Sherrod Brown: You know who else didn’t like unions? Hitler and Stalin

posted at 4:56 pm on March 3, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via Breitbart, I’m trying to decide if this is more or less stupid than the left’s 2008 historical talking point that Jesus/Obama was a community organizer whereas Pilate/Palin was a governor. (That one made it all the way to the House floor.) No worries, though: Brown clarifies by saying that he’s not comparing Scott Walker to those guys — although, as we know, some of his fellow travelers outside the state Capitol are — but rather noting that unions appear to be an integral component of freedom. Is that so? Hitler and Stalin went after them not because they were totalitarians eager to crush any collective that might undermine their power but because unions are the vanguard of liberty or whatever? In that case, how come none of America’s liberal heroes, including and especially FDR, decided that the public sector’s “vanguard of liberty” deserved collective bargaining rights until 1959? That’s an odd blind spot to have vis-a-vis an allegedly crucial check on autocracy.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel estimates the damage from the protests to the Reichstag — I mean, the Capitol — at $7.5 million, with most of it affecting the marble inside the building. I guess Walker will have to cut teachers’ salaries a little more to find the cash to cover it. Exit question: What are we to make of “22-caliber long rifle hollow points” being found outside the Capitol this morning? Those weren’t intended for “Hitler,” were they?

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Hey Sherrod Brown, Do you know who else liked socialism? Hitler and Stalin

Thune on March 4, 2011 at 9:35 AM

I see it as more like these despots, Stalin in particular, abhored COMPETING unions since the government was an all encompassing worker’s union.


herself on March 4, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.
Vladimir Lenin

NTWR on March 3, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Give me the mind of a child of 4 and he’ll be mine for life

Creepy dudes think alike!

sharrukin on March 3, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Show me an adult with the mind of a 4 year old, I will show you a liberal.

rgranger on March 4, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Hey, moron? Ever heard of the Rudman-Hart Commission?

I forgot that reading is a skill only taught in Home School College. Keep practicing!

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 8:31 PM


Heard of, read and critiqued it when on the civil side of DoD in R&D. I saw it as emblematic of the old way of thinking for infrastructure and responsiveness against terrorism. A key graph in the FEB 2001 presentation is on page viii:

We therefore recommend the creation of an independent National Homeland Security Agency (NHSA) with responsibility for planning, coordinating, and integrating various U.S. government activities involved in homeland security. NHSA would be built upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with the three organizations currently on the front line of border security—the Coast Guard, the Customs Service, and the Border Patrol—transferred to it. NHSA would not only protect American lives, but also assume responsibility for overseeing the protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure, including information technology.

This is one of those cases where the Theory and Practice Conundrum comes into play – ‘In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.’

When you have a group of relatively dysfunctional organizations that have demonstrated good capability at raising dysfunctional individuals up in the bureaucracy, the answer to making them work together is NOT to form yet another bureaucracy that is bigger and larger. The disparate function types and objectives each have their own reason for existing: the functions of the USCG is inherently different from ICE, which means that trying to unify them is an effort in futility due to the differences in outlook that is necessary to run those organizations.

The solution is not to aggregate to a uniform bureaucracy, but dis-aggregate to a uniform work function environment where each organization brings its pluses into play and empowers those doing the work at the low end (typically those with a tight job function) to work and share information laterally with other function specialists in other agencies. Both DHS and DNI suffer from this problem, and it shows after the agglomeration of those disparate functions into unitary agencies: they cannot rapidly respond to a changing threat environment that goes beyond their bureaucratic specialties.

Do note that the Phase I report was handed out during the Clinton Administration, while the actual recommendations came during the stand-up days of the Bush Administration where the Democratically controlled Senate was taking its time in getting key Cabinet members through the system.

That Phase I document would be the working basis for examining the increased threat environment due to terrorism and that there would be attacks on the US homeland? That is obvious and part of nearly every threat assessment from 1993 onwards. Why? The first WTC attack. Then, as now, law enforcment and the MSM did not follow up the attacks to their sources because they were overseas and hard to get to. After that we would have the Khobar bombing, African Embassy bombings and other attacks prior to the Phase I report. In that mix were attacks by FARC on US citizens and service personnel, the OKC bombing, the Aum Shin Rikyo Death Cult attack, and then the foiling of the large scale Bojinka plot. After the report we would get the USS Cole bombing and FARC trying to assassinate Clinton on a State visit to Colombia.

The threat was present, growing and being examined by multiple agencies (as the Phase I addenda points out) and RAND did a good analysis of how such future-looking reports have high degrees of uncertainty to them. Even with that there are some important trends seen from 1995-1999 that remain with us today, as pp. 25 – 30 (approx. but a great section) looks at the macro-scale threats, what their trendlines are and their directivity. That section is excellent… and doesn’t deal with terrorism, but does a fine job of describing the basis for the current world situation.

I found the disjoint between the main Phase I backing documents and the Phase III recommendation section to be highly at odds with each other: in a decentralized threat system we need smaller and more responsive capability, not larger and less responsive organizations. That is my personal opinion, of course, but I would say the state of DHS and DNI point to that being a correct assessment of what happens when you cobble together massive bureaucracies – they all work worse than the simple sum of their parts.

BTW, publication dates don’t really mean the bureaucracy has digested a report. I got on the routing list for such documents, and had it in my hands in AUG 2001, although I had gone through the prior material by late 2000. So even if it was predicting a multiple airliner crashing scenario, by the time it got to the actual bureaucratic levels to be digested it would be far, far too late. And the fact that the recommendations didn’t fit the threats made it even harder to understand how and why the panel had come up with them… something was already dysfunctional in our threat analysis system and it was starting at the top and the mentality of bigger is better.

ajacksonian on March 4, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Hey Sherrod Brown, Do you know who else liked socialism? Hitler and Stalin

Thune on March 4, 2011 at 9:35 AM

AND Obama, and bifidis, and Grow Fins, et al.

Roy Rogers on March 4, 2011 at 12:56 PM