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Charles Krauthammer Takes a Swipe At Labor And Dems

5:26 am in Uncategorized by Bill Egnor

labor at the table - Rivera Court

labor at the table - Rivera Court

Ugh I don’t even know why I bother to read the Washington Post editorial page. Maybe it is the boost it gives my morning by raising my blood pressure, but in any case I exposed my tender brain-cells the thoughts of Charles Krauthammer this morning.

Chucky has a piece in the WaPo with the title of “The union owned Democrats” the first thing I thought when I read it was “I wish!”. This is a tired old meme from a tired old man. The idea that everything the Democrats do on issues of workplace rules or safety is somehow motivated by the fact that unions overwhelmingly support Democrats.

It could not possibly be because the funders of the Republican party have been wanting to dismantle the counterbalancing force of organized labor for, well, ever. One of the reasons that Ronald Regan has been sainted if not deified by the Republican Party is that he broke the Air Traffic Controllers union and set the DOJ on other unions looking for mafia ties and corruption. It was the start of the major decline of the Labor movement in this country.

What has Krauthammer’s undies in a twist? A couple of things; first off there is the NLRB’s decision to take Boeing to court over the union busting attempt they made by building a factory in South Carolina, which is a right to work state. To be clear (since everyone including Chucky misses this point) it is not about the fact that Boeing decided to build a new plant in a management friendly state, it is their intentions in doing so. You can build wherever you like, but if you do it with the intention of busting your union at your primary facilities, that is illegal.

He also rails against the saving of the Auto Industry by the Obama administration. Take a look:

In 2009, Obama pushed through a federally run, questionably legal, bankruptcy for the auto companies that robbed first-in-line creditors in order to bail out the United Auto Workers.

You know, the successful saving of our domestic auto industry did have some benefits for UAW workers. But they also took on a lot of liability to help out with that. They are now funding the health care that was promised by GM and Chrysler to employees who worked their entire lives on the factory floor. The UAW did it because it would help to reduce the costs of the companies and save jobs, but it was not like they were not taking over an obligation that was the auto companies. It is and was a big blow to the financial health of the UAW, but it was the right thing to do.

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Should We Care About Politicians Marriages? Or Spouses?

5:39 am in Uncategorized by Bill Egnor

Shrug

Shrug by Auntie P, on Flickr

 

I am a policy guy, first, last and always. The whole point of politics is to govern the polity well. There is a lot of argument over what the values of “well” are and that is as it should be in a democracy. As such I may be way out of the main stream on this, but I am completely mystified why it is we are so focused on the spouses of our elected officials. Just take a look at this story from the Washington Post today.

I think that it is telling that Newt Gingrich has had three marriages and that he started his relationship with the next wife in each before he divorced the previous one (including one in the hospital suffering form cancer.) However I don’t have any opinion or even want to spend any time on the current Mrs. Gingrich, Callista.

She is not the one running for President and as such is not critical to evaluating Newt’s fitness for that office. That might be different if she were an obvious political partner of Newt’s the way that Sec. State Clinton has always and obviously been a key member of President Clinton’s political team. Callista is just his wife, she does not give speeches on policy or advocate for issues or even weigh in on campaign strategy.

The same goes for Mitch Daniels and his wife Cheri. Yeah, it is of some prurient interest that they broke up, she married someone else, divorced him and then remarried the Illinois Governor, but am damned if I can figure out what the hell it could possibly have to do with his position on the issues and the way he might govern if (gods greater and lesser forefend) he becomes president.

One of the structural problems of running for president in the early 21st century is that we have this bizarre idea that presidents have to be perfect to be effective or even just mediocre at their jobs. We are far to concerned that they must be “like us” and we would enjoy a beer with them. That has got to be one of the craziest criteria for the job of top elected official in the nation.

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Republicans Are Not Conservative, They Are Radical. Time To Call Them That

9:00 am in 2010 election, banality of evil, Elections, jerks, Politics, Republican Party by Bill Egnor

On the Left we often talk about the Republicans as conservatives. The assumption is that conservatives are generally Republican and Republicans are generally conservative. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that while this might have been true at some point, continuing to use conservative as a descriptor for Republicans is no longer accurate.

Dictionary.com defines conservative as follows.

con•serv•a•tive

Show Spelled[kuh n-sur-vuh-tiv] Show IPA

–adjective

1.

disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.

2.

cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.

3.

traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness: conservative suit.

4.

( often initial capital letter ) of or pertaining to the Conservative party.

5.

( initial capital letter ) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Conservative Jews or Conservative Judaism.

6.

having the power or tendency to conserve; preservative.

7.

Mathematics . (of a vector or vector function) having curl equal to zero; irrotational; lamellar.

Tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions or institutions, this is what I was taught as a kid was the really mark of a conservative. Unfortunately the modern Republican party is showing in its policy that it is not in any way conservative, but instead is radical.

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