Amid President Joe Biden's questionable handling of the ongoing United Auto Workers strike against the so-called "Big Three" U.S. auto manufacturers, former President Barack Obama and his role in the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bailout of the automakers has been referenced, and not necessarily in a good way.
In fact, after Obama recently expressed his sentiments regarding the ongoing labor dispute, he was thoroughly lambasted by some on the left for helping to create the current crisis by way of the 2009 federal bailout of the U.S. auto industry, as evidenced by the progressive CounterPunch website.
In short, Biden's failure to head off a potentially economically devastating strike by union workers has left his former boss Obama exposed to blindside hits on his left flank that won't be assuaged by the "fake concern" for striking auto workers.
In a tweet posted last week, former President Obama wrote, "Fourteen years ago, when the big three automakers were struggling to stay afloat, my administration and the American people stepped in to support them. So did the auto workers in the UAW who sacrificed pay and benefits to help get the companies back on their feet."
"Now that our carmakers are enjoying robust profits, it’s time to do right by those same workers so the industry can emerge more united and competitive than ever," he added.
In response to that tweet, however, the leftist CounterPunch issued a brutal takedown of Obama that chastised him for his insufficient devotion to "labor progressivism" in favor of "corporatism" to the detriment of the "working class" in America, if not worldwide.
The taxpayer-funded bailouts and forced restructuring of two of the Big Three automakers -- Ford dodged the bullet on that one -- resulted in significant closures of plants and layoffs for thousands of union workers while propping up the large corporations that, in the progressive left's view, have a long and horrific record of mistreating workers and damaging the environment in a never-ending quest for maximized profits.
That CounterPunch article further slammed Obama for his other failures and broken promises in relation to union workers, which included not passing labor law reforms, the imposition of Obamacare without "single-payer" national health insurance, not renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement to protect American workers, not implementing massive public works programs to give jobs to the unemployed, and not taking sufficient action to address climate change.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported on Friday that the UAW dramatically expanded its strike from just three production plants initially in three states to now include an additional 38 parts-distribution centers in 20 states -- a risky escalation of the labor dispute with the Big Three companies that could potentially backfire by causing problems for uninvolved American consumers waiting on parts for vehicle repairs.
The strike, which was purposefully limited to start but is being slowly ratcheted up to inflict increasing economic pain on the manufacturers and force concessions, has reportedly already caused more than $1.6 billion in economic damage that includes around $500 million in lost profits for the companies and around $100 million in lost wages and benefits for striking workers.
Now, after initially paying only marginal attention to the growing labor dispute -- and clearly in response to a leaked plan for former President Donald Trump to go speak with striking workers on Wednesday -- President Biden will reportedly join a picket line in solidarity with the UAW on Tuesday.
According to New York Magazine's Intelligencer, this UAW work stoppage is a "strike from Hell" for President Biden that threatens to undermine his "union Joe" persona that likely won't be made better by his joining a picket line of striking workers who, by and large, don't want him or his administration interjecting themselves into the ongoing negotiations between the union and the companies.
Indeed, Biden already tried to dispatch two members of his team to try to solve the dispute -- Labor Secretary Julie Su and economic adviser Gene Sperling -- only to then pull them back following criticism from UAW leaders, including President Shawn Fain, who recently rebuked not only Biden but also Trump and even Obama as being unnecessary and unwanted in the current fight.
"People are talking about them trying to interject themselves into our negotiations. Our negotiators are fighting hard, our leadership’s fighting hard," Fain said on CBS News on Sunday. "It’s going to be won at the negotiating table with our negotiating teams, with our members manning the picket lines and our allies out there. Who the president is now, who the former president was, or the president before them, isn’t going to win this fight."