about Schaitberger’s announcement, concluding that he just needed a little ego-stroking publicity and this was a safe way to do it.
Joe should be reminded that Shady Schait is a shitty king (or queen) maker: just ask Al Gore, John Kerry, Chris Dodd or Hillary Clinton; in fact, his is an embrace of political death.
Since we are a union it’s fair game to ask how Joe as a leader treats his employees.
The Daily Mail, writing about Biden, references George Packer’s 2013 book, The Unwinding, to provide insight into Biden, reporting that he “terrorized staff.”
When he was pissed off his go-to verbal expression was “dumb f**k.”
According to Biden aide Jeff Connaughton, he also had a habit of not learning names, instead using phrases such as ‘Hey, chief’ and ‘How’s it going, cap’n’, which, frankly, sounds a bit dumb f**kish.
You get the impression you could work around Biden for some period of time and he would never quite know who you actually were.
Worst of all, Biden apparently deployed “dumb f**k”, well, in front of the dumb f**k.
That tactic, berating, abusive behavior, anytime, and most especially in front of others, is the absolute sign of a bully.
Perhaps Schaitberger likes Joe because he has seen bullying behavior before and is comfortable with it.
HuffPost quotes Schaitberger, “We really think that we need someone like Joe Biden who will take that center-progressive ― but center ― lane, and who will be the candidate who can speak to workers [in] states like Wisconsin and Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania, who can speak to the real working class.”
I hope Joe is a careful reader as Shady Schait said, “like Joe Biden”, not Joe Biden, and this could prove important later when another candidate appears to be winning and Joe’s calls go unanswered.
(Hillary Clinton can brief him on how that plays out.)
Union members should remember that the political “center” ain’t where it used to be, a thing you would think Schaitberger would know.
To wit, the progressive wing of the Republican party is dead and crumbled to dust.
Many Republicans used to be supportive of labor, not any more; here’s what former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley had to say while she held the position, “ We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don’t want to taint the water.”
Labor rights are human rights and that’s how Republicans view us.
If she was choking, I would step over her to get to the omelette bar; the net result would be a decline in human suffering.
Haley and her ilk are proof that the entire political spectrum has slid to the right and the center is no longer the place to find strong labor support.
Schaitberger has happily marched to the right and would like us to follow.
So, when people talk of so-called “radical” Democrats, many of them are nothing more than union-friendly and pro-environment politicians who would have had a bully of a time at dinner with Republican Theodore Roosevelt, as he toothily proclaimed his support for the rights of labor and the sanctity of our parks.
Theodore Roosevelt would not be welcome in today’s Republican party; he would be cast as a communist in disguise.
Schaitberger’s love for Biden should be seen for what it is: an old man giddy at the prospect of a swan song, even if he betrays the IAFF along the way.
Speaking of betrayal, a word of caution for Joe Biden.
Shady Schaitberger said, “We’re really big on loyalty. If you know anything about us, that’s our fundamental principle: If you’ve been with us, we’re going to be with you.”
Joe might give Mrs. Clinton a call and see how she fared with that promise.