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Let’s Call the Whole Thing off, Says Nelson

Sen. Tom Harkin is busy trying to craft a compromise on the Employee Free Choice Act. But at least one Democrat, Ben Nelson, is throwing cold water on the whole thing:

“You take away the arbitration issue, and you still have the ‘card check’, so that doesn’t work. You take away the ‘card check’ and you still have the arbitration problem. And if both go away, you’re left with nothing. It’s a fool’s errand to do this. I just don’t see an agreement happening,” Nelson said.

Harkin must please a number of skeptical Dem colleagues in the Senate, among them, Dianne Feinstein (CA), Jim Webb (VA), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Mark Warner (VA), and Mike Bennet (CO).

One of them, who asked to remain anonymous because of the intense lobbying campaign underway by big Labor, tells Fox, “You cannot find a way to make this work. I’ve heard all the arguments, and I just don’t see it.”

There is, however, plenty of room for legislative mischief which would, for example, provide for punitive fines on employers (but not unions), or mandate that employers allow their property to be used by union organizers (after all, property rights don’t really matter, right?). But it certainly wouldn’t have the pizazz of “free choice.” And the dilemma would be the same for Nelson and the other red state Democrats: is carrying Big Labor’s water going to hurt or help their re-election prospects? Coming on the heels of the Chrysler and GM fiascos, the public may be even less inclined to think Big Labor is deserving of more special treatment.