The unions need to step in to save the progressive agenda
Organized labor is the only group who can get past the filibuster
It’s hard to overstate the relationship between unions and the Democratic party. Having worked in the trenches of Democratic politics, I can assure you that the question at most labor unions is not whether to support the Democratic candidate, but which Democratic candidate to support and how much to give. This relationship between Democratic office-holders and labor unions exists almost from the first time the politician decides to run for office. As a result, there are few groups who are harder to say no to for a Democratic politician than labor unions.
Consider that few politicians start their careers in the U.S. Senate. Joe Manchin (D-WV), for example, is now 73 years old. He first won elected office at the age of 35, when he won a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates — the lower house of the West Virginia legislature. I can assure you that in that race, and in every race since then, the unions have supported him financially and with workers at the grassroots. Many of those volunteers going door-to-door and making phone calls would have been members of the local labor unions. And in the era prior to internet fundraising, organized labor was one of the few sources of big financial support Democratic politicians could access to finance their campaigns.
Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Manchin would run repeatedly for office, winning elections for the State Senate, Secretary of State, and ultimately Governor. At every step, organized labor would likely have been his biggest, most consistent supporter.
Then there’s Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). As a youthful social worker and lawyer, Sinema was a political independent and member of the Green party. As such, she ran for the Arizona legislature in 2002, coming in last place. The next time she ran, in 2004, she switched parties to become a Democrat, and…