That consarned Obama, bringing neoliberal Clintonites into his inner circle. Why, Democrats these days, they’re just Reagan in a snappier suit, is what they are—wait, you said what, left-liberal Michael Kazin?

The sit-downers of 2008 did have one advantage over their militant forerunners: unambiguous political support from leading Democrats. FDR, despite his pro-labor reputation, made no public statement about the Flint strike; in private, he urged the warring camps to negotiate a settlement. The president left the messy details to the governor of Michigan, liberal Frank Murphy, who urged GM wage-earners to vacate the plant but refused to order the National Guard to force them out.

This time around, however, leading Democrats stood by the occupiers from the start. President-elect Barack Obama asserted, “The workers who are asking for their benefits and payments they have earned … are absolutely right. What’s happening to them is reflective of what’s happening across this economy.” FDR never said anything so supportive about striking workers. Before he was arrested, Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois ordered his state to “suspend doing any business with Bank of America” until the financial giant restored a line of credit to Republic that should allow the firm to fulfill its contractual obligations. The local congressman, Luis Guiterrez, helped pressure both corporations to do the right thing.

Huh. As usual with Kazin, worth reading the whole thing.

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