By Mr. Curmudgeon
Much has been made of Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa’s remarks before a Labor Day crowd comprised of a few thousand of his closest thugs. “President Obama,” he said in a prelude to the big man’s arrival, “this is your army.” He then assured the nation’s community organizer, “We are ready to march,” telling Obama’s army the Tea Party would soon find itself sleeping with the fishes. “We are ready to march. Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.”
Hoffa is a chip off the old block. His father, the original Jimmy Hoffa, headed the Teamsters Union from 1957 until his arrest and conviction in 1964 for attempting to bribe members of a federal grand jury. Five years were added to his eight-year sentence after Hoffa was convicted for fraud involving the improper use of the Teamsters’ pension fund. Hoffa served less than five years in the slammer thanks to a commutation issued by then President Nixon – there was an election coming and the president needed every vote he could get.
After leaving prison in 1971, Hoffa mysteriously disappeared … believed kidnapped by associates unhappy at the news he would seek another term as Teamster boss. Urban legends vary as to the location of his final resting place. Some say he’s somewhere under tons of concrete at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Still others believe he was food for alligators in the Florida Everglades. No matter how you slice it, Jimmy Hoffa was certainly “taken out,” to use a term his son is fond of.
Intimidation was a familiar tactic of Jimmy Hoffa Sr. It’s laughable, though, to hear violent language emanating from the lips of Jimmy Jr. This cut-rate heavy hasn’t the power of his father thanks to the relentless work of federal prosecutors to charge, try and convict violent community-organizing union thugs.
Add to this the fact we live in a different America. The recent union thuggery displayed during the Wisconsin legislature’s battle to control the costs associated with the state’s bloated public employee pension fund, proved just how powerless the Jimmy Hoffa’s of this world are when matched against an angry and far more powerful electorate. That, of course, is thanks to the Tea Party.
So, it was fitting that a half-hour after Jimmy Jr. gave his goons marching orders to take out the Tea Party, President Obama appeared to personally thank the thugs for their generous offer on behalf of his committee to re-elect. Like Nixon, Obama is going to need all the help he can get.
Movements, like men, are distinguished by their enemies. The Tea Party was dismissed by then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as nothing more than Astroturf on which to wipe her feet. Then the NAACP attacked the grassroots movement as racist. The media pretty much ignored the Tea Party, thinking it inconsequential … that is until Democrats and establishment Republicans got a “shellacking” in the midterm elections of 2010.
Then, horror of horrors, the media sat up and took notice as a ruckus developed during the debt ceiling debate. The Tea Party turned what had been a routine expansion of the nation’s debt into a battle royal – calling Washington’s disastrous spending into question and advancing the popular idea of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The episode further eroded Obama and the compromising House Speaker John Boehner’s approval ratings.
As the American painter James McNeill Whistler once said of himself, the Tea Party excels in “the gentle art of making enemies.” But the befuddled Hoffa, mainstream media, Pelosi and Obama, are enemies whose bark is worse than their gummy bite.
The Tea Party army is far greater in number than all the thugs Hoffa and Obama can muster. And that army is poised to change the political landscape of America in 2012. Progressivism’s usual suspects see the threat and know it is “bad for business” … business as usual.