George McGovern to fight Card Check in debate ad

posted at 12:55 pm on October 7, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Tonight’s debate will have plenty of political ads, but one in particular may provide a little surprise — especially for Democrats. Former Senator and presidential nominee George McGovern will speak out against the Employee Free Choice Act, otherwise known as Card Check, in a one-minute spot. The one-time stalwart of liberal America takes on the unions in their power play to manipulate American workers and strip them of the secret ballot in organizing elections:

I’m concerned about a bill in Congress that would effectively eliminate an employee’s right to a private vote in deciding whether to join a union. It’s hard to believe that any politician would agree to a law denying millions of employees the right to a private vote.

I’ve always been a champion of labor unions, but I fear that today’s union leaders are turning their backs on democratic workplace elections. I’ve listened to all their arguments and reviewed the facts on both sides. Quite simply this proposed law cannot be justified.

Working families deserve a voice and a private vote. I’m Senator George McGovern and I approve this message because democracy is something that should never be sacrificed.

McGovern’s opposition to Card Check is no great surprise, at least not any more.  He wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal two months ago opposing the EFCA in strong terms.  While he refrained from directly criticizing his party in the WSJ column, he did sound a note of lament for the direction in which labor unions have gone to force workers into organizing.

That note of lament has turned into something closer to anger in this spot, and this time McGovern includes politicians in his pointed criticism.  The man who lost a national election to Richard Nixon puts his passion for democracy and the necessary safeguards of the secret ballot on display for a national audience tonight, and the timing could not be worse for Democrats.  This debate will likely get far more viewers than the previous Friday-night event, and McGovern’s words will resonate not just with conservatives, but also with blue-collar workers who may wonder why Democrats seem so eager to sell out both them and democracy in order to boost the political power of unions.

And guess who supports the EFCA?  Barack Obama. John McCain has to find a way to mention this and McGovern’s opposition in tonight’s debate.


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Even McGovern is better than Obama.

Mark1971 on October 7, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Congratulations, Congressional Dems. You’re to the left of George McGovern.

amerpundit on October 7, 2008 at 12:58 PM

This is a great issue for Palin as well, particularly since it looks like her counterpart (Biden) also supports EFCA.

‘Seems like she should pop up to Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio soon.

Y-not on October 7, 2008 at 1:00 PM

McGovern-Clinton 2012! Preserving Freedom and Democracy!

joepub on October 7, 2008 at 1:02 PM

McGovern is too old/obscure. A lot of Americans don’t know who he is or this will be their first time hearing about Card Check. McCain needs to bring this us tonight. There has to be a least one question about jobs tonight; mention it then.

Trent1289 on October 7, 2008 at 1:02 PM

She should get Todd Palin, Union member out there as well.

joepub on October 7, 2008 at 1:03 PM

John McCain has to find a way to mention this and McGovern’s opposition in tonight’s debate.

Yep.

McCain has soooo much ammo for tonight. Let’s all hope he uses it.

lorien1973 on October 7, 2008 at 1:03 PM

John McCain has to find a way to mention this and McGovern’s opposition in tonight’s debate.

Oh, hell yeah. Even if it seems non sequitur, it’ll make this ad more effective.

rockhead on October 7, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Rick Berman strikes again

MrSteve on October 7, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Ed, thanks for the WSJ link. I read that column in my hardcopy two months ago; it’s an excellent article.

On occasion, though not recently, I’ve seen ads in SW Ohio regarding this topic. I forget who sponsored them.

Whatever the case, this is one more example of Obama’s un-American bent. The body of evidence has long been overwhelming, but McCain needs to give a voice to points such as EFCA in his marquee events. Fine, give a moment to earmarks, but get to the issues that MSM refuses to cover and explain the consequences.

Unions have become, in effect, Democratic fundraisers. And look what unions have done for Michigan.

Time for the middle 20% of the country to wake up. Obama’s not cool; he’s un-American.

BuckeyeSam on October 7, 2008 at 1:05 PM

The NRCC should jump all over this. Support secret ballots and oppose union strong-arm tactics, just like George McGovern.

“Dear Senator McGovern. I forgive you for everything you said about Vietnam while I was in prison. I’m John McCain and I approve this message.”

Steve Z on October 7, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Have you ever noticed that BO never says “Win the War”? He always says “End the War”…Scary…

Is it just me?

joepub on October 7, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Yep.

McCain has soooo much ammo for tonight. Let’s all hope he uses it.

lorien1973 on October 7, 2008 at 1:03 PM

This IS McCain we’re talking about. I’d keep my expectations lowered if I were you.

Physics Geek on October 7, 2008 at 1:07 PM

McCain has opportunities dropped in his lap and still refuses to use them.

Kini on October 7, 2008 at 1:07 PM

If this crusted old embodiment of liberalism can see the new direction of the Democrats then WTF is the matter with the true blue collar base of the party? Oh yeah silly me…..healing we will feel!

Lets try the Mocha

dmann on October 7, 2008 at 1:08 PM

This is un-American thuggery in no uncertain terms.

If this passes, the unions will have to be fought physically and violently.

Organized crime unions cannot be permitted to destroy our economy.

This could result in another Civil War. This is no small issue.

NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 1:08 PM

George, I understand where you are coming from, but it is a bit late to try and cause Obama to lose worse than you did in 1972.

Vashta.Nerada on October 7, 2008 at 1:10 PM

This is un-American thuggery in no uncertain terms.

If this passes, the unions will have to be fought physically and violently.

Organized crime unions cannot be permitted to destroy our economy.

This could result in another Civil War. This is no small issue.

NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 1:08 PM

I was with you for the first sentence. But fighting it violently? That’s retarded. You sound like Ayers.
We need to stop with the hyperbole. This is a poor and undemocratic practice. If it gets passed, it will screw shit up, but a conservative will fix it later.

Trent1289 on October 7, 2008 at 1:12 PM

Jim Gilmore is making a huge move on Mark Warner in the Virginia Senate race over this issue too. Bob Schaffer is hammering Mark Udall on it in Colorado. This is a winning issue for Republicans.

rockmom on October 7, 2008 at 1:12 PM

If people are aware of how the mob can get from Chicago to a theater near them, I think they’ll see Obama in a different way.

justincase on October 7, 2008 at 1:13 PM

“joepub on October 7, 2008 at 1:06 PM”

no, it is most certainly not just you …

Buckaroo on October 7, 2008 at 1:14 PM

“Vashta.Nerada on October 7, 2008 at 1:10 PM”

HEH — I think george is jus’ trying to be a lil’ bit intellectually honest in his twilight years, nothing more — good for him …

Buckaroo on October 7, 2008 at 1:16 PM

This IS McCain we’re talking about. I’d keep my expectations lowered if I were you.

Physics Geek on October 7, 2008 at 1:07 PM

I’m hoping. This is really his last chance.

lorien1973 on October 7, 2008 at 1:16 PM

a competent rnc would be running daily ads re: efca in every single state with a sizable union workforce …

/here and now we’ll have to settle for a few battleground spots and hope yet another 527 picks up the baton …

Buckaroo on October 7, 2008 at 1:18 PM

Obama only makes sense once you realize he hates life, liberty, and democracy.

indythinker on October 7, 2008 at 1:19 PM

Gee, I never realized that George McGovern was a racist too.

/sarc

rbj on October 7, 2008 at 1:19 PM

rockmom on October 7, 2008 at 1:12 PM

Ha. Jim Gilmore stands no chance in Virginia, unfortunately. But, yes, this is an issue Republicans win on.

Abby Adams on October 7, 2008 at 1:19 PM

“was with you for the first sentence. But fighting it violently? That’s retarded.”

No, it isn’t.

They will wreck the economy with this. And then they will ratchet up the dues and give the Democratic Party their cut.

We will be a one party, defacto state.

There won’t be any more “conservatives”. The Democrats will own the government and the private sector because in their world, the unions cart will drive the business horse.

They cannot be allowed to get away with this. This brash, violent assault on freedom and on Democracy and they cannot be permitted to get away with it.

NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 1:20 PM

And as far as they Ayers comparison, I’m saying the unions should be resisted violently, not the government.

As in when union thugs try and coerce employees into joining a union, they should be violently resisted if necessary and their thugs should be countered by our resistance.

NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 1:22 PM

NoDonkey,

the main reason for this desperate legislation is precisely because unions today hold such little sway over PRIVATE sector jobs. The afl-cio types are begging for the chance to continue to grow the PUBLIC employee union membership. and ironicaly, what’s the easiest way to stop those ranks from growing? keep donks out of office!
:-)

Buckaroo on October 7, 2008 at 1:27 PM

I’m hoping. This is really his last chance.

lorien1973 on October 7, 2008 at 1:16 PM

Oh. so if McCain isn’t perfect tonight, and doesn’t hit every single talking point on a long list of issues (in a town hall debate where questions will come from the audience) THAT is the thing that will lose the election for him?

Cool. good to know the new defeatist talking points ahead of time.

funky chicken on October 7, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Buckaroo,

Well, the Donks own the media and if they sink their tentacles into business, it’s all over for freedom and Democracy in this country.

Since they like card check ballots so much, I’m sure they’ll love union thugs visiting your home to ask you which Democrat you prefer on the ballot, to save you a trip to the polls.

There is absolutely nothing good or worthwhile in the democratic Party. It’s nothing more than an organized crime racket chalk full of thieves.

NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 1:36 PM

“funky chicken on October 7, 2008 at 1:36 PM”

HEH

Buckaroo on October 7, 2008 at 1:37 PM

“NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 1:36 PM”

we here are well aware of that, which is why it’s refreshing to see George M. put an ad out to that end so that joe and mary q public are aware of it too!

/fwiw i disagree that the donks are suddenly going to “sink their tentacles” into the business community. one has to at least passably embrace capitalism to do so
[!!]

Buckaroo on October 7, 2008 at 1:39 PM

funky chicken on October 7, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Nope. I’m saying this is his last chance for an unfiltered national audience. The last debate always craps out in rankings. Then all you have is media coverage (who will that favor?). McCain, by driving home his talking points today (obama – ayers – annenberg challenge. dems – fannie mae. obama – lied about tax cuts in the past etc) he can control the media discussion for a few days. He needs that.

You can filter it down into inanities – defeatism, astroturfing – if you want. But be realistic and understand what he needs to do.

lorien1973 on October 7, 2008 at 1:42 PM

“i disagree that the donks are suddenly going to “sink their tentacles” into the business community. one has to at least passably embrace capitalism to do so”

The Democrats hate productive business but they love money.

All Democrats would do is to suck businesses dry and leave the shell. It’s not about running anything, that would take actual work and no Democrat politician I can think of, has done an honest day’s work in their whole rotten life.

Bank robbers don’t love banks either, they just love what banks hold.

NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 1:43 PM

My (admittedly cynical toward Tom Brokaw and NBC News) prediction for the evening? That the selected “audience questions” include at least one sob story immigration/deportation thing. Why? Obama can’t win unless he manages to depress republican turnout.

What one issue is almost guaranteed to make the Malkinites and other “True conservatives” go apesh*t? Illegal immigration.

funky chicken on October 7, 2008 at 1:53 PM

fc, i think we’re sufficently wound up that even a flub by John on that topic will not matter tonite — esp. if it’s surrounded by a slapping of duh1 on ayers, rezko, fannie, born alive, etc. etc. …

Buckaroo on October 7, 2008 at 1:56 PM

“What one issue is almost guaranteed to make the Malkinites and other “True conservatives” go apesh*t? Illegal immigration.”

Barack in office will solve that one – they will ruin the economy and make us so militarily weak that Americans will be the ones looking to run for the border.

Illegal immigration is so far down on my list of problems this country faces right now, it’s on about page 100.

NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 1:57 PM

What one issue is almost guaranteed to make the Malkinites and other “True conservatives” go apesh*t? Illegal immigration.

funky chicken on October 7, 2008 at 1:53 PM

If McCain just sticks to the “secure the border first” part without the other half of it, then he can limit the conservative explosion there.

Everyone wants to secure the border; so as long as he doesn’t go into his “i’ll build the damn fence” meltdown like he did a year or so ago, it’d be cool.

lorien1973 on October 7, 2008 at 1:58 PM

They support EFCA before the public gets wind of what it really means, then they never supported it.

kirkill on October 7, 2008 at 2:01 PM

We seem to have forgotten something: Focus, People.

Since the time of Hitler, civilization has never been so close to the brink of total catastrophe. This American election will decide whether civilization as we know it will survive. As much as economic questions are currently front and center, with blame to go all round, this is not an election primarily about corporate greed, or individuals living beyond their means, or government neglect of economic oversight. Nor is it about whether we should have gone into Iraq where, like it or not, American boots on the ground have begun to create an emerging democracy. This election is about whether there will be a nuclear holocaust.

Alarmist? I sure hope so. Isn’t it about time that we got to the point about the stakes in this election? How many more pundits do we have to watch talking about the minutae — a candidate’s look, an accent, a stumble, a slogan? We have four weeks to talk about the thing that matters most: a nuclear-armed Iran, and which candidate will prevent it.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31496_Bayefsky-_Focus_People

funky chicken on October 7, 2008 at 2:09 PM

If this labor union thug bill passes, form your own union at work. Limit dues to $1 per year, just to keep out the thugs.

Right_of_Attila on October 7, 2008 at 2:14 PM

McCain should not bring this up tonight. Let’s think about this debate for a few. They are speaking to people who have not made up their minds yet. These are people that will vote based on a positive solution. Sure the Ayers comments will be welcome and may make Obama squirm on national TV — which would be good. But, getting to the level of giving a fossil like McGovern credibility on any issue only reminds voters that McCain has been around forver and Obama was like ten when McGovern had his ass handed to him by Nixon.

True believers are all into this but this is way down on the list for undecideds. Stick to the top of the list.

grdred944 on October 7, 2008 at 2:16 PM

OK, George McGovern criticizing Democrats and union bosses. This election has officially topped the Weird-O-Meter.

And bless you, George. :)

irishspy on October 7, 2008 at 2:20 PM

“McCain should not bring this up tonight.”

I disagree. This issue is easy to explain. Check card balloting is anti-American. All fair minded Americans will be against this affront to freedom. This sounds like something out of Cuba or the old Soviet Union.

NoDonkey on October 7, 2008 at 2:38 PM

I’ve always been a champion of labor unions, but I fear that today’s union leaders are turning their backs on democratic workplace elections. I’ve listened to all their arguments and reviewed the facts on both sides. Quite simply this proposed law cannot be justified.

No s . . t George. Obviously you haven’t noticed that your old Party of the Democrats just doesn’t exist anymore. You now must deal with a far left political party that has little respect for privacy or individuals rights. As the Hippies of your time said . . . “times they are a changing”. Go back to sleep.

rplat on October 7, 2008 at 2:38 PM

John McCain has to find a way to mention this and McGovern’s opposition in tonight’s debate.

We here at HA have given McCain 7,452 things he should bring up in the campaign!

jgapinoy on October 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM

We here at HA have given McCain 7,452 things he should bring up in the campaign!

jgapinoy on October 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM

things to mention: 7452

things he will mention: 3

lorien1973 on October 7, 2008 at 2:43 PM

/fwiw i disagree that the donks are suddenly going to “sink their tentacles” into the business community. one has to at least passably embrace capitalism to do so
[!!]

Buckaroo on October 7, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Now you lost me…what do you think the CRA 1977 was all about? I don’t think that was very passive.
It led to the mess we’re in now. Start here.

jerrytbg on October 7, 2008 at 4:09 PM

things to mention: 7452

things he will mention: 3

lorien1973 on October 7, 2008 at 2:43 PM

things he mentions that will be reported correctly in the MSM: 0

Y-not on October 7, 2008 at 4:12 PM

The purpose of the bill is simple – a witch hunt. Hassle anyone who does not tow the party line, so much so that he/she is forced from his/her job. With this law, employers and unions would hold no responsibility for one’s leaving.

That’s the way Hussein wants to build a Socialist Communist party.

madmonkphotog on October 7, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Obama: Not just the most liberal Senator.

Obama’s so liberal, George McGovern is attacking him from the right.

Sadly, I don’t think most undecided voters even know who McGovern is. So, no, this shouldn’t necessarily be a big priority for McCain, compared to the rest of the things he needs to accomplish tonight.

ClintACK on October 7, 2008 at 8:00 PM

In any other presidential campaign, McGovern’s position on this issue would have been a “game changer”. Sadly, not this one.

Sergei on October 7, 2008 at 11:18 PM