Can Obama get Democrats to support Card Check?

posted at 4:35 pm on November 25, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama supported the Employee Free Choice Act, otherwise known as Card Check, as a means to get vigorous union support in the general election.  The Democratic Party wants it passed to gain a stronger revenue stream from increased union dues.  But can they get Rust Belt and Southern Democrats to play along?  Politico wonders whether some new Democrats might wind up joining Republicans for a filibuster:

Forget the Republican filibuster and the race to 60. The real fight in the next Congress is Democrats vs. themselves.

With nearly complete control of Washington for the first time in three decades, Democrats are entering a treacherous power zone in which many of their priorities could easily be undone by the geographic, demographic and ideological factions that compete for supremacy within the party.

Unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can whip their caucuses into unity, numerous fault lines will be revealed: Southern Democrats vs. Northern liberals on labor law; California greens vs. Rust Belt Democrats on global warming; socialized medicine adherents vs. go-slow health care reformers; anti-war liberals vs. cautious centrists on national security. And don’t forget the anti-bailout crowd vs. the powerful Michigan Democrats in both chambers when it comes to money for Detroit.

Republicans insist they will fight for their issues when they can, but they also might simply take a front-row seat to see if Democrats implode.

Card Check may provide one of the fault lines for the Democratic caucus.  Southern Democrats have to win votes from the center-right, who won’t like stripping the secret ballot from organizing elections.  On the other hand, in a straight vote, they may not need the Southern Democrats, considering the size of their majorities.

The question then hangs on the filibuster in the Senate.  Will Republicans have enough seats in the Senate to maintain one?  And on certain issues, such as FOCA and Card Check, will a few Democrats join them, or at least decline to vote at all on cloture, which would have the same effect?  I suspect a few may do the latter, especially those from normally red states like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and North Carolina’s Kay Hagan.

This makes the Georgia and Minnesota races key to keeping the Obama administration’s Leftist impulses in check.  The EFCA especially will kneecap Republicans for decades as well as allow intimidation of American workers by unions.  With millions of dollars at stake, those workers need the safety of the secret ballot.  Perhaps some Democrats will follow George McGovern’s example and oppose their party on principle.

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This Auto Bailout talk should be exhibit number one for why Card Check must be destroyed.

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 4:37 PM

Obama convinced Michigan and Florida they were breaking rules by voting in their state’s primaries… that they paid for. They still voted for him in the GE. Card check? No problemo.

chunderroad on November 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 4:37 PM

All Unions… period.

Unions haven’t been doing much if anything except getting fat on everyone elses dime.

upinak on November 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

Free Choice. Love the name.

sheesh on November 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

Or maybe they’ll trade votes so that each one can get his own private issue passed, glossing over things like personal freedoms, liberty, and other right-wing extremist positions like that.

Wino on November 25, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Unions haven’t been doing much if anything except getting fat on everyone elses dime.

upinak on November 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM

I spent two hours at a public city planning meeting here in Madison last night on a proposal to raise bus fares (wife rides the bus to work every day). I learned that with overtime, a city bus driver can make 100k a year. I work 55 hours a frickin week and have 6 years of school and I don’t come close to that.

Oddly enough, everyone at the meeting apart from the Transportation Committee folks and the bus union rep were against raising fares.

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM

He’s the Messiah. With the mainstream media has his 12 apostles, he can get support of anything that proceeds from his mouth.

iamse7en on November 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM

I wonder why? /snort

So why were they raising fees? For mechanical or “salary”.

BTW the Electric Company up here is RAISING our gas 17% as of Jan. 1st. They say it is due to the cost of “natural gas” which is total BS. it is for Mechanical and “Employee Salary” via Union agreement.

I am going to write a letter to the Editor about it soon.

upinak on November 25, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Card check ain’t going to pass…and if it does I think the Supreme Court will eventually hear the case.
Freedom of choice, and intimidation is not freedom.

right2bright on November 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM

Perhaps some Democrats will follow George McGovern’s example and oppose their party on principle.

This is good news — there might be a select few with principles!

…Wait. Something doesn’t feel right about this… Is this a joke?

fiscallyconservative on November 25, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Anyone else notice that the United States has totally taken a big crap in two years of Democratic Control, the MSM being totally in the bag for the Democrats, and the election of Mr. Obama, President Elect, the Office of……?

I know, it didn’t help that President Bush wouldn’t secure the borders and worked with the likes of Ted Kennedy at every chance, along with Sen. John “My friends…” McCain’s hapless campaign………….

……….. but really, ever since the election, things have gotten bad, real bad, and this is not just another episode of “American Idol”.

……………. this is going to have consequences. Hasn’t anyone realized this yet?

Seven Percent Solution on November 25, 2008 at 5:07 PM

The EFCA especially will kneecap Republicans for decades

The Wagner Act was amended to something more reasonable after only 12 years. Once the effects of EFCA are understood by the public, it will have a shorter lifespan.

Harpoon on November 25, 2008 at 5:07 PM

This’ll be Obama’s don’t ask don’t tell if he’s stupid enough to pursue it early. Also, this is one of the issues where the Dem’s message and strategy falls embarassingly short. Even when Obama himself comments on it, their framing is laughable…even when compared to today’s idiotic political discourse.

ernesto on November 25, 2008 at 5:08 PM

I learned that with overtime, a city bus driver can make 100k a year. I work 55 hours a frickin week and have 6 years of school and I don’t come close to that.

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM

I’m right there with you. I have two master’s degrees, all so that I can hope to make half of what a dunce behind a big steering wheel can make. But hey, I did it to myself. I was dumb enough to go back to grad school.

Screw these bastards. You’d be hard-pressed to tell me anything good that comes from a union today. I won’t believe it.

Pope Linus on November 25, 2008 at 5:08 PM

Southern Democrats have to win votes from the center-right, who won’t like stripping the secret ballot from organizing elections.

Southern Democrats will not want to do anything which jeopardizes their States deals with Toyota and Honda, and forcing unions in would be disastrous. I can’t imagine any but the most hard core leftist loon going along with this in places like Tennessee and Alabama.

Buy Danish on November 25, 2008 at 5:10 PM

I work 55 hours a frickin week and have 6 years of school and I don’t come close to that.

Maybe you would do better if you made it through the 7th grade, Jethro.

Wade on November 25, 2008 at 5:13 PM

It’s hard to believe there is a union worker alive who thinks this is a good idea- what is wrong with these people? Why did they vote for anyone who supported this? Talk about your “sheeple”. I’m sorry, I know it will be bad for all of us, but the U.S. auto industry needs to go down in flames- start over again and call yourself something else, but the unions have, (once again) destroyed themselves and their workers.

anniekc on November 25, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Let’s let unions intimidate through card check, but let’s not ask for ID before allowing them to vote in elections. ABSOLUTELY DISGRACEFUL AND FILTHY. PELOSI, OBAMA AND REID ARE THE LOWEST FORM OF SCUM. Crooks and Liars, all.

marklmail on November 25, 2008 at 5:14 PM

You know you white collar fellas deserve a butt kicking sometimes. The fellas, like me, in the ball caps and wranglers, don’t make the world go round, but neither do you.

I’m as anti-union as I can get. I’m also sick and tired of the boys-with-letters thinking they can make Atlas dance.

Limerick on November 25, 2008 at 5:16 PM

I’m as anti-union as I can get. I’m also sick and tired of the boys-with-letters thinking they can make Atlas dance.

Limerick on November 25, 2008 at 5:16 PM

Are any of us “boys-with-letters” saying that? I’m sure not. I sure as hell know that I don’t make the world go ’round.

Pope Linus on November 25, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Card Check…

…under the bus.

pseudonominus on November 25, 2008 at 5:24 PM

Pope Linus on November 25, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Heh…just touchy about the lack of “I” in teamwork. I’ll never tell my CPA he is overpaid, unless he’s a crook.

All the thinkers think, and the workers work. We can argue about the chicken and the egg all day long but in the end it is a team. Some of us blue collars figured out long ago that the boss works his ass off. Some of us still wonder if the boss returns the courtesy.

Limerick on November 25, 2008 at 5:26 PM

All the thinkers think, and the workers work. We can argue about the chicken and the egg all day long but in the end it is a team. Some of us blue collars figured out long ago that the boss works his ass off. Some of us still wonder if the boss returns the courtesy.

Limerick on November 25, 2008 at 5:26 PM

I see what you mean. We’re in it together.

Pope Linus on November 25, 2008 at 5:31 PM

So why were they raising fees? For mechanical or “salary”.

upinak on November 25, 2008 at 4:48 PM

You’ll like this. They’re raising rates because of rising fuel costs. Oops. That excuse didn’t quite fly last night, with fuel 1/2 what it was 4 months ago when the proposal was drafted.

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Maybe you would do better if you made it through the 7th grade, Jethro.

Wade on November 25, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Haha, I see what you did there, you clever girl.

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Pope Linus on November 25, 2008 at 5:31 PM

Yep. Don’t get me wrong, Pope, I don’t look down on the guy behind the desk. I don’t expect masters pay for journeymans work. It just when I hear that some bus driver is a parasite I wonder if the passenger could find third gear.

I’ll shut up now.

Limerick on November 25, 2008 at 5:35 PM

You’ll like this. They’re raising rates because of rising fuel costs. Oops. That excuse didn’t quite fly last night, with fuel 1/2 what it was 4 months ago when the proposal was drafted.

BadgerHawk on November 25, 2008 at 5:32 PM

We just got the same crooked deal here. Tucson Electric company just got approval to raise our electric rates by 8%, effective Dec. 1st. The reason for this “necessary” increase: rising fuel costs. Gas here is under $2 a gallon now, but nobody at the power company (or the public body that supposedly regulates it) seems to have noticed that.

AZCoyote on November 25, 2008 at 5:43 PM

If they think supporting Card Check will hurt their chances for reelection, they’ll just vote for cloture and either vote against or abstain on the bill. That way, the bill still gets passed, but they can claim to have either opposed, or at least not supported, the bill.

malclave on November 25, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Southern Democrats will not want to do anything which jeopardizes their States deals with Toyota and Honda, and forcing unions in would be disastrous. I can’t imagine any but the most hard core leftist loon going along with this in places like Tennessee and Alabama.

Buy Danish on November 25, 2008 at 5:10 PM

I’m wondering if some of them might vote against a bailout of General Motors, so that Toyota and/or Honda can buy out the plants, throw out the UAW, and hire the same workers at non-union wages, and make good cars and good money.

Steve Z on November 25, 2008 at 6:00 PM

He can get every single one that isn’t up for election in 2010 minus George McGovern.

Glenn Jericho on November 25, 2008 at 6:40 PM

So Obama will govern as a centrist and Democrats will filibuster their own party.

Sure thing.

angryed on November 25, 2008 at 6:53 PM

Don’t know if anyone is still on this thread, but man, oh man, had to comment.
I’ve been wrong about an aweful lot in the last 3 weeks (was sure Mc-Palin would pull it out)so I may well be wrong about this, hope so!)IMO, Cardcheck is almost more dangerous than the bailouts.
Wal-mart/Lowes/Home Depot/Etal large retailers forced to unionize? Joe’s Baitshop, sushi Bar, Mortgage Emporium, too? FLIPPING ECONOMIC NIGHTMARE.

Chewy the Lab on November 25, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Union cards as they are now.
If over 50% are signed. The company & the Union each have 45 days to present their sides on why to havea union or not. Thena secret ballot determines whether the union gets voted in.

Kevin in Southern Illinois on November 25, 2008 at 9:23 PM

Union cars if card check gets passed. Unions can try to get cards signed anywhere they can contact people. Once they get 50% of cards signed by intimidation or whatever means the union is automatically recognized as a binding negotiating group the Company has to talk to.

This takes away the 45 day cooling period for both sides to present their reasons for or against unions. This also takes away the secret ballot portion.

I work in a place that is nonunion and we are able to run leaner and adjust faster without union rules and restrictive job restrictions. If we work better and smarter and yes actually inject our minds into our jobs unions aren’t needed. They were at a time but that time has passed

Kevin in Southern Illinois on November 25, 2008 at 9:32 PM

Card Check may provide one of the fault lines for the Democratic caucus. Southern Democrats have to win votes from the center-right, who won’t like stripping the secret ballot from organizing elections. On the other hand, in a straight vote, they may not need the Southern Democrats, considering the size of their majorities.

Doesn’t matter if Pelosi and/or Reid let the Southern Dems “vote their consciences on this if they don’t need them in the final vote, if it passes the southern Democrats in the House are going to be stuck defending it in 2010, because they’ll have to defend their party leaders.

jon1979 on November 25, 2008 at 10:37 PM

“Republicans insist they will fight for their issues when they can, but they also might simply take a front-row seat to see if Democrats implode.”

Or just sit back and enjoy the fact that the Democrats will own everything that comes out of Washington after Jan. 20th.

JM Hanes on November 25, 2008 at 11:17 PM

Republicans insist they will fight for their issues when they can, but they also might simply take a front-row seat to see if Democrats implode.

Let’s raise money for a GOP Congressional Popcorn Fund for them.

I also am enjoying the early reaction of the KOS/Huff/DU crowd types. Give them enough rope and we’ll be hearing “Bush 3″ soon from their camp.

Go Obama, the moderate.

Sapwolf on November 26, 2008 at 12:42 AM

How about Toyota makes a hostile bid to buy GM and then pulls out after the whining with the remark “Just teasing.”

Sapwolf on November 26, 2008 at 12:44 AM

Southern Democrats will not want to do anything which jeopardizes their States deals with Toyota and Honda, and forcing unions in would be disastrous. I can’t imagine any but the most hard core leftist loon going along with this in places like Tennessee and Alabama.

Well, that’s because they’ve sold out to the transplants. See West Virginia for an example.

I’m wondering if some of them might vote against a bailout of General Motors, so that Toyota and/or Honda can buy out the plants, throw out the UAW, and hire the same workers at non-union wages, and make good cars and good money.

Good cars from transplants? Well, if you’re listening only to the voices who can’t stand Detroit(environmentalists and those having a bad experience with a Detroit car)…

Honda: It is a cardinal sin to try to make a fuel-efficient V8 for $20-30k even if they had the power to do so. Also the maker of the Civic, which could certainly be a platform of affordable performance(as opposed to throwing an I-4 or hybrid to please environmentalists). However, the time it takes for them to fix these faults in their factories is currently longer than it takes GM/Ford/Chrysler to do it: infinity.

Toyota: Throwing an Echo engine in and hoping people are fooled by a smallish body and cheapish electronics. Seems to think affordable performance is a tuned, yet underpowered I-4; points people towards Lexus if they aren’t convinced. They could do well if they moved the SC400 up a bit and turned the Avalon into affordable, Detroit style muscle(read: V6/V8 well under $30000).

Hyundai: Copies US and foreign cars poorly.

BMW/Mercedes Benz: Yes, they get the performance part right. Good luck on trying to convince them to go downmarket(and keeping performance).

The Big Three: No engine is too big or powerful for them to place in a car. The transplants offer poky I-4′s; Detroit offers a lot more for the same price. Is a victim of Detroit Derangement Syndrome; is prevalent where RTW is around.

If over 50% are signed. The company & the Union each have 45 days to present their sides on why to have a union or not. Then a “secret” ballot determines whether the union gets voted in.

…after a labor relations firm has advised how the company should best intimidate union supporters in those 45 days. How is that not thuggery or dirty pool?

Perhaps if the transplants made cars that looked, performed, and were priced like Detroit cars(affordable performance) we’d not have so much defense of the bailout. They’re going to have to if they want to see Detroit die and capture the die-hard Detroit muscle fan.

I’m not a UAW worker, just someone north of the Mason-Dixon who happens to see a good thing in Detroit cars.

sethstorm on November 26, 2008 at 4:11 AM