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Sarah Palin, Says Labor Chief Richard Trumka, Will 'Go Down in History Like McCarthy'

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka went to Alaska on Thursday to deliver a speech that paints former governor Sarah Palin in unusually harsh terms. Trumka, in an advance text released by the labor federation, calls Palin a hypocrite who quit the governorship to avoid being held accountable for her record and is now playing a damaging role in the national debate.

"America works because lots of people contribute lots of ideas -- that's good -- even when some of them are just plain wrong. But people need to come to the table in good faith. That's not Sarah Palin. She'll go down in history like [Joe] McCarthy. Palinism will become an ugly word," Trumka said in remarks prepared for the Alaska AFL-CIO biennial meeting in Anchorage. "Who is this woman, anyway? What happened to her?"

Trumka said that when Palin was governor, "she seemed like a decent person, an outdoorswoman. Her husband's a steelworker. She seemed to take some OK stands for working families. And then things got weird."
After 2008 presidential nominee John McCain picked her as his running mate, Trumka said that "she blew off Alaska. I bet most of you, on a clear day, can see her hypocrisy from your house." He added, "I think Sarah Palin quit so she wouldn't have to be accountable, so she wouldn't have a record that could be scrutinized."

Now, the labor leader said, Palin is "hanging out on cable TV, almost a parody of herself." More seriously, he said, "she's getting close to calling for violence" with her exhortations of "don't retreat, reload." Trumka also said Palin used the phrase "union thugs" in Tyler, Texas.

"That's poisonous," he said. "There's history behind that rhetoric. That's how bosses and politicians in decades past justified the terrorizing of workers, the murdering of organizers. To me, it just doesn't seem OK to go where she's going. It sits wrong with me."

Trumka launched into his Palin attacks just after asking the question, "What is this crazy magnet that's pulling people to the right?"

Palin has endorsed a number of conservatives in Republican primaries, and just this week it seems she may have helped topple her homestate Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The incumbent narrowly trails Palin pick Joe Miller, a Tea Party favorite, as they await a count of absentee ballots. A Miller win would bring Palin's season record to 14-10.

So far, no response from Palin on her Twitter or Facebook accounts. I've put in a request to her political action committee, SarahPAC.

Update #1: Palin now has responded to Trumka on her Twitter feed and included the information that she once was a union member. "Know our hardworking union friends (esp from my days as an IBEW sister, Todd IBEW & USW brother) aren't sheep, they'll ask: Trumka's motive?" she asks. Palin also says there's a bit of transference going on: "Think Trumka's frustrations r w/Obama, not me (high unemplymnt, deals w/Obama&his subsequent broken promises)so understandable Rich's ticked."

Update #2: Palin has followed up with a Facebook post urging "union brothers and sisters" to "join our commonsense cause." She described Trumka's speech as "the usual Beltway nonsense" with "a bit of the politics of personal destruction thrown around." She also accused Trumka of deliberately misquoting what she said in Texas. "Let me clarify things for him: I never called union members 'thugs.' You lie. I called some union leaders 'thugs.' And I refuse to apologize for that because they have acted like thugs – at least in this day and age," she wrote.
Filed Under: Sarah Palin

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15 Comments

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moltenart

So Shapiro says it's a waste of money to give small business owners tax cuts in bad times, while other economist recommend it. And he you state was the architect of the stimulus. No wonder it was of little effect. Losing government jobs should be as justifiable as losing private sector jobs in a struggling economy. Let us not forget, it lowers taxes and reduces government spend which lowers the debt. We have to realize that government jobs are no sacred cow.

September 03 2010 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
anniesez455

Labor Chief Richard Trumka is a very desperate person to speak of Sarah Palin as he does. If it wasn't for her a lot of shadey things would have went down with this presidency. I highly respect this woman for her strenth through all of this bashing and her patiotism. Go Sarah Palin!

August 27 2010 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dsherline

Anyone who believes Palin's use of the phrase "don't retreat, reload" will call American people to violence, as this Trumka character has stated, obviously thinks very lowly of the American people. Of course there are fringe lunatics in every segment of society and they may take "don't retreat, reload" as a call to arms but that's the exception not the norm.

August 27 2010 at 9:01 AM Report abuse +17 rate up rate down Reply
dkreh

I beleive the AFL-CIO is the one pushing for the card check so that votes are not secret. Tell me that is not an open door to McCarthy type intimidation. When I was a young man I was threatened by a union for not joining the union where I worked at the time. The union "enforcers" in that group tried suttle and then direct physical threats. I know some people are pro union but I have personally experienced the dark side of them and see Mr Trumka's utterings as nonesense. I certainly do not see Sarah Palin as McCarthy. That is quite jump. She does represent to a lot of us good common sense values.

August 27 2010 at 7:36 AM Report abuse +29 rate up rate down Reply
retfla2

Good for you Sarah! I would rather see you then 10 Trumka's helping this country. The days of the labor union bosses are quickly coming to an end. The extravagances of labor unions have helpd to cripple this country and people have had enough of them.

August 26 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse +14 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to retfla2's comment
avbysandy

LAYNE- the Problem MOST of us have w/ Unions is they ALSO 'protect' poor workers that should NOT be!! NOT that management's behavior w/ their CEO's HUGE salaries are any better

August 27 2010 at 9:35 AM Report abuse +17 rate up rate down Reply
rlgoff

doesn't look like she "blew off Alaska" at all to me...if she is so hated, why did her endorsement help Joe Hill so much?

August 26 2010 at 3:20 PM Report abuse +40 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rlgoff's comment
bpdarling

Joe Hill PAID Palin her normal $100,000.00 "speaking fee" to get that "endorsement. Sarah does NOTHING for free! Here mere presence RAISES the defecit EXPONENTIALLY, because whoever gives her money is just THROWING IT ALL AWAY!!!

August 26 2010 at 4:30 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
plexisaldom

would the " Police and Fire monopoly -bargaining act " now under consideration in congress allow a unionized emt worker for example to " not " work consecutive 18 hour shifts if demanded to do so by their employer ?And if by unionizing police ,fire and emt's nationwide the abovementioned scenario of an employer " demanding" overmuch of any one employee be eliminated ? And with that would not opportunities for others seeking work in those fields open up due to the increased demand ?

August 26 2010 at 2:15 PM Report abuse -16 rate up rate down Reply
alangele

It's time the workers take back the power from the union bosses.

August 26 2010 at 1:43 PM Report abuse +72 rate up rate down Reply
ddan8719

Senator joesph maccarthy...wisconsin.. republican senator from 1947 to 1957..widely chastized for his fight to protect america from communist insurgents.His constant battle was of course ridiculed from the left as ridiculous accusations..In reality there has never been anothere politician since with the insight of this man..a true protector of american freedoms..Oh..and as we now see... he was right..

August 26 2010 at 1:42 PM Report abuse -11 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ddan8719's comment
jspe7

Where did yo get your information from? McCarthy was just a big liar who had nothing to offer and tried to make a name for himself by destroying the lives of innocent people. He made a name for himself all right, quite a few names that cannot be printed here

August 26 2010 at 3:17 PM Report abuse +26 rate up rate down Reply
Mindy

Where the hell did you get this info? McCarthy went on a witch hunt, and attempted, and succeeded to ruin countless lives. It was under the guise of "protector", and under the reality of a power trip gone horribly wrong.

August 27 2010 at 9:21 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
vivralafrance

she is just a quitter, she failed the voters of alaska, she broke her word, she failed on all her promises , she broke her oath of office, she quit when things got tough - she insults the grizzly bear for they never quit.

August 26 2010 at 1:36 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply

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