20 April 2009

Quoteable III

When Giuliani filed his suit, I wanted to help the TDU [Teamsters Democratic Union] as best I could. So I called up a big law firm in New York and asked if they'd come into it, pro bono, for TDU. I talked to a friend of mine there and told him how TDU wanted to argue in favor of rank-and-file elections.

He was excited. He told me he'd talk to some other lawyers and call me back.

But when he did call back a few weeks later he said, "Sorry, we can't help."

He said that the older lawyers who were liberals like him wanted to do it, but the younger lawyers did not. The younger lawyers didn't want to be involved with Teamsters at all.

"But we're the good guys," I said.

"That's not it. They don't like any Teamsters."


"They don't like the fact that they make $40,000 a year...you know...just for driving a truck."

I was unhappy with the decision, but I also felt a secret thrill...the idea that 28-year old lawyers, driving BMW's, making only $100,000 a year, could resent these rank-and-file Teamsters, could resent people like Bill and Diane, and even now, at the end of the Reagan era, when every other union had been run off the road, young lawyers could still loook out, could still see, pulling up in their rearview mirrors, riding their bumpers...the Teamsters, coming after them, breathing down their necks making $40,000 a year.

-Tom Geoghegan, Which Side Are You On? pp 159-160.