Sunday, September 5, 2010

Boehner calls for an end to the national 'Day of Shame'

Thank you. Thank you very much. I can't tell you how happy I am to be here in Jefferson City to say a few words at the Chamber of Commerce's twenty-seventh annual Paddlefish luncheon. A lot of my colleagues in the House have asked me, John, why would you head to Missouri during your summer vacation? As an aside, a lot of House Dems ask the same question, only they throw in the phrase labor day. Whatever the words, my answer is the same. I honor Missouri because the 'Show Me State' has a long, proud tradition of standing up against organized labor. That's something each and every one of you can take enormous pride in.

A part of your noble heritage, one about which you've no doubt heard stories from you parents or grandparents, concerns the Metal Workers Union, which basically served as a Communist front. Back in 1935, these radicals, who had steady employment in the lead and zinc field, decided to go on strike. Now keep in mind that this was during the great depression, when steady employment was nothing to be sneezed at. And these ingrates felt they had the right to shut down the means of production with their outrageous demands for higher wages and better working conditions. Things turned violent, rocks were thrown, and one high level executive received a nasty concussion when he was struck by a softball sized nugget of zinc ore. I don't know if all of you are familiar with zinc ore, but it can be quite jagged. But for the grace of God, he might have lost an eye.

That was the last straw. Needless to say, the metal workers learned to truly understand the meaning of union busting. The workers who were allowed to return to the job found themselves on the receiving end of lower wages and worse conditions - all thanks to the union.

Now, how many of you know why we celebrate labor day? In reality, it's a day of shame and capitulation. You've probably heard of the Pullman Strike. George Pullman had a corporation that manufactured sleeping cars for trains. These could be quite luxurious, and were used by those Americans who through their productivity had earned the right to travel with a certain amount of style. Well in 1894, when George Pullman exercised his constitutional right to lower the wages of his employees, they went on a wildcat strike. And it wasn't long before the American Railway Union, which with 250,000 members was the largest union of it's time, joined that strike, a move which basically brought transportation to a halt. People could not travel and goods could not be transported. And just like in Missouri, things turned violent. Fires were started, vandalism was rampant, and I'm quite sure, rocks were thrown.

To his lasting credit, President Grover Cleveland brought in the army, some twelve thousand troops, and they commenced busting heads, which when you think about it is probably union busting in it's purest form. Thirteen strikers were killed, many asses were beaten, and needless to say, the strike soon ended.
Now if the story ended there, Grover Cleveland would probably be recognized as one of the great American presidents. But the story doesn't end there. President Barack Cleveland, a Democrat, made reconciliation with the labor movement his highest priority, so he created a national holiday celebrating labor. Breathtaking hypocrisy, isn't it, but he didn't want to lose that union vote. Remind you of anyone else? In effect, we're celebrating a symbolic victory of workers over management.
 Like I said, Labor Day is a day of shame and capitulation, and with the coming Republican majority, I intend to wipe it off the calendar, replacing it with a day that celebrates management. I'm proposing that we replace Labor Day with Reagan Day.

In August 1981, the air traffic controller's union went on strike. These people didn't just want a pay hike, they wanted a 32 hour work week, and who knows what all else. Probably unlimited free peanuts or some such nonsense. The thing is, the air traffic controllers were on the public dole. They were a government union, which should be an oxymoron, and after November 2, probably will be. But the one positive thing about that was the fact that President Reagan was effectively their boss. So he kicked their asses to the curb, firing the whole damn union and restricting them from ever having another federal job.

Reagan was pretty much the complete opposite of Grover Cleveland. He never apologized and he sure as hell didn't use the event to curry favor with the electorate. If that's not worth celebrating, I don't know what is. I see the porters are bringing out the paddlefish now, so I'm going to wrap it up by telling you that I hope to join you next year on the last Friday in August to celebrate the very first Ronald Reagan holiday. Thank you, and God bless America.


  1. Double fuck those rotten cocksuckers.
    I have been on the front line of many a labor dispute, including several picket lines.I even made the nightly news once.
    Boner needs a rock to the face followed by a broken off picket sign right up his ass.
    I would be most happy to be the one to do it, too.

  2. WTF's up with the GOP purdy-boys' pink ties? Like their Larry Craig insignia or somethin'--are you, or are you the Pink tie club, brutthrrr.