Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Timing Is Everything

Republicans are getting ready for a fight on “card check” — the measure that would dispense with secret ballots in union elections and then allow a government mediator to set wages and  working terms and conditions if the parties couldn’t make a deal in thirty days. It’s the sort of fight that will engage the conservative base and put wavering Republicans including Sen. Arlen Specter on the hot seat.

Republicans got a couple of lucky breaks on this one. First, the auto bailout played out before our eyes. More Americans than one would have thought possible now understand how a union can price a business out of existence and then, even in the face of bankruptcy, be unwilling to step up to the plate to save their own members’ jobs. You can almost see the ad now: “What Big Labor did to the auto industry, they will do to the entire American economy.”

Then, in the Blagojevich scandal, we have Andy Stern of the SEIU discussing who could be tapped for U.S. Senator. We’ll have to see if the story ended there, but even if Stern did nothing more, it was a timely reminder of the closenes and co-dependent relationship between Big Labor and the Democratic Party.

In the face of all this we’ll have the biggest fight in a generation over the power and influence of Big Labor. Is New Politics just forking over favors to the guys who helped throw the guys out? It sure would seem that way if the to-do list for the first year includes giving Big Labor card check — their long-hoped-for prize, which would be a mega-boost to organizing. That, by the way, would fill the union coffers with more dues and in turn bolster the campaign kitty of many Democratic politicians.

It will be an interesting fight if, despite these developments, the Obama administration decides to use its political capital on the card check. Perhaps these events will embolden the Obama team to tell their labor allies that “It’s just not a good time.” It really isn’t — unless you’re itching for a knock-down-drag-out-stop-the-Senate-in-its-tracks sort of donnybrook that will make immigration reform look like a walk in the park.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.