Mitt Romney: Labor unions play an important role in our society

posted at 7:45 pm on February 21, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Just as Rick Santorum has pointedly and repeatedly reminded voters that Mitt Romney supported an individual health care mandate and the Wall Street bailouts, so Mitt Romney has sought to remind voters that Rick Santorum has been cozy with Big Labor in the past. In his attacks on Santorum, Romney has sounded unequivocally anti-labor, which no doubt has not helped him much in Michigan.

Today, though, the former Massachusetts governor displayed a nuanced perspective on labor unions, characterizing himself as pro-union-worker but anti-union-bosses. His first line — “Labor unions play an important role in our society” — might seem to make him a hypocrite, given his recent attacks on Santorum, but the rest of the clip clears up any confusion. Mitt Romney is a proponent of the right to work across the board — and has no Senate votes in his past that say otherwise.

On that note, though, Santorum has a voting record on labor issues beyond his misguided votes against Right to Work and in favor of Davis-Bacon wage rates. Byron York reports that, at times, Santorum’s record was more anti-union than the likes of Sens. Jim Talent and Jim DeMint, both famously opposed to Big Labor. That is, Santorum’s AFL-CIO rating (a measure of how often a politician votes with Big Labor) was actually lower than the ratings of Talent and DeMint some years.

Does that excuse Santorum’s sour votes against RTW or for Davis-Bacon? No. Incidentally, the excuse Santorum uses for those votes sounds an awful lot like the excuse Mitt Romney makes for his health care law. Santorum says the votes he cast were the right decision for Pennsylvania, just as Mitt Romney says Romneycare was the right decision for Massachusetts. Bottom line: At this point, Republican voters can either choose to be bitter about the flaws in our candidates’ past records or choose to be hopeful about the fact that Romney promises he would repeal Obamacare as president and Santorum says he would support Right to Work legislation as president.

I come back to Milton Friedman’s immortal words, which have given me more comfort in this primary cycle than anything else I’ve come across:

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or, if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

Were more encouraging words for such a cycle as this ever spoken?

Update: A little O/T, but, in response to a number of commenters who earlier today suggested that I too willingly spin news in Santorum’s favor, I offer this personal mission statement. Please feel free to hold me accountable, as I know you’ll do no matter what.

What I will do as a chronicler of this election and as a voter myself:

  1. I will be hopeful that our candidates mean what they say when they express more conservative views now than their past records demonstrate.
  2. I will not excuse the mistakes in their past records or attempt to justify them. (Note, for example, that, in my earlier post today about Rick Santorum, I did not say he was justified to vote for a debt ceiling increase five times. Would that more pols would have woken up to the fiscal realities our nation faces sooner when Republicans did control the House, Senate and White House!)
  3. I will continue to promote conservative policies — like the repeal of Obamacare, Right to Work legislation, curtails to collective bargaining privileges for public employees, free trade and pro-life, pro-marriage legislation – no matter where the candidates stand on those policies.

What I will (try) not (to) do:

  1. Descend into cynicism about the GOP candidates.
  2. Automatically respond defensively to criticisms of Republicans or my eventual pick for the GOP nominee (i.e. no knee-jerk defensiveness!).
  3. Sit out the debate or forget the importance of the issues in the fun of covering the horse race.

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Today, though, the former Massachusetts governor displayed a nuanced perspective on labor unions, characterizing himself as pro-union-worker but anti-union-bosses.

Is there anything the man will not copy from Palin?

promachus on February 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

WOW he is all over the place

Conservative4ev on February 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

You are the best, Tina!

esr1951 on February 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Wow!!..That double picture thingy scared me for a minute..:)

Dire Straits on February 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM

MittQuotes: “I welcome this collaboration with Ted Kennedy.” .. “I would repeal only the worst parts.” .. “Abortion should be legal.” .. “Abortion should be illegal.” .. “I’m against gay marriage.” .. “Now that the gays are in the military, we’ll just keep it that way.” .. “I care.” .. “I am not concerned about the very poor.” .. “I am a severe conservative.”.. “I am a moderate, non-partisan, a progressive.” .. “I will not say anything incendiary or offensive about Obama.”

anotherJoe on February 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Really? The same pic of Mitt looking like a dips**t twice in a row?

MadisonConservative on February 21, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Welcome to Michigan. Without union lemmings, the bosses would be nothing. They are one and the same. No amount of pandering to them is in Michigans or the nations best interest. As a Michigander, I’ll tell you first hand, the key to turning our state around is breaking up union power, not appeasing it.

mtucker5695 on February 21, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Does that excuse Santorum’s sour votes against RTW or for Davis-Bacon? No. Incidentally, the excuse Santorum uses for those votes sounds an awful lot like the excuse Mitt Romney makes for his health care law. Santorum says the votes he cast were the right decision for Pennsylvania, just as Mitt Romney says Romneycare was the right decision for Massachusetts. Bottom line: At this point, Republican voters can either choose to be bitter about the flaws in our candidates’ past records or choose to be hopeful about the fact that Romney promises he would repeal Obamacare as president and Santorum says he would support Right to Work legislation as president.

Can’t excuse or overlook either record, I agree. Beyond that, I commend you on your “points” listed, about which I agree.

What with the Michigan vote on the near horizon, unions, of course, are a big part of the issues involved as to voters there. I strongly disagree with opposition to Right to Work, for the record, but, it’s Michigan, something has to be said to court union votes. I’m just glad I don’t have to engage in that.

Lourdes on February 21, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Uh oh. Mitts got his blue jeans on.

He’s one of us.

portlandon on February 21, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Update: A little O/T, but, in response to a number of commenters who earlier today suggested that I too willingly spin news in Santorum’s favor, I offer this personal mission statement. Please feel free to hold me accountable, as I know you’ll do no matter what.

Speaking as one of those lamenting your pro-Santorum spin…Tina, if that’s what you want to say, say it. Don’t be ashamed of it. This is a blog, not a newspaper. Your objectivity is up to you. A piece of advice from a fellow blogger: learn not to care too much what anonymous d*cks on the internet think of what you write.

MadisonConservative on February 21, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s administration has “fought against religion” and sought to substitute a “secular” agenda for one grounded in faith.

That’s from Yahoo news.

Vince on February 21, 2012 at 7:54 PM

WOW he is all over the place

Conservative4ev on February 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

From the poll analysis I have seen, most of those who oppose Mitt do so because of his inconsistency (aka flip-flops) rather than that he is too moderate.

bw222 on February 21, 2012 at 7:54 PM

As a Michigander, I’ll tell you first hand, the key to turning our state around is breaking up union power, not appeasing it.

mtucker5695 on February 21, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Seems that it’s going to require union members to do that. The rest of us can say, do, vote, opine, etc., but until people who are involved in unions see the light and work to “break up union power,” it seems nothing will ever change, unfortunately.

Call me a “glass is half empty” person on this issue of unions and the corruptions involved with them.

Lourdes on February 21, 2012 at 7:54 PM

But don’t you DARE call him a RINO!!!

CycloneCDB on February 21, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Is there anything the man will not copy from Palin?

promachus on February 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Does that not dovetail nicely with Friedman’s:

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or, if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

Which is what in practice Palin has been advocating – keep the primaries going so that the voters will have the opportunity to impact the candidate, instead of the “Good Ol’ Boy Network” and the MSM deciding who our candidate should be again.

And it seems to be working. The right person is not in the primaries, and the wrong people are getting the snot kicked out of them left and right as they run the electoral gauntlet. The wrong people are being lead to do the right thing.

The people (at least those interested in advancing the cause of liberty and stomping out every vestige of anything to do with Otraitor) are having their say.

Let them copy Sarah all they wish.

turfmann on February 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Is there anything the man will not copy from Palin?

promachus on February 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

With all due, respect…I know you think all politicians seem to get their ideas from Palin, but this has been a standard talking point for Republican politicians for quite some time. Demonize the bosses without alienating the members. Chris Christie has made it an art form. Many teachers still hate him, but he has made great strides.

GOPRanknFile on February 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

life is about harmony and equal balance, in the late 1800′s, early 1900′s, it was essential to have a union to fight for workers rights, thing’s balanced out in the 50′s and from then on it turned into a complete disaster, unions in modern day society are parasitical entities which destroy corporations and have obliterated American manufacturing. They promote ineptness and shoddy workmanship, at some point when China completely produces everything in America and there are dozens of cities that look like detroit, i hope people will wake up

golembythehudson on February 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Is that right to work national or just state by state? I want to know…

astonerii on February 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

“I like trees!” – Mitttens

/

Seven Percent Solution on February 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Is there anything the man will not copy from Palin?

promachus on February 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

My gawd, that woman’s sphere of influence knows no bounds. /

changer1701 on February 21, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Hang in there Tina. I saw what someone did and don’t approve. You are an asset to HA.

JPeterman on February 21, 2012 at 7:57 PM

If there was a national RTW law, you’ll see a mass Exodus out of the unions. Most, if not all, the large unions cannot account for members dues, but we know much of it goes to vote to grease the palm of the corrupt politician. In particular, the Public unions.

Kini on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

I agree with him 100%. Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

WOW he is all over the place

Conservative4ev on February 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

You want him to be anti-union in MI? He has no convictions, you should have found out that by now

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

I like trees also Mitt. gawd this is painful, I kept waiting for the flop sweat. This guy is a disaster.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHaMqHh5NZ4

deimos on February 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

After all, one can’t pander too much.

ronsfi on February 21, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Well, Romney was against unions before he was for unions. Kerryesque. Is it a Mass. thingy or are Liberals just panderers? Romney=Kerry=Obama.

they lie on February 21, 2012 at 8:00 PM

This state is tailor made for union shill Santorum. If he loses, I’ll be shocked.

EddieC on February 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Really? The same pic of Mitt looking like a dips**t twice in a row?

MadisonConservative on February 21, 2012 at 7:51 PM

They can’t help what he looks like.

squint on February 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Gotta give Tina credit. She changed the picture.

GOPRanknFile on February 21, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s administration has “fought against religion” and sought to substitute a “secular” agenda for one grounded in faith.

That’s crazy talk! Theocrat! Extremist!

I will not allow Mitt Romney to force his extreme Mormon religion on me!

How dare he question the President’s faith?

fight like a girl on February 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

One of the important things to remember about unions is that membership is declining everywhere except among public sector employees (NEA, AFT, AFSCME, FOP, Postal Unions, Firefighters Union, SEIU, etc.).

These people demand no reduction in pay or benefits regardless of the poor financial shape their employers are in.

bw222 on February 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Is there anything the man will not copy from Palin?

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

BS from you as usual.
Companies in right-to-work Texas are a lot more worker friendly than the companies in slave-to-the-union Illinois.
I’ve worked in both states.
Gimmee former-not the latter.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 21, 2012 at 8:05 PM

I applaud your personal mission statement, Tina!

It is a statement that all Conservatives can apire to meet during this crucial election season.

wren on February 21, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s administration has “fought against religion” and sought to substitute a “secular” agenda for one grounded in faith.

That’s crazy talk! Theocrat! Extremist!

I will not allow Mitt Romney to force his extreme Mormon religion on me!

How dare he question the President’s faith?

fight like a girl on February 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Forgot the sarc tag. Some of you are too dense to know this was sarcasm.

fight like a girl on February 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or, if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

I’ve heard this before, and it’s a good quote to bring out.

A couple of thoughts.

Most politicians don’t have much character and this quote is important to bear in mind.

Four years is a long time, politicians come up with many excuses as to why they cannot do something.

Romney knows the President can’t repeal a law–only Congress can pass a new law. It is a meaningless, meaningless promise to talk about repealing ObamaCare. If he’s elected watch for him to find a way to weasel out of doing anything to push Congress and blame them even as the MA legislature bears all blame for his negatives.

INC on February 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Labor unions play played an important role in our society

Fixed.

davidk on February 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Oops! “apire” should be aspire in my 8:07 comment.

wren on February 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

And as far as a negative trump card, RomneyCare trumps all.

INC on February 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Update: A little O/T, but, in response to a number of commenters who earlier today suggested that I too willingly spin news in Santorum’s favor, I offer this personal mission statement. Please feel free to hold me accountable, as I know you’ll do no matter what.

Keep doing what you’re doing Tina.

You are doing fine.

Roy Rogers on February 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Is there anything the man will not copy from Palin?

promachus on February 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

My gawd, that woman’s sphere of influence knows no bounds. /

changer1701 on February 21, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Well, you ‘bots ARE always whining for her to shut up.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s administration has “fought against religion” and sought to substitute a “secular” agenda for one grounded in faith.

That’s crazy talk! Theocrat! Extremist!

I will not allow Mitt Romney to force his extreme Mormon religion on me!

How dare he question the President’s faith?

fight like a girl on February 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Really.

ddrintn on February 21, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Forgot the sarc tag. Some of you are too dense to know this was sarcasm.

fight like a girl on February 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Good sarcasm, like yours, goes not need a sarc tag.

If someone takes it wrong, they only reveal their ignorance.

davidk on February 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

I hate unions. I have personal experience to back that up. Anyone that supports them is on my sierra list.

Dingbat63 on February 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Most of my Family are IBEW members. Electricians. Ronald Reagan was a member and President of the screen actors guild. My union member family vote Republican and hate what their leadership does. So yes, we like working people including Union members are are fine with anyone who chooses to be a union member. People choose to be union electricians or non-union electricians. Romney is correct that we Republicans want union members votes so their families can also make choices when their time comes. What’s the problem?

BobScuba on February 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Romney needs to borrow Obama’s mom jeans

davemason2k on February 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Prior to the Tea Party movement, the “next in line” candidate, in this case, Mitt Romney, would have already had the nomination all sown up by now. It is only because of the Tea Party movement that all these “not-Romneys” have surging and then crashing.

We should see this for what it truly is, and not what it isn’t. It isn’t a testament to how weak Romney is. It isn’t a testament to how weak all the not-Romneys are. It’s a testament to the fact that GOP voters are being a lot more picky this time around.

That’s good news for the future of the GOP.

ardenenoch on February 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Like I said … .

davidk on February 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Unions have to be cherished and not demonized

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

I agree with him 100%. Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

And we all know unions are as honest as the day is long.

ddrintn on February 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Unions have to be cherished and not demonized

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Awwwwwww…….

Roy Rogers on February 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

I agree with him 100%. Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

Hahahahahaha

Seriously? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHA

Oh my god.

I can’t stop laughing. My wife is punching me now.

Are you serious?? I mean really?? Come on now.

I’ve yet to meet an Honest union.

MadDogF on February 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Yes, unions play an important role in society the way Somali pirates plan in important role in international shipping.

Daikokuco on February 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Unions have to be cherished and not demonized

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Unions served a purpose before WW2, and since have operated little differently from criminal organizations. There is a reason that union reps have been caricatured as goons for the last 30 years, and it’s not because of “evil Republican misconceptions”.

MadisonConservative on February 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Romney is right about the necessity to allow labor to negotiate with management for fair wages and decent working conditions. The fact is that union leadership has become addicted to power and uses that power to promote themselves and influence politics and social issues when they should be devoting themselves and the unions funds SOLELY to making certain the the needs of the workers are met and managed. This should not include trying to manipulate the government at either a local or national level and it should not include blackmailing the tax payers of communities, states and the nation to line the pockets of the leadership, fill the unions coffers, or provide luxury benefits for the union membership.

The fact is that most of us have nothing against union members who are hard working individuals trying to make a living and support their family to the best of their ability. What we can’t tolerate are the corrupt union bosses who work their membership over for dues, use those funds to interfere in politics, and threaten the well being of the entire community, state, or nation in their desire to sate their own ambitions. The leadership who seek to use the membership and their dues, often to the point of criminality, as tools to advance their own agenda, be ti personal, political, or, as is generally the case, a rank combination of the both.

thatsafactjack on February 21, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Unions have to be cherished and not demonized

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Is there a union for basement dwellers who still live with their mommies like you?

JPeterman on February 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM

I agree with him 100%. Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.
liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

if by “honest” you mean “unprofitable”…then yes, you’re right on…

CycloneCDB on February 21, 2012 at 8:18 PM

We should see this for what it truly is, and not what it isn’t. It isn’t a testament to how weak Romney is. It isn’t a testament to how weak all the not-Romneys are. It’s a testament to the fact that GOP voters are being a lot more picky this time around.

That’s good news for the future of the GOP.

ardenenoch on February 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Well, with all due respect it’s a testament to all the above — except the pickiness part. Romney IS weak. With all the advantages he’s had over the past 3 years, this should’ve been over after the SC primary. The base does not want Romney and never did. It’s more a testament to the gag reflex that comes from having something shoved down one’s throat. Romney is still going to be the nominee, I think, and he’ll lose. That’s not good news for the GOP. I think the GOP is moribund, and this cycle may very well be what does it in finally. The base is either going to take over the party and in Codevilla’s terminology turn it into a principles-based party, or there’s going to be a third party that will leave the GOP just about as big as the Libertarian party.

ddrintn on February 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I agree with him 100%. Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.
liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

And teachers unions is the only thing keeping us from using proper grammar.

CycloneCDB on February 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I’m at the White House a couple times a week — two, three times a week. But I have conversations every day with someone in the White House or the Administration – every day.
–AFL-CIO Union President Richard Trumka, Feb. 18, 2011

The AFL-CIO spent $53 million in support of Obama in 2008.

Urban Infidel on February 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Go Team Santorum!!! 2012

multiuseless on February 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

And teachers unions is the only thing keeping us from using proper grammar.

CycloneCDB on February 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

*bows*

MadisonConservative on February 21, 2012 at 8:21 PM

*bows*
MadisonConservative on February 21, 2012 at 8:21 PM

I hesitated on that one…because it seemed so petty…but if you’re going to troll like she does, you better not leave a hint of an opening for a jab.

CycloneCDB on February 21, 2012 at 8:25 PM

RICO plays an important role in protecting society from unions.

Flange on February 21, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Santorum, despite his reputation as a conservative stalwart, had a keen interest in providing disadvantaged families greater access to affordable housing.

In 2005, when Banking Committee Republicans were trying to tighten the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Santorum pushed to include language in the legislation that would strengthen their affordable-housing goals.

“We’re very concerned about making sure that we do things in working with this legislation to improve the access to affordable housing,” Santorum said during a July 28, 2005 hearing on the Senate bill.

He added that he wanted to orient Fannie and Freddie “toward taking a more active role in creating housing opportunities for low and moderate income families.”

http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/177_6/Rick-Santorum-Fannie-Mae-Freddie-Mac-1045542-1.html

ryandan on February 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I agree with him 100%. Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Who keeps the unions honest?

tinkerthinker on February 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Santorum, despite his reputation as a conservative stalwart, had a keen interest in providing disadvantaged families greater access to affordable housing.

ryandan on February 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Romney, despite his reputation as a conservative stalwart, signed RomneyCare into law.

Game, set, match.

ddrintn on February 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Pander bear, the worst since Bill Clinton.
This guy is big big trouble. And he’s the GOP’s problem.

james23 on February 21, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Ok Tina. I accept your official divorce decree from one Willard Mitt Romney.

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or, if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

Yes, now here is where political profit comes into play. Votes. Votes are the currency of politics, and they are really the only currency we have with politicians. So how do we make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing? Well, first things first, when they consistently do the right thing we vote for them. On the other hand, when they do the wrong thing, we withhold our vote and make them lose the election. Preferably by kicking them out in the primary, but if needed by saying, NO, you are not going to gain power from our vote when we know you are not going to do the right thing.

Romney officially did nothing right in Massachusetts, but now we are expected to believe he will do the right thing, but when you look at Newt who did do the right things and not getting rewarded we are expected to think he will only do the wrong things.

If Romney is the Nominee, I will live by that saying. I will say no thank you, I do not want you as my leader. Romney has done nothing to indicate he will turn to conservatives for guidance in office and has done everything possible to indicate that he will look to the center and the left for support while in office. By voting for him, you are in effect rewarding him for doing the wrong things, so you can rest assured the wrong person with the wrong incentives will do the wrong thing!

astonerii on February 21, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I agree with him 100%. Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Based on a total of a few percentage of all workers? How does that keep businesses honest? Worker’s who have skills and a good work ethic run as fast as they can from Union Companies, there is a reason for that.

astonerii on February 21, 2012 at 8:40 PM

All of us have heard the charge that to thus criticize the power of Big Labor is to be anti-labor and anti-union. This is an argument that serves the interests of union leaders, but does not usually fit the facts…I believe that unionism, kept within its proper and natural bounds, accomplishes a positive view for the country. Unions can be an instrument for achieving economic justice for the working man…they are an expression of freedom. Trade unions properly conceived, is an expression of man’s inalienable right to associate with other men for the achievement of legitimate objectives.

The natural function of a trade union and the one for which it was historically conceived is to represent those employees who want collective representation in bargaining with their employers over terms of employment. But note that htis function is perverted the moment a union claims the right to represent employees who do not want representation, or conducts activities that have nothing to do with terms of employment (e.g. political activities), or tries to deal with an industry as a whole instead of with individual employers.

Barry Goldwater, from Conscience of a Conservative

Mr. Arkadin on February 21, 2012 at 8:40 PM

The nation does not turn around until it becomes politically lethal to reward the many at the price of the few.

Make it suicide to expand government and reward those who contract it and keep a tight leash on it, and we will get a better government. That doesn’t START at the POTUS position it starts with YOU.

ajacksonian on February 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

I’m beginning to think this Romney fellow might be Liberal.

jukin3 on February 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

God forbid that a candidate support an institution that virtually created the American middle class and allowed millions of families to get a reasonable share of the wealth they helped to create.

All profits must go to capital, and none to labor, correct?

urban elitist on February 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Tina, as MadisonConservative said, we understand you are shilling for defending Santorum. Embrace it rather than trying to cover it up. You aren’t writing for a newspaper — this is an opinion site.

AngusMc on February 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM

ryandan on February 21, 2012 at 8:27 PM

That’s a nice little gem. Wonder why Santorum didn’t want to talk about Fannie and Freddie in the debate?

Syzygy on February 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM

What I will (try) not (to) do:
1.Descend into cynicism about the GOP candidates.
2.Automatically respond defensively to criticisms of Republicans or my eventual pick for the GOP nominee (i.e. no knee-jerk defensiveness!).
3.Sit out the debate or forget the importance of the issues in the fun of covering the horse race.
4.Post pictures of Newt without his dentures.
5.Post pictures of Romney looking confused.
6.Post pictures of Paul looking deranged.
7.Post pictures of Santorum with a halo.

Other than those additions, thumbs up!

Mr. Arkadin on February 21, 2012 at 8:46 PM

All profits must go to capital government, and none to labor capital, correct?
urban elitist on February 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Fixed it for you. Don’t let it happen again or I’ll report you back to the Truth Team.

CycloneCDB on February 21, 2012 at 8:47 PM

God forbid that a candidate support an institution that virtually created the American middle class and allowed millions of families to get a reasonable share of the wealth they helped to create.

There was no “bourgeoisie” before there were labor unions? Come on. The merchant class predates that neat Marxist dichotomy, and was never exactly at the pauper level. And they succeeded without a Trumka or a Hoffa.

All profits must go to capital, and none to labor, correct?

urban elitist on February 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Of course not. If that were to happen, there’d be no labor at all.

ddrintn on February 21, 2012 at 8:47 PM

So, what’s Haines history with unions? Buster or collaborative on companies turned around or liquidated? Either way, it wont be pretty by the time Oboobi is done with him.

Nice try at pandering. Fail!!!

AH_C on February 21, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Pander bear, the worst since Bill Clinton.
This guy is big big trouble. And he’s the GOP’s problem.

james23 on February 21, 2012 at 8:36 PM

I agree completely.

ddrintn on February 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I agree with him 100%. Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

How does that happen? They make ‘em take some test? Is there some prescription required?

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Could someone please put Romney in front of an audience that’s half pro-life, half pro-choice; half pro-labor, half anti; half pro gay agenda, half anti, etc…? And tell him that they’re all potential Republican voters.

I want to see if his head actually spins around while he’s talking.

29Victor on February 21, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Welcome to Michigan. Without union lemmings, the bosses would be nothing. They are one and the same. No amount of pandering to them is in Michigans or the nations best interest. As a Michigander, I’ll tell you first hand, the key to turning our state around is breaking up union power, not appeasing it.

mtucker5695 on February 21, 2012 at 7:52 PM

This Michigander heartily agrees.

totherightofthem on February 21, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Unions have to be cherished and not demonized

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM

If you can tell me how to “cherish’ a Union…I’ll labor at it!

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Unions is the only thing keeping the American companies honest.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Unions IS the only thing?

Sounds like your union teachers were the only thing standing between you and a job shoveling sh-t.

CurtZHP on February 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Haines should be Bain’s

AH_C on February 21, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Who keeps the unions honest?

tinkerthinker on February 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

If It wasn’t for the unions most of these manufacturing companies will be paying slave labor.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

God forbid that a candidate support an institution that virtually created the American middle class and allowed millions of families to get a reasonable share of the wealth they helped to create.

There was no “bourgeoisie” before there were labor unions? Come on. The merchant class predates that neat Marxist dichotomy, and was never exactly at the pauper level. And they succeeded without a Trumka or a Hoffa.

All profits must go to capital, and none to labor, correct?

urban elitist on February 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Of course not. If that were to happen, there’d be no labor at all.

ddrintn on February 21, 2012 at 8:47 PM

The bourgeoisie was tiny, especially before the rise of the service economy post-WWII.

More to the point — do we think a college degree should be the only ticket to the middle class? Or can a hard-working blue collar kid make a modest amount of money?

urban elitist on February 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Haines should be Bain’s

AH_C on February 21, 2012 at 8:57 PM

I think every place they went the Union got nixed.

astonerii on February 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

The bourgeoisie was tiny, especially before the rise of the service economy post-WWII.

More to the point — do we think a college degree should be the only ticket to the middle class? Or can a hard-working blue collar kid make a modest amount of money?

urban elitist on February 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Unions did not create the Middle class. factories and other efficiency creating activities did. If anything, unions factually destroy wealth and make everyone worse off, as they deter any improvements in efficiency in order to protect jobs at all costs. The only thing unions did accomplish is fast forward the speed at which employees got a larger share of the end value of the wealth created. But rest assured, that the employees would have eventually gotten to where they are today, and probably much further if there were no unions to begin with.

astonerii on February 21, 2012 at 9:04 PM

If It wasn’t for the unions most of these manufacturing companies will be paying slave labor.

liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Yeah, that’s why in Right to Work states manufacturing employees get paid slave wages. Hey…wait a minute

Meme busted. Oh, and they don’t have to pay union dues either.

29Victor on February 21, 2012 at 9:07 PM

What is interesting is that private sector unions are tanking, at historic lows for membership.

Part of the reason for this is the rise of the small business as the true heart of the economy as it employs the vast majority of the workforce. When management is close to the workforce, when it is the entrepeneur who is putting their life savings into the business and then making sure everyone gets paid before he does… that changes the boss-worker relationship no end. Over time this becomes a part of our culture.

Unions have become relegated to the public sector (where they work for the people and, thusly, not some cold heartless capitalist) and big business where there is still an older management outlook with a multi-layer bureacracy in place. Yet even big businesses are flattening, putting more power and responsibility further down the chain of command. That is necessary as they are getting eaten alive at the low end… and the only recourse is to government regulation to try and keep small businesses small.

You want better working conditions for the workers in this nation? Stop protecting big business by allowing regulations to stifle the growth of small businesses. Let the big have to fight for everything and that includes understanding the nature of their workforce and protecting it. Like small businesses do.

ajacksonian on February 21, 2012 at 9:08 PM

If It wasn’t for the unions most of these manufacturing companies will be paying slavemarket rates for labor.
liberal4life on February 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Of course slaves don’t actually earn a wage. They’re usually not paid for their services…so there’s that too.

CycloneCDB on February 21, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Is there anything the man will not copy from Palin?

promachus on February 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Yeah, he isn’t going to quit.

V7_Sport on February 21, 2012 at 9:21 PM

suggested that I too willingly spin news in Santorum’s favor

It isn’t just you, it’s the entire site. And this isn’t the only election where the site has seemed to get behind a candidate with no chance of winning the general election and is why I sometimes wonder if the purpose of the place is to actually get Democrats elected by dividing the Republican party.

If you look at the role of the site in the elections in NY-23 where a Republican who was leading in the national polls was basically torn to shreds and a “Conservative” who didn’t stand a snowball’s chance was supported. Or in Delaware where Mike Castle was blasted six ways to Sunday and an unelectable “Conservative” was supported and in Nevada where Sharon Angle was supported over Sue Lowden who might have actually had a chance to defeat Harry Reid.

Time after time it is almost as if certain factions act in the name of “conservatives” with a real agenda of getting Democrats elected to office. It is just so strange to me. The DNC should be paying this site as it does more to expose dirt on Republican candidates and do their work for them than any other site I am aware of. Come November, all the Democrats will have to do is gather up all the dirt posted here on whoever wins the nomination.

I don’t hate Santorum, I simply believe his chance of winning a national election among the entire US electorate is pretty close to zero. In fact, the MORE popular a candidate is with the far right of the party, the less likely they are to be elected. Same goes for the Democrats. The more popular a candidate is with their far left, the less chance the candidate has of getting elected because the farther right or left you get, the more people you alienate in the center and other side.

crosspatch on February 21, 2012 at 9:22 PM

The base is either going to take over the party and in Codevilla’s terminology turn it into a principles-based party, or there’s going to be a third party that will leave the GOP just about as big as the Libertarian party.

ddrintn on February 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

bigger. It’ll only take a defection of 30% to get to critical mass. They should have taken the hint when Perot got nearly 20% and Bubba won, instead they branded him a crank and doubled down with Dole. Lucky for them, Perot was a crank. But crank or not, if the GOP loses nearly half the base, they’ll regret ignoring we the people.

AH_C on February 21, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Nothing new here and there is nothing hypocritical about his position Video of Romney in 2007 debate/Dearborn:

“With regards to unions overall, there are some good ones and some not so good. The good ones are those that say how can we do a better and better job helping our members have better and better skills and making sure that the enterprises they work in are more and more productive?” (GOP Presidential Debate in Dearborn, Michigan, October 9, 2007)

(He’s then asked by Chris Matthews if he can name some good unions. Romney goes names them and explains why….)

Meanwhile at this thread I provided links to story after story about Romney’s work supporting right to work, helping Gov. Walker, and so on.

Buy Danish on February 21, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Romney goes names them Romney goes on to name them…

Buy Danish on February 21, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Unions did not create the Middle class. factories and other efficiency creating activities did. If anything, unions factually destroy wealth and make everyone worse off, as they deter any improvements in efficiency in order to protect jobs at all costs. The only thing unions did accomplish is fast forward the speed at which employees got a larger share of the end value of the wealth created. But rest assured, that the employees would have eventually gotten to where they are today, and probably much further if there were no unions to begin with.

astonerii on February 21, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Factories that employed union workers. Coal mines that couldn’t hire 12-year-olds and had to pay a living wage to adult workers. Sweatshops that had to pay minimum wage…

Nothing in recent economic history — as unions are broken, corporate profits and executive compensation rise, and shopfloor wages decline — suggests that, absent unions, the iron law of wages wouldn’t be in place.

urban elitist on February 21, 2012 at 9:25 PM

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