Yesterday, The Hill reported that another Senate Democrat has expressed reluctance to support Card Check, and this one will sting.  Dianne Feinstein’s opinions carry significant weight within her caucus, and her apparent rejection of Big Labor’s prime directive will create more political cover for dissidents in her own caucus — as well as give moderate Republicans room to appease conservatives:

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) on Tuesday told Capitol Hill reporters that she is skeptical of the Employee Free Choice Act, possibly dealing another deadly blow to the legislation.

Feinstein’s skepticism, coming a week after Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced his opposition, means Democratic leaders might find themselves in an even deeper hole as they search for 60 votes to move the so-called “card-check” bill.

“I think in this economy that what has to happen is that the unions and management get together and try to see if they can work out something,” Feinstein said. “The card-check bill, as drafted, in this economy, is extraordinarily difficult and I think almost a lightning rod to dissent. I think there are some things that can be done. I’ve talked with both sides and continue to talk to both sides to see if it isn’t possible to work something out.”

Feinstein hedged when asked if she was definitely opposed.

“I’m not on the bill, and I said what I said,” she said.

Ironically, Feinstein’s retreat came as Hollywood charged Capitol Hill.  The cast of The West Wing reassembled in Washington to lobby for Card Check’s passage.  Martin Sheen and Bradley Whitford criticized Arlen Specter’s reversal on the bill, calling it the “easy way out” for Specter, who has lost a tremendous amount of support among his constituents for his vote on Porkulus.  Of course, that also used to be called “listening to your constituents,” but obviously living in the political fanstasyland of The West Wing, Sheen and Whitford only had to listen to themselves and the people who wrote their dialogue for them.

I’m curious as to whether they think Feinstein took the “easy way out,” considering that she represents their state and will easily win re-election regardless of how she votes on Card Check?  Or maybe that she has more principle than they do about protecting workers from union intimidation by keeping the secret ballot as a mandatory part of union organizing elections?

Update: No, that’s not Sarah Palin in that pic.  I think I’ve had enough fun for the day.  Hope you all enjoyed the AFD fun!

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