WASHINGTON — It’s always interesting when a charter member of the media elite weighs in against unions. Joe Klein of TIME magazine:
An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that.
Joe Klein has joined Boehner’s “so be it” club.
Gov. Walker joining Speaker John Boehner’s callous disregard for a living wage, which comes through the collective bargaining process of union members. In fact, federal employees’ ability to collectively bargain is the last line of defense for the middle class.
As I’ve written before, my blue collar gas technician husband made a great living, with strong benefits and a respectable pension, back out in the West before we moved to the Beltway. One reason his former company was kept honest and offered competitive wages is because unions were always one step away. I can’t tell you all the times he’s talked about the importance of unions to people who are non-union as well.
Republicans have wanted to break unions for decades. Globalization helped marginalize their effectiveness, with the austerity disease now at politically epidemic proportions making unions fight even harder.
When Speaker Boehner proclaimed “so be it” and that he didn’t care if federal jobs were lost he revealed the callous disregard of the Republican Party on how any job lost matters to the American economy. That union jobs are what makes the middle class strong is lost on Republicans, with Gov. Walker and Speaker Boehner leading the way the foundation of our country through their ideological zealotry.
What Gov. Walker is trying to do in Wisconsin, which Gov. Kasich hopes to do in Ohio, with governors across the country waiting to see how it all plays out, is a direct assault on the middle class.
Republicans have one goal and it isn’t balancing the budget. It is to once and for all destroy unions, beginning where they think they can safely make the anti-government rant stick by attacking federal union employees.
As an aside, the bookend to this issue is the Right’s war against women, which was seen today again through the Pence legislation against Planned Parenthood, which passed the House. While the world is breaking out in freedom protests, the Republican Party wants to curtail freedoms of women, right along with the collective bargaining right of union workers.
The power is shifting to the people across the world, but in America Republicans are shifting it even further towards the powerful against the people.
In the race of wages it looks like the “so be it” Republicans want American workers to compete with the Chinese. Can’t wait for them to try to make that sale.
Taylor Marsh is a political analyst, writer and commentator on national politics. A veteran national politics writer, Taylor’s been writing on the web since 1996. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her blog.
TM NOTE: Editorial cartoon used with permission by Paul Szep.