by Matt Stoller, Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:03:54 PM EST
There's been some good chatter on MyDD about the future of the netroots as we head into 2008. Jerome put out an interesting piece on how local blogospheres are growing, and Chris has talked amply about 2008 and the netroots. For my money, the most interesting piece of netroots development that I'm hoping to see is an alliance between labor and the progressive blogs. When you think about it, labor and the netroots have a lot in common. We're both frustrated at the skewed power dynamics in this country, and we are both working to restore accountability to our political and economic elites, because we see them as disconnected from American society at large. We're both by and large supportive of Democrats, but we also have independent power centers outside of the party and want to hold Democrats accountable. They pump huge amounts of money into campaigns, we pump some money into campaigns. And we're all organizing ourselves to inject our voices into the political process.
A genuine alliance alliance between labor and the netroots should be a terrifying prospect to reactionary insiders, because labor brings scale and resources and we bring innovation and speed. I'm not sure what such an alliance would look like, but I'm curious to watch over the next few years.
One way to think about unions and the netroots is to understand that the funding mechanisms of the right are mirrored in their authoritarian and cruel corporate structures. Taylor Marsh is blogging about a labor dispute in Las Vegas, where nurses were locked out of a hospital because they were unable to come to a contract resolution. The point of dispute was not money, but staffing; nurses are complaining that it is simply dangerous to allocate too many patients to any specific nurse. In response, Universal Health Services simply locked out the nurses and brought in replacements.
This is not a strike, it's a lockout. The Governor-elect, the Speaker-elect, and the County Commission Chairman called for a 30 cooling-off period to continue negotiations, and the SEIU nurses agreed. The company did not, and arrogantly locked out their employees and brought in replacements. It's really no-holds barred in Las Vegas, but the fight is very clear. SEIU nurses want to do their job, United Health Services wants to allow more patients to die so the company can make more money. If you know anything about United Health Services, put it in the comments.
This labor fight is being blogged.