In an attempt to paint Mitt Romney as an uncaring extremist, many accusations have been hurled against him, but a new video put out by the AFSCME has taken this rhetorical technique to new extreme. The union literally accuses the Republican presidential candidate of not caring about garbageman in La Jolla, California because he has not given them Gatorade or hugged them.
The video was released on Monday and as of this writing has over 1,300,000 views.
Another laughable accusation in the video is a claim by Mr. Hayes that his body will “break down” from the hard work of lifting “15 or 16 tons by hand“ everyday. This claim is easily dismissed by anybody even vaguely aware of modern garbage collection techniques, which involve trucks that literally do all the heavy lifting. In fact, the union’s video clearly shows these giant hooks on the side of the garbage truck that are used to pick up heavy cans and dump them into the back of the truck.
This is the equivalent of a shopping mall security guard complaining that his body will break down from the difficult work of driving a Segway around all day.
Add to that: the city of San Diego and the La Jolla section seem to have especially awesome garbage trucks that are not only equipped with heavy lifting arms but with extensive computer collection data services to keep track of everything. This is from the city of San Diego’s website:
Each collection packer is equipped with a GPS system that sends information via satellite on a vehicle's location, and activity each time the packer's automated arms lift. Collection Supervisors are then able to access this information on their fleet's progress from their desktop computers or laptop computers in the field. This system helps determine participation rates and tonnages collected per household as well as ensure customers receive quick response to missed collection.
The ASCME video refers to garbagemen as “invisible people“ -- an interesting observation that was made in a book written by none other than Mitt Romney, as pointed out in this rebuttal video that quotes Romney’s 2010 book No Apologies: The Case for American Greatness. Romney describes his experience working among garbage collectors for a day during his Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign:
As we pulled up to traffic lights, I noticed that the shoppers and the business people who were standing only a few feet away from me didn’t even see me. It was as if I were invisible. Perhaps it is because a lot of us don’t think that garbage men are worthy of notice; I disagree – anyone who works out hard is worthy of our respect.
Even Current TV’s Cenk Uygur goofed on this ad and admitted the notion of hugging garbagemen is "crazy talk." He continued, “Everybody’s got a job to do. That’s his job, bless his heart. You don’t have to give him a hug.”
Note to the AFSCME union: when you’ve lost The Young Turks, it’s time to get out of the ad making business.