There was a time when it would have been insane to imagine a bunch of Hollywood liberals flocking to help promote a film to advance Walmart’s political agenda. But that was a long time ago. It was a time before former Sierra Club President Adam Werbach started flacking for Walmart and its greenwashing campaign, before then-SEIU President Andy Stern lent street credibility to Walmart in the healthcare reform debate, and before Michelle Obama sang rhapsodies for Walmart in her campaign to eliminate childhood obesity and food deserts.
It was a time before rank-and-file Democrats were instructed to get over the fact that their President took unprecedented amounts of Wall Street cash for his election campaign, then expanded Bush’s bank bailouts and failed to oversee a single prosecution of a financial executive for the massive fraud that precipitated the recession, and get out the vote for his second term as if there were any difference between a President Bush or Romney coddling Wall Street and a President Obama doing the exact same thing.
In short, it was a time when the Democrats still pretended to believe that Corporate America should not be crafting public policy on issues like education, taxes and healthcare, that workers had interests that were separate from those of multibillionaire business leaders, and that the Democratic Party stood with the former, not the latter.
Considering what the Democratic Party has become over the last twenty years, however, it’s hard to be shocked when its Hollywood donors and celebrity cheerleaders trot out in front of the step-and-repeat to make common cause with Walmart to attack unions and blame $50,000/year educators for the fact that schools that are too broke to provide textbooks or air conditioning don’t perform like their counterparts in the suburbs and the private sector. When the President himself supports firing teachers en masse for failing to fix all of the problems produced by endemic poverty in inner city and rural America while allowing the Wall Street banks that exacerbate and profit from that poverty to write his economic policy, the world you’re left with is one that includes the dismal spectacle of Hollywood liberals celebrating attacks on public school teachers by rapacious corporations.