Monday, March 5, 2007

Obama and the Erosion of Democracy

Imagine with me, for a moment, that we are standing at a voting station in Florida. Two large men wearing "vote Republican" buttons come to a woman just in front of us, hand her a ballot, and tell her to make her choice as they stand watching her, and possibly even explaining to her why voting Republican would be a good idea.

Is that functional democracy? Is there a good chance that the woman might feel intimidated? Is that a clear violation of our rights as Americans to vote without interference or coercion? Would the Democrats throw the mother of all hissy fits -- not to mention filing lawsuits charging voter intimidation -- if the Republicans pulled this stunt in Florida? Why, yes, of course, to all of those questions. And most Americans of both parties would support the Democrats cry of "foul" because it violates what we know to be fundamental notions of fair play and the democratic process.

So why then do the Democrats feel it appropriate to inaugurate precisely this type of overtly flawed voting system in regards to unions by passing the wholly inaccurately named bill, the "Employee Free Choice Act?" That is not exactly a mystery. As I posted here, this is a cynical act of payback on a massive scale to Unions that gave multiple millions of dollars to the '06 Democratic election campaigns. The fact that what the "progressive" Democrats are proposing is truly both anti-business and a regressive affront to American democratic principles has not slowed them one bit. They seem comfortable with their hypocrisy writ large.

What surprised me was that Obama has fully embraced this atrocity. Mickey Kaus at Slate has the whole story, with commentary:

No more transcending! Obama takes an important domestic policy position. Specifically, he pledges "We will pass the Employee Free Choice Act. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. ... We may have to wait for the next president to sign it, but we will get this thing done."

The idea of requiring a union, without a secret ballot election, if labor organizers can obtain a majority of "cards" from employees seems like both a big idea and a bad idea.

If Republicans were smart and confident, wouldn't they make a big deal of this--drag the debate in Congress out to give it more prominence, highlighting Obama's support for this change which (more than any tax cut) would alter the very texture of the economy?

Voters--even many socially liberal peacenik voters--traditionally worry that if Dems gain full power they will a) serve their special interests and b) cripple American capitalism in a fit of leftish nostalgia. This bill legitimately triggers both fears. ...

P.S.: I don't think this is an endorsement Obama had to make for political reasons. As Dick Morris says, he's sitting pretty--he can be anything he wants to be. He could be a lot more Gary Hartish! He must want to be an old-fashioned unionizer. [But he has to win the Iowa caucuses, dominated by unions--ed Teachers' unions! They're already organized. They don't need no stinking card-check.** As for New Hampshire--look what the unions did for Mondale in 1984. ... And if Obama doesn't really believe in the card-check, wouldn't it still be smart for the GOPs to make him pay a price for selling out to the unions? That's a lot more important sign that he's a business-as-usual pol than his failure to repudiate David Geffen for taking some heartfelt shots at the Clintons.. ... ]

Hattip: Instapundit

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