The Fall of the House of Kennedy
[i]Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts will not endure unless Republicans clearly understand the meaning of “the machine” that he ran against and defeated.
Yes, it is about a general revulsion at government spending, what is sometimes called “the blob.” But blobs are shapeless things, and in the days ahead we will see the Obama White House work hard to reshape the blob into a deficit hawk. Unless the facade is ripped away, the machine will survive.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy planted the seeds that grew the modern Democratic Party. That year, JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force. This changed everything in the American political system. Kennedy’s order swung open the door for the inexorable rise of a unionized public work force in many states and cities.
This in turn led to the fantastic growth in membership of the public employee unionsâ??The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the teachers’ National Education Association.
They broke the public’s bank. More than that, they entrenched a system of taking money from members’ dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the Democratic Party into a public-sector dependency.
They became different than the party of FDR, Truman, Meany and Reuther, That party was allied with the fading industrial unions, which in turn were tethered to a real world of profit and loss.