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It’ll Never Die

Mickey Kaus worries that although support for card check is melting before our eyes like the Wicked Witch of the West, the Beltway pols, spin doctors, consultants, and press have an interest in keeping it alive. He, however, wants it to die “quickly.”

But if the pro-card check forces don’t have the votes now and won’t have them in a year or two, regardless of the appearance of Al Franken, what difference does it make how long the fight goes on? I can understand Democrats wanting it to go away for other reasons (e.g. the image of the party, the sheer embarrassment of James Hoffa in effect declaring secret ballots aren’t all that important). But if killing card check is the goal, it really doesn’t matter when the last rites are pronounced.

Come to think of it, what does it mean to “kill card check”? It never really goes away. There was a vote in 2007 and it is back now. If it loses again (and would there even be a vote if they don’t have 60 in the bag in the Senate?) nothing prevents it from coming back again as long as there are Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. In some sense, it will be around forever and no loss for the anti-secret ballot forces is a permanent setback.

That is why Republicans are falling in love with the issue. If it didn’t exist, Republicans would have to invent it. What else could keep Arlen Specter in line, terrify Red state senators, make Reid and Pelosi look hapless, remind voters that unions’ and workers’ interests are not congruous, and engender a measure of sympathy for corporate America? It is for fiscal conservatives what Roe v. Wade is for right-to-life advocates — a constant reminder to be vigilant and recruit new supporters.

Frankly, the best guarantee that it won’t come back soon is the pro-card check forces’ humiliating experience of watching their support vanish before their eyes.


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