I frequently read that the White House is dancing the to the various unions’ tunes because, as the saying goes, you “dance with them what brung you.” In other words, it was union money that helped (in a large way) to pay for Obama’s victory, and now the White House is returning the favor. The unions, having paid for his election, are dictating the agenda.
I don’t actually think that’s true. I think the unions subsized the Obama bid for the White House, not because it expected a quid pro quo, but because it knew that, as inevitably as salmon swim upstream to spam, so too would Obama follow the union agenda. That is, Obama wasn’t bought, despite being paid for.
Why do I say this? Because Obama knows that even if he alienates the unions, he doesn’t have to worry about their money going elsewhere. If Obama decided that his popularity amongst the American masses required him to give the unions a completely cold shoulder, the Democrats and Obama would still be the only game in town for the unions. I mean, honestly, do you think that the unions are going to start funding the Republicans?
In other words, for Obama, it’s a wonderful one way street. He can get money from the unions, but do whatever the hell he wants, because the unions have no one else to turn to. As I said, though, it’s not all bad for the unions, either, because Obama’s core agenda is the same as theirs. Even if they take a few hits from him, they’ll continue to be friends bearing financial gifts.