Your Congressman and mine, John Barrow, will be hanging out in Athens this afternoon. Barrow will be kicking it with vets at the local VFW post on Sunset Dr. at 5:30 pm. Tomorrow, Barrow heads south, to talk to vets in Waynesboro, Sylvania, Louisville and other towns.
Y’all might recall the folks here at AthPo giving Barrow a little love some months ago for a bill he introduced to raise the mileage rate for vets who have to go to VA hospitals for treatments. He’s probably going to talk a little about concurrent benefits, which is the golden goose of veterans policy.
Anyhoo, as much as we bitch about Barrow for getting cozy with the NRA, voting for the Patriot Act, etc., he’s been a stand up guy on veterans’ issues. It’s the right thing for the country, especially when you’ve got an administration that consistently cuts funding for the VA and other veterans’ benefits. It’s also a smart move politically, given the large number of vets who live in the 12th District.
Speaking of Barrow, I caught a little of him on the radio this morning. He said some good things about the minimum wage, but he was a little vague on the whole having folks from the United Arab Emirates in charge of US port operations thing (he’s agin it).
Maybe the most interesting thing that Barrow said that I heard this morning, was in reference to the UAE port operations thing. Tim Bryant mentioned that some folks are saying that Democrats are opposing this because the unions are pissed off about losing their high-paying port jobs.
Said Barrow, “I don’t care what the unions think.”
Hooboy. Harsh words from JB, considering his hardcore kowtowing to the unions in 2004. And we sort of speculate that, in retrospect, he’d kind of like to have that sound bite back. It seemed that Barrow was a little flustered by Bryant, and not completely briefed on the whole port issue. He might have engaged his mouth before his political instincts got into gear.
Still, John Barrow could walk out and spit on Jimmy Hoffa’s grave (wherever that might be) without the unions getting mad at him. The union leadership, politically impotent and toothless, just wants friends. Of course, while the union leadership, especially in Georgia, is pretty bloated and corrupt, there are a lot of rank and file union members who actually care about labor, not about their own political agendas. They might be a little irritated.
Coming at some nebulous later date, we’ll talk about the sorry state of labor unions in the South, in Georgia, and across the country, why the labor movement is a good thing, spoiled by some bad folks at the top, and why labor has no juice anymore. Feel free to get started on that below, if you’d like.