Obama’s questionable role in the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bailout of the auto industry has come back to haunt him, thanks to President Biden’s poor handling of the United Auto Workers’ strike. It seems that Obama’s attempt to defend his actions during the crisis has only drawn further criticism from the left.
In a recent tweet, Obama boasted about how his administration and the American people came to the aid of struggling automakers, claiming that their support allowed the companies to get back on their feet. However, the progressive CounterPunch website didn’t buy into Obama’s self-congratulatory narrative.
CounterPunch lambasted Obama for prioritizing corporatism over labor progressivism and accused him of betraying the working class by bailing out large corporations while neglecting the needs of union workers. The article also criticized Obama for his failure to pass labor law reforms, his implementation of Obamacare without single-payer health insurance, and his inaction on climate change.
As if Obama’s troubles weren’t enough, President Biden’s handling of the ongoing strike has made matters worse. The strike, which initially targeted three production plants, has now expanded to include 38 parts-distribution centers in 20 states. This risky escalation could lead to delays in vehicle repairs and cause problems for American consumers.
The strike has already caused over $1.6 billion in economic damage, including lost profits for the companies and lost wages and benefits for striking workers. Despite these dire consequences, Biden initially gave the labor dispute little attention. Only after hearing that former President Trump planned to meet with striking workers did Biden decide to join a picket line himself.
However, Biden’s attempt to show solidarity with the UAW may backfire. The “strike from Hell” for Biden, as described by New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, threatens to undermine his image as “union Joe.” Many striking workers are not interested in having him or his administration interfere in the negotiations between the union and the companies.
Even UAW leaders, including President Shawn Fain, have criticized Biden’s involvement. Fain made it clear that the fight will be won at the negotiating table, not with the help of presidents past or present. It seems that both Biden and Obama have been left out in the cold by their supposed allies in the labor movement.
In conclusion, President Biden’s mishandling of the UAW strike has exposed the flaws in Obama’s 2009 bailout of the auto industry. The progressive left’s criticism of Obama’s actions during the crisis and his failure to address the concerns of union workers has only been amplified by Biden’s inability to prevent an escalating labor dispute. It remains to be seen whether Biden’s attempt to join the picket line will actually help or further complicate the situation. But either way, it’s clear that both Obama and Biden have failed to live up to their promises to protect American workers.