Monday, December 8, 2008

I Can Has Democracy?

President-elect Barack Obama has managed to surprise me: he has expressed approval of the plant takeover by laid-off workers at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago. That's one more bit of hopeful news from him, and since I've been so critical of him I feel obliged to note when he does something I can approve of. That doesn't erase the things I disapprove, of course: he did support and help push through Bush's bank bailout, of which $15 (some sources say 25) billion went to the Bank of America, whose refusal to extend Republic's line of credit led to the layoffs. For now, the Chosen One can only cheer from the sidelines, but that's a good start. Meanwhile, politicians at the city, county, and state levels are working to stop giving government business to the Bank of America. (Video here.)

We could be in for an interesting four years -- in a good way. I certainly wouldn't mind.

P.S. Another good account of the situation (via). Plus this article from Counterpunch, which quotes evidence that the owners of Republic didn't really want the Bank's money -- they were sneaking out of Illinois to open a new, non-union plant in Iowa.