Biden should support the UAW

Get the Democratic Party’s mind right.

Cory Doctorow
8 min readSep 18


A vintage illustration of striking workers massed before a factory. The image has been altered to insert a large, ogrish, top-hatted ‘boss’ figure holding a comically large loot sack and screaming angrily; he stands before the factory gates, facing the workers. One worker’s shirt has been altered to add a UAW logo. Looming over the factory are two figures: one is Uncle Sam, raising a glass in toast; the other is Joe Biden, grinning. A GM logo has been inserted over the factory gates.

On September 22, I’m (virtually) presenting at the DIG Festival in Modena, Italy. That night, I’ll be in person at LA’s Book Soup for the launch of Justin C Key’s The World Wasn’t Ready for You. On September 27, I’ll be at Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles with Brian Merchant for a joint launch for my new book The Internet Con and his new book, Blood in the Machine.

The UAW are on strike against the Big Three automakers. Biden should be roaring his full-throated support for the strike. Doing so would be both just and shrewd. But instead, the White House is waffling…and if recent history is any indication, they might actually come out against the strike.

The Biden administration is a mix of appointees from the party’s left Sanders/Warren wing, and the corporatist, “Third Way” wing associated with Clinton and Obama, which has been ascendant since the Reagan years. The neoliberal wing presided over NAFTA, the foreclosure crisis, charter schools and the bailout for the bankers — but not the people. They voted for the war in Iraq, supported NSA mass-surveillance, failed to use their majorities to codify abortion rights, and waved through mega-merger after mega-merger.

By contrast, the left wing of the party has consistently fought monopoly, war, spying, privatized education and elite impunity — but forever in the shadow of the triangulation wing, who hate the left far more than they hate Republicans. But with the Sanders campaign, the party’s left became a force that the party could no longer ignore.

That led to the Biden administration’s chimeric approach to key personnel. On the one hand, you have key positions being filled by ghouls who cheered on mass foreclosures under Obama:

And on the other, you have shrewd tacticians who are revolutionizing labor law enforcement in America, delivering real, material benefits for American workers:

Progressives in the Biden administration have often delivered the goods, but they’re all-too-often…



Cory Doctorow

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