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Labor Must Choose Between Occupy and the Democrats

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The Occupy Movement couldn't have come along at a worse time, from the viewpoint of the Democrats. Election season is just getting started and Occupy has thrown a giant wrench into the political machinery. Some labor leaders too are sensing "politics as usual" shifting under their feet; the "get out the vote" for the Democrats may elicit blank stares from the rank and file.

Occupy has the potential to create earthquakes within the labor movement and labor's relationship to the Democrats, if it approaches the subject intelligently. This seismic shift could permanently change politics in the United States, much for the better.

Many commentators have noted that the Occupy Movement can be only poison for the Democrats. Unlike the Republicans, who benefited from the corporate sponsored far-right Tea Party, the Democrats have no intention of moving - or even flirting - with an independent movement to its left. Long before the corporate Presidency of Bill Clinton, the Democrats have moved only to the right, with the leftist talk reserved strictly for election campaigns. This evolution is now to the point where President Obama stands to the right of President and arch-Conservative Richard Nixon on most economic and social issues. Times have certainly changed.

In an effort to pretend that times haven't changed, some labor leaders are obsessed with comparing the modern Democrats with the modern Republicans, the latter who have evolved into a party that openly denies evolution and disdains all things non-corporate. Comparing Democrats with Republicans in this distorted manner certainly makes Democrats look good, while also avoiding the real issues at stake.