Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time to Take on the Unions

(This article first appeared at The American Thinker on 01/25/2010.)
The self-actualizing tea-party/townhall movement continues its remarkable job on the national political scene. Nudged by talk radio and the alternative media punditocracy, conservatives have put boots on the ground and cash in the coffers for deserving Republican candidates in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts. The near miss in the effort to elect Conservative Doug Hoffman in N.Y. District 23 may not have gone for naught either. There is another election coming there soon.
The efficacy of the movement has been based on its speed, mobility, and ability to generate cash. Once a vulnerable target like Martha Coakley has been identified, action follows swiftly and effectively. The fact that the special elections that have been held were isolated from the normal brouhaha of a full national election with hundreds of races and candidates has facilitated the effectiveness of the conservative response. The question becomes: How can conservatives approach the national political landscape now that it has proven susceptible to focused effort and amenable to the conservative message?
The dearth of additional special elections in the near future will allow the conservative movement to target the underlying causes of our ailing national economy and diminished national pride. No other single cause has been more disruptive to our economy and the principles of the American Dream than the pernicious undermining of commonsense capitalism by the greedy bullies in the teachers', auto workers', and public sector unions.
The restrictions placed upon corporate political donations by the McCain-Feingold Act simply facilitated the ability of the huge labor unions to use their cash to purchase the Democratic Party lock, stock, and Obama. SEIU's Thug-in-Chief Andy Stern was the most frequent visitor to the Obama White House reported on the W.H. Visitor list. Do you suppose he showed up empty-handed every time?
Labor unions provided protection to workers from the sharp practices of powerful companies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Since the 1950s however, the American labor movement has taken unfair advantage of a political climate, opening doors to political influence denied others. Through collective bargaining, the unions have negotiated contracts that have bankrupted our auto industry, destroyed our public schools, and bloated state and federal government payrolls with unconscionable pension, benefit, and payroll costs.
Needless to say, it's impossible to run a company or the government when you can't fire incompetent workers, are manacled by ridiculous work rules, and pay pensions to fifty-year-olds nearly equal to their highest salary when fully employed. How did anyone ever believe that this business model would work?
Of course, the Democrats and their union pals have the solution: They want to make everybody a union member. When quizzed about the wide difference between wages for American union members and those not in unions, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis provides what passes for critical thinking on the Obama team:
As workers across the country have seen their real and nominal wages decline as a result of the recession, these numbers show a need for Congress to pass legislation to level the playing field to enable more American workers to access the benefits of union membership. This report makes clear why the administration supports the Employee Free Choice Act," a bill that would make it easier to unionize.
The report cited by Ms. Solis is the annual report of the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on union membership, which was released last Friday. It reveals that private-sector union membership continues to decline as private businesses with unionized labor forces falter, reduce their workforce, go bankrupt, or find a way to escape the unions. Government union membership, however, continues to grow, reaching 37.4% of the total government workforce. There are significant political ramifications to this continued growth.
Meredith Jessup at townhall.com quotes senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute Fred Siegel:
At the same time the country is being squeezed, public-sector unions are a rising political force in the Democratic Party," he said. "They depend on extra money for the public sector, and that puts the Democrats in a difficult position. In four big states -- New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California -- the public-sector unions have largely been untouched by the economic downturn. In those states, you have an impeding clash between the public-sector unions and the public at large."
And therein lies the opportunity for conservative action. All across America, people of nearly every walk of life have been forced to sacrifice during the current recession. Yet the American Labor Union movement seems to think that its members should be the only ones to get through this trough without getting a haircut. It's time for the tea-party movement to encourage our elected officials to get out the coarse clippers.The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has deprived private-sector labor unions of a key advantage over their employers, who are now able to fund election advertising. A coalition of citizens hurt by union dominance can be effective at the polls.
Ronald Reagan provided us with a blueprint demonstrating how American capitalism should deal with greedy and ineffective labor unions. On August 3, 1981, 13,000 unionized members of the Profession of Air Traffic Controllers Organization went on strike after the Federal Aviation administration refused to provide them with a 25% pay increase combined with a 20% shorter work week. President Reagan called the strike illegal and worked with air traffic managers to develop a contingency plan to cover for the striking unionists.
To the chagrin of the strikers, the FAA's contingency plans worked. Some 3,000 supervisors joined 2,000 nonstriking controllers and 900 military controllers in manning airport towers. Before long, about 80 percent of flights were operating normally. Air freight remained virtually unaffected. (Reagan stood his ground and fired all of the strikers.)
In carrying out his threat, Reagan also imposed a lifetime ban on rehiring the strikers. In October 1981, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified PATCO." Don't you love a happy ending? There really isn't another solution. Let's encourage our elected officials to commence wholesale pruning of the bloated state and federal workforce. At the same time, we need our best conservative legal minds to help discover a way to decertify the labor unions that continue to suck the lifeblood from the productive members of American society.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Barack Obama is Box Office Poison

Apparently it has never occurred to our political pollsters that Barack Hussein Obama is the Bradley Effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect personified. While our floundering POTUS continues to garner approval numbers hovering in the 50% range, his policies are judged much more harshly by polled Americans. The Real Clear Politics average http://www.realclearpolitics.com/, for instance, reports B.O.’s job approval average at 49.4%. His hand-maidens in Congress however, receive only 24.5 % approval and of those asked about the direction in which our country is going, only 35.9 % believe we are headed down the right path. Just exactly who do they think is holding the steering wheel?

Obama was surrounded by wily operatives supremely attuned to the public mood during the 2008 campaign, taking maximum advantage. He won the Presidency despite a total lack of useful experience and principles precisely contrary to those needed to manage the executive branch of American government. Those same advisors have suddenly become tin-earred and hard-of-thinking, having either completely misread the wishes of the American populace or completely disregarded them. The misleading trope of “Obama’s popularity” is getting old. In the super-charged atmosphere of political correctness foisted upon us by the Kennedy/Cronkite media and their allies in academia, the polling dissonance cited above suggests that most folks just don’t feel comfortable reporting their dislike for the Lyin’ Hawaiian.

Barack Obama continues to infuriate those on both ends of the political spectrum, while merely providing major disappointment to those in the center. The combination of his narcissism and his love affair with the sound of his own voice have led him to completely over-expose himself to the point where the law of diminishing returns has kicked in. One or two Obama speeches might be inspiring. But according to the Political Hotsheet at CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/01/20/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry6119525.shtml Barack Obama gave a combination of 411 speeches, addresses and remarks. How can America not be tired of his visage?

To cap it all, an informed observer would have to believe that a likeable President in his first term would have some useful coat-tails to extend to those members of his party in need of a little boost when elections roll around. Well, despite B.O.’s large expenditure of Presidential capital as a fund-raiser, the formerly silver-tongued orator has provided precisely zero tangible help to struggling Dems in need of a lifeline. Obama attended 28 fundraisers to churn up electioneering cash for his party in his first year in office. Compare that to the 6 fund-raisers attended by George W. Bush in the same period. In addition, the Big O attended 7 campaign rallies for his party in year one. And here’s the rub:

“The rallies were for Gov. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, D-Va, and U.S. Senate Candidate Martha Coakley, D-Mass. All of them lost. “ (Ibid CBS)

Obama has even lost the approval of most of our children. Time for Kids http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/teachers/wr/article/0,27972,1954215,00.html provided a survey to 9-13 year olds in American schools and asked the kids to grade the President. Here are the results:

Obama's Grades:
A: 19%
B: 30%
C: 24%
D: 10%
F: 16% (Ibid TFK)

That’s right, 50% of the kids gave Obama a C or worse for his first year performance, with 16% giving him an F. Obviously B.O is not the guy you want to invite to pull you out of the ditch into which the Democrats have driven themselves.
After Scott Brown’s brilliant election victory in Massachusetts, it’s not just the Blue Dogs whose prognosis for re-election in 2010 looks grim. If Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts seat wasn’t safe, there are no safe Democrat seats. Regardless of the dire straits they find themselves in, you can bet that the Democrat campaign trails will be strictly Obama non grata.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Who Vetted Martha Coakley?

(This article first appeared at The American Thinker on 01/18/2010.)
The utter lack of seriousness on the part of the Democrat Party in Massachusetts looks likely to complicate matters significantly for the Washingtonians stumbling toward Obamacare. It seems unlikely that anyone in the bastion of liberalism on the Bay vetted
the unpalatable machine hack, Martha Coakley, who is running for the Chappaquiddick Memorial Senate seat. Where were the media stormtroopers who rushed to vet Sarah Palin when they pronounced the McCain campaign's review of Governor Palin's background insufficient? Clearly the Democrats took this one for granted, foisting a grating and belligerent candidate upon their unsuspecting allies in the media and labor union confederation.

Hopefully it is too late to rescue the under-prepared shrew from the Dan Quayle school of spelling http://blog.masslive.com/thefray/2010/01/martha_coakley_ad_misspells_massachusetts.html from ignominious defeat. Coakley's arrogant dismissal of questions from the press, her head-in-the-sand belief that Afghanistan is terrorist-free and general cluelessness combine with her thin-lipped Calvin Coolidge demeanor to provide as unattractive a candidate for national office as one could imagine.

It's a good thing the Democrats were unable to sober up one of the Kennedys long enough to contend for what should have been a win in a walk. Here's to a Brown Tuesday.