Checking McCotter: His admission of error about card check

posted at 6:15 pm on July 2, 2011 by Tina Korbe

National Journal and other news outlets have flagged newly announced GOP presidential candidate Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) as a pro-labor Republican — and, indeed, the dryly funny Congressman did vote in favor of The Employee Free Choice Act once upon a time. The EFCA — or “card check” — would, of course, have eliminated the secret ballot process, allowing unions to form as long as enough people sign cards saying they want a union. As Manny Lopez of TheMichiganView.com puts it, “It’s pure union payoff legislation.”

But McCotter now says his vote for the EFCA was a mistake.

U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter told me Friday his vote for union payoff legislation was a mistake and that if he were going to vote on “card check” legislation again, he would vote no.

“It was all because of Wisconsin,” he said in reference to what prompted him to change his mind about supporting legislation that would allow unions to forgo that pesky little detail called democracy (card check allows unions to be established in a work place with signatures on cards instead of secret ballot elections). “As a Federalist, what happened in Wisconsin made me realize that EFCA (the Employee Free Choice Act) was something that should be decided on the state level.”

So, does this represent a mature admission of error on McCotter’s part — or just a politically expedient “out” to reassure voters he wouldn’t be a president in the pocket of the unions? Lopez thinks it’s the former, writing, “No matter the timing, it’s good to hear he has realized that his past support was misguided, and his mea culpa puts him squarely in the camp of contenders (Tim Pawlenty) who have admitted they made mistakes in supporting some bad initiatives.”

Certainly, it’s refreshing to encounter a politician who will say explicitly he’s had it wrong in the past. How many strategists openly advised former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to openly disavow RomneyCare, to admit plainly that it was ineffective? But why did McCotter think card check was a wise idea in the first place? Lopez has the answer to that one, as well:

I suspected then and still do today that he voted that way because his district is heavily blue and he needed to do so to represent his constituents and in doing so didn’t hurt the GOP because the measure didn’t have a chance of passing.

That sort of thing happens all the time in Congress, of course, and perhaps a case could be made that McCotter was right to prioritize his constituents’ concerns as he voted. But in general, such politically-motivated votes seem to me inexcusable, as the federal government is supposed to act in terms of what will benefit the country as a whole.

McCotter’s federalist argument and card check flip flop come as a welcome change — but I’m still a little wary and will certainly look to see confirming signs of this new mindset in Mr. McCotter as he mounts his campaign.

 


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You are McCotter, and put in the same position, what do you do when your folks are counting on you? They are phoning you, emailing you, texting you, they are sending you smoke signals. They are scared, they are going to lose their jobs, houses, livelihoods, they have people who depend on them to keep roofs over their heads, and food on the table. McCotter tells them what? It’s the principle of the thing, if we can’t get the auto makers to go through bankruptcy, I have to vote against an auto bail out. Real people with real concern is where the rubber meets the road. McCotter had to make a call and he did….I might add it was thought through, and decisive, he didn’t wait months after a committee prepared a report for him to make up his mind….unlike the way our current President makes his decisions. Or Romney for that matter who waits to see what the consensus is, and picks what he thinks is the popular position. I already made my case for what I would have done – bankruptcy, we have that option in this country, and that’s what GM and Chrysler should have done, gone through bankruptcy. Of course I can take the principled position. I don’t answer to anyone. I don’t hold public office. Monday morning quarterbacking is such a fun past time.

Dr Evil on July 3, 2011 at 3:55 PM

That’s a good question, and not one that I have a ready answer for. What do I do when people phone me, Email me, and otherwise contact me depending on me to vote for bills that violate both the spirit and the letter of the United States Constitution? I think that’s about the time to get out, find a new line of work, and save my soul. I’m not much for faustian bargains.

gryphon202 on July 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM

What exactly is “presidential tender”?

hillbillyjim on July 2, 2011 at 7:42 PM

I think that’s just beyond ‘al dente’.

BillH on July 3, 2011 at 8:21 PM

depending on me to vote for bills that violate both the spirit and the letter of the United States Constitution? I think that’s about the time to get out, find a new line of work, and save my soul. I’m not much for faustian bargains.

gryphon202 on July 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM

That’s the crux right there, we are so far down the road we don’t want to be traveling. We are fallible people, living in an imperfect world. That’s not an excuse just a definition of the lay of the land. Someone has to start throwing themselves in the way of the marauders so the rest of us can make fortifications – And dare I hope, and also recover lost constitutional ground.

Do you know what the McCotter Family Motto is?

DUM SPIRO SPERO *While I breathe I hope*

Dr Evil on July 3, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Dr Evil, the loss of GM and Chrysler is a false flag, they could have filed Ch 11 and reorganized dropping their union cement boots, there are other ways that they probably could have gone also and still remained a car manufacturer. The government buying them out and leaving bond holders stuck was against established corporate law… but what is new when you put two outlaws together, unions and the union thugs in the WH.

rgranger on July 3, 2011 at 12:22 PM

You and I are in agreement. The problem is they have their guy occupying the highest office in the land. Detroit isn’t that far from Chicago, these folks are dug in like ticks. I suspect their lobbyist earned their paychecks when it came to the auto bailouts. The current administration is predisposed or in lock step if you like with the Unions. Anyway those are the optics Obama, Always look for the union label.

Dr Evil on July 3, 2011 at 9:04 PM

That’s the crux right there, we are so far down the road we don’t want to be traveling. We are fallible people, living in an imperfect world. That’s not an excuse just a definition of the lay of the land. Someone has to start throwing themselves in the way of the marauders so the rest of us can make fortifications – And dare I hope, and also recover lost constitutional ground.

Do you know what the McCotter Family Motto is?

DUM SPIRO SPERO *While I breathe I hope*

Dr Evil on July 3, 2011 at 8:54 PM

The sentiment is sound, but Thaddeus McCotter doesn’t seem like a guy who would be very inclined to throw himself in front of anything that might interfere with his ambitions.

I think I like the Bond family motto better:

Orbis Non Sufficit –

The World is not Enough

gryphon202 on July 3, 2011 at 9:25 PM

Thaddeus McCotter doesn’t seem like a guy who would be very inclined to throw himself in front of anything that might interfere with his ambitions. gryphon202 on July 3, 2011 at 9:25 PM

I would like to tell you, those two things are not mutually exclusive, but this country is in a tight spot. The best we could hope for, in the case of Rep McCotter, is I don’t think McCotter is an every man for himself fellow.

Dr Evil on July 3, 2011 at 11:34 PM

The fact is Card Check isn’t that big an issue with union members. McCotter didn’t fear the voters he feared Union money. I would bet he struck a deal with the Unions to back off in his district. He sold his vote. He should save his money and time and shut up about being President. We don’t need more whores in the White House.

rcl on July 4, 2011 at 12:26 AM

Never heard of this guy……..

and if Michigan is any indicator…..

he ain’t who we are looking for……..

not even close.

RealMc on July 4, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I would like to tell you, those two things are not mutually exclusive, but this country is in a tight spot. The best we could hope for, in the case of Rep McCotter, is I don’t think McCotter is an every man for himself fellow.

Dr Evil on July 3, 2011 at 11:34 PM

That’s a direct and diametrically opposed contradiction to the “He was just voting the way he had to in his district to be re-elected” line. But while the McCotter supporters are busy verbally twisting themselves into pretzels, I guess I’ll just have to chalk it up to a difference of opinion on my part.

gryphon202 on July 4, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Sorry folks, this guy is either a RINO, or panders so much to get elected he is not worthy of the “smaller government” conservatives’ consideration. He is smart, funny, etc. on shows like Red-Eye, but he just has too much spending in his DNA:

http://repmccotter.blogspot.com/2008/04/rep-mccotter-co-sponsors-unemployment.html

uber-con on July 4, 2011 at 11:25 AM

in the case of Rep McCotter, is I don’t think McCotter is an every man for himself fellow.

That’s a direct and diametrically opposed contradiction to the “He was just voting the way he had to in his district to be re-elected” line. gryphon202 on July 4, 2011 at 11:23 AM

That’s not contradictory – I think he does think of others (Not Every Man For Himself) when he makes a decision, it’s not entirely based on his own political profit. Otherwise he would have voted against the auto bailout, that was very unpopular among the Republican conservative base. That didn’t help him politically – personally. It did help his constituents.

Dr Evil on July 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

uber-con on July 4, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Define pandering on McCotter’s part – who is it he pandered to?

Too much spending in his DNA? All spending starts in the House of Representatives by the nature of his pubic office a Representative in the House, he has to vote on spending bills. He voted against TARP(s) Porkulus etc…

He does appear on Red Eye, but it’s not the only program he appears on, he has his own you tube channel check out his other interviews. He is a frequent guest on Dennis Miller’s radio show. I linked to in my blog, when he appeared on Hard Ball, MSNBC.

If appearing on Red Eye, and displaying a sense of wit, and intelligence is supposed to lead to a suspicion of a not serious public servant/person? Is this the unnamed Romney Aid/ Ed Rollins, sound bite charge, per Sarah Palin, isn’t a serious person? My standard is different. Rep Anthony Wiener, made the cable news network rounds too. I found his display of his genitals published on twitter, to show a standard of a non serious public servant. But maybe I use a different measuring stick than others ;)

Dr Evil on July 4, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I guess I did not make myself clear on the Red-Eye remark. His smart and funny attribute (and being a good enough sport to appear on Red-Eye) were positive attributes in my opinion. He is a great guest because of his quick wit. And I do think he is a serious person, but:

1. Card Check
2. Auto Bailout
3. Extend Unemployment, again

How many examples does it take before it evolves from taking care of his constituents to defining his true beliefs?

uber-con on July 4, 2011 at 12:03 PM

How many examples does it take before it evolves from taking care of his constituents to defining his true beliefs?

uber-con on July 4, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Only McCotter can answer that question, he’s the one that will have to make his case to the American People. I believe he is a conservative constitutionalist. If D.C. is a political swampland- McCotter is wading in that swamp, and it smells, (so no doubt he’s gotten some of the stink on him) but I believe he was trying to find his folks back in Michigan, some dry land, when they got swamped, by D.C.’s on going bad legislative decisions. Every excuse for their poor performance as legislators, was framed as (Too Big To Fail). We already had a mechanism in place for their financial situations. That’s what bankruptcy is for.

McCotter already stated his vote on card check was a mistake. The other two decisions were to staunch our bleeding economy. Both were sold to us as temporary band aids/fixes, but like most government programs, they don’t ever end once they get enacted.

Dr Evil on July 4, 2011 at 12:21 PM

That’s not contradictory – I think he does think of others (Not Every Man For Himself) when he makes a decision, it’s not entirely based on his own political profit. Otherwise he would have voted against the auto bailout, that was very unpopular among the Republican conservative base. That didn’t help him politically – personally. It did help his constituents.

Dr Evil on July 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

But McCotter isn’t voting on whether Card Check will apply to his constituents. If he wants to help the constituents of his district, he should stay in his state’s legislature where that sh!t belongs. We’re talking about FEDERAL legislation here, people — which is supposed to be far more limited than legislation at the state level. He gets to “serve his constituents” by screwing the rest of us over, and all you numbskulls making excuses for him don’t seem to give a sh!t?

I’m about ready to go and pull the lever for Obama myself. I’m beginning to think we deserve him…

gryphon202 on July 4, 2011 at 11:21 PM

How many examples does it take before it evolves from taking care of his constituents to defining his true beliefs?

uber-con on July 4, 2011 at 12:03 PM

If his true beliefs are “I will do what I must to be elected repeatedly,” we’ve tried that for decades now. I’m onboard for something a little different next time.

gryphon202 on July 4, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Every elected official has to balance their own political ideologies with constituent needs and demands. I appreciate ideological consistency but I also believe in not making good the enemy of perfect. As someone who lives near Detroit and partially makes my living from the auto industry (I write about cars, the car biz and car culture) I can understand McCotter’s votes on the auto bailout and on unemployment benefits. The vote on Card Check was much more problematic, so I’m happy that McCotter says that it was a mistake.

Regarding the bailout, McCotter advocated some kind of action in late ’08, during the Bush administration, however, he’s also been critical of the way that the Obama team structured the bailouts, favoring politically connected unsecured creditors (the UAW) over more senior secured creditors (bondholders).

Like I said, don’t make good and perfect enemies. Perfect doesn’t happen in this world and politics in America always has been about the art of compromise. If you’re going to make some kind of ideological purity test, you’re going to end up a mirrored image of the left.

Look at those who disparage the founding fathers for the US Constitution’s treatment of the question of slavery and for those founders who themselves owned slaves. They focus on what they perceive as America’s shortcoming without acknowledging the other side of the scale.

Speaking of which, I was really disappointed about what I saw in Philadelphia today.

My nephew got married Sunday in New Jersey and I drove there with another nephew and my son and daughter-in-law. When my son and nephew realized that we’d be driving home right through Philadelphia on the Fourth of July we all decided to stop and visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Next to the building housing the Liberty Bell is the preserved archeological site of the home used in Philadelphia by George Washington and John Adams as their official presidential homes. Though John and Abigail Adams were never slave owners and were opposed to slavery, the President’s House exhibit is pretty much devoted to the topic of slavery because Washington brought a small number of his slaves with him to Philadelphia after becoming president. There’s not much mention of the good things that either Washington or Adams did.

This is what the Park Service says about the display:

The President’s House : Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation

HISTORY OF THE PRESIDENT’S HOUSE SITE

THE PRESIDENTS HOUSE – WASHINGTON AND ADAMS

ENSLAVED PEOPLE IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF GEORGE AND MARTHA WASHINGTON

ARCHEOLOGY METHODS AND INTERPRETATION OF THE SITE

The President’s House podcast audio

In the 1790s, at the President’s House location at Sixth and Market Streets, Presidents George Washington and John Adams lived and conducted their executive branch business. Washington brought some of his enslaved Africans to this site and they lived and toiled with other members of his household during the years that our first president was guiding the experimental development of the young nation toward modern, republican government.

The rediscovery of this slave-holding information led to engagement by members of the public and the U.S. House of Representatives Report 107-564 of 2003 which “urges the National Park Service to appropriately commemorate concerns” of those historical events. The historical commemoration came to be entitled “The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in Making a New Nation.” This project, is located adjacent to the Liberty Bell Center, is a joint cooperation between the National Park Service and the City of Philadelphia

The commemoration contributes to the growing international network of historic sites that present race and slavery. The site opened in December 2010.

That last little bit about the growing number of historic sites that present race and slavery is telling. Museum curators seem to be very politically correct.

The politically correct emphasis on slavery continues inside the Liberty Bell building. One of the display areas is about how the term “Liberty Bell” for the PA “State House bell” came into use through the efforts of the abolitionist movement. That’s a historical fact and worthy of mention in the small museum. The problem is that a good deal of the rest of the Liberty Bell building is also devoted to the topic of slavery. There was little mention of the conflict with Britain, the Revolutionary War, and what mention there was of liberty was universalized. While it’s true that the American Revolution inspired freedom loving people around the globe, the Liberty Bell building’s displays seemed to avoid those specifically American concepts regarding liberty. The Dalai Lama is a nice man, but I’m not sure that a museum devoted to the Liberty Bell and the events of late 18th century Philadelphia needs larger than life size portraits of the Tibetan holy man and South African revolutionary and politician Nelson Mandela. There’s a video presentation of a newsreel of how the bell was struck (gently) during WWII, but there was no mention of Japan or Germany. Perhaps the Park Service didn’t want to offend the many visitors to the center who come from outside the United States but the whole thing left me with a feeling of self-flagellation. It seemed to be more about America’s warts than about what made and makes this country great.

There seemed to be little acknowledgement that the only reason why slavery was an issue was because it was an obvious contradiction to the ideas of liberty and freedom.

Seeing the Washington/Adams house dig site, the Liberty Bell itself and Independence Hall were very cool.

rokemronnie on July 5, 2011 at 1:11 AM

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