Commentary Magazine


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A Compromise with No Rationale

Salena Zito reviews the lay of the land on card check, acknowledging that it has no chance of passing with the defection of Arlen Specter, not to mention a number of Democratic senators. And she notes that right now neither side is much interested in the Costco/Whole Foods/Starbucks compromise peddled by Lanny Davis. She concludes:

But keep an eye on Republicans and business, who want to kill card-check totally now and redouble their uphill efforts for 2010. They may – and this is a big “may” – want to try to secure some reasonable compromise while they still have some leverage.

But what sort of compromise could ever be reached that says Big Labor won’t immediate push for card check once they have those 60 votes? A “compromise” to provide face-saving goodies to Big Labor does not make much sense for the anti-card check forces. They already have card check beat, and the compromise brings them no future protection. To the contrary, their interests reside in playing along with the “card check is alive” line that Big Labor is spinning. That allows them to flog Red state Democrats and make mischief for the opposition party.

But there is something more fundamental at stake. This is legislation for and by a  special interest group. There is no popular groundswell or demonstrable need for it. We don’t have tales of woe from employees unable to organize. We don’t hear about frustrated employees who, but for the secret ballot, would have union representation. Some may have a visceral reaction to losing the secret ballot or feel badly about the “plight of workers.” But they are not clammoring for any change in the law.