Some Labor Day traditions are sacred. For one day, Americans take a break from demonizing the last dozen workers who still belong to a trade union and celebrate the achievements of organized labor by overdosing on red meat and heading to the mall.
But leave it to a union thug to spoil the bipartisan comity. Serving as a warm-up speaker for President Obama at a Labor Day rally in Detroit, Teamsters chief James P. "Jimmy" Hoffa had some choice words for the Tea Party. Cover your ears, everybody!
"We've got to keep an eye on the battle that we face — a war on workers. And you see it everywhere. It is the Tea Party," he said. "And there's only one way to beat and win that war — the one thing about working people is, we like a good fight."
Hoffa called on workers to get involved in opposing Tea Party-aligned lawmakers next November.
"President Obama, this is your army, we are ready to march," Hoffa said. "But everybody here's got to vote. If we go back, and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son-of-a-bitches out."
First of all, "son-of-a-bitches?" Jimmy's late father, the Jimmy Hoffa, would be spinning in his grave if he wasn't encased in concrete under Giants Stadium. Let me drop some Eats, Shoots and Leaves on Mr. Hoffa: it is "courts martial" and "attorneys general," and the universally-recognized plural of "son of a bitch" is always, now and forever, "sons-a-bitches." I'm afraid the soft bigotry of low expectations has taken its toll on the grammatical standards of our nation's union thugs.
Also, the war metaphors might be a tad extreme, no? Some conservatives certainly objected to Hoffa's potty mouth…
In a statement, the chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, Amy Kremer, demanded an immediate apology from Hoffa and urged Obama to rebuke him for "his dangerous comments."
"Jimmy Hoffa's remarks are inexcusable and amount to a call for violence on peaceful tea party members, which include many Teamster members," Kremer said. "We have called on President Obama to condemn this inappropriate and uncivil rhetoric, which has no place in the public forum."
So an unfortunately-phrased exhortation to get out and vote is taken as an incitement of violence.
Like I said, the standards for union thuggery really have fallen.
Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Grammar, James Hoffa, Tea Party, Tea Party Express, Unions