Free Markets, Free People

Arlen Specter And “Principle” Rarely Ever Meet In The Senate

If you ever had to put a picture next to the term “unprincipled political hack”, I think Arlen Specter’s would be a good choice. Read the following carefully. It’s not that Specter is against the union card check legislation itself (i.e. he accepts the premise that the right of a secret ballot should be denied American workers), he’s just is against it now. Of course many on the right are celebrating his decision, but in reality it’s a decision based in unprincipled and nonsensical reasoning (but, given the source, not at all surprising).  He’s hedged the hell out of it.  It’s his weasly way of placating those on the right who’re still mad at him about the “stimulus bill” vote by appearing to be against something they are against while really not being against it at all.  Is your head spinning a little bit?

Senator Specter ended speculation on where he would come down on the Employee Free Choice Act by declaring, on the Senate floor, that he would oppose the legislation until the economy improves.

“The problems of a recession make this a particularly bad time to enact Employee’s choice legislation,” he said. “Employers understandably complain that adding a burden would result in further job losses. If efforts are unsuccessful to give labor sufficient bargaining power through amendments to the [National Labor Relations Act] then I would be willing to reconsider Employees choice legislation when the economy returns to normalcy. I am announcing my decision now because I have consulted with a very large number of interested parties on both sides and I have made up my mind.”

So, per his statement, the premise is fully accepted as valid by Specter. But for reasons of political expediencey, he claims that the “burden” it would impose on businesses now would “result it further job losses” which makes it unacceptable at this time. But apparently when the economy returns to “normalcy” those “burdens” and “job losses” will then be considered acceptable, as will the denial of the secret ballot to workers.

Hey, he said it, not me. Ask him how the hell he explains the apparent contradictions or why he accepts the premise workers should be denied the secret ballot at some point in the future.


14 Responses to Arlen Specter And “Principle” Rarely Ever Meet In The Senate

  • So…from this I can infer –

    Specter knows unions are a bad thing for companies economically.  
    Specter favors companies over unions and employees when the economy is bad.

    When the economy is good
    Screw the company, screw the employee’s privacy and Viva’ la Union!

  • Specter to English translation:

    I wish to be re-elected, and will run as a Republican, therefore I will oppose EFCA for now. My stupid Republican constituents will vote for me again. But I still want to get union money, so I am not opposed to EFCA. Please keep giving me money in the hopes that you can change my mind.

  • “My stupid Republican constituents will vote for me again.”

    I wish they would vote for me!  I can guarantee my voting record would be a damn site better than Specters.


    In fact I will donate to their democrat opponents just to get them out of office.

    • The problem with that tactic Retired Military, is that the stupid Republicans will think you giving to the Dems to mean that they should act more like those three in order to get you back in the fold, instead of acting like limited government conservatives.

  • Didn’t Obama recently say raising taxes now in a recession is a bad idea but allowing the bush tax cuts to expire when the economy is better is good idea? 

    Same logic higher taxes are bad for business but what the hell i’m gonna do it anyway cause that’s what america voted for when they elected my liberal socialist a$$.

  • DARN … I was hoping to go into the labor organizing racket .. starting with campaign employees of Democratic politicians

  • I will give ZERO to the RNC until SPINELESS SPECTER, STUPID SNOWE and CLUELESS COLLINS ARE OUT OF OFFICE.   I second military retired’s motion and I want to contribute to the Repub running against the ridiculous coward Specter [born in Bob Dole birthplace, Russell, KS, by gypsy parents] whose politics reflect Marx’s famous dictum about “the specter of Communism.”   Traitor Arlen is an interesting contrast to hero Dole, and it’s good to cleanse the GOP colon of backed-up fecal material like Specter, Snowe, and Collins.

  • or why he accepts the premise workers should be denied the secret ballot at some point in the future.

    Hey there! Maybe, he, you know, doesn’t, accept that premise! Since, you know, the EFCA does not in fact “deny” the secret ballot to anyone? You know, since this talking point is factually false?

    As for why – would it kill you to…. um…. look in his statement?

    In voting for cloture – that, is to cut off debate – in June 2007, I emphasized in my floor statement and in a law review article that I was not supporting the bill on the merits, but only to take up the issue of labor law reform. Hearings had shown that the NLRB was dysfunctional and badly politicized. When Republicans controlled the Board, the decisions were for business. With Democrats in control, the decisions were for labor. Some cases took as long as eleven years to decide. The remedies were ineffective.

    Regrettably, there has been widespread intimidation on both sides. Testimony shows union officials visit workers’ homes with strong-arm tactics and refuse to leave until cards are signed. Similarly, employees have complained about being captives in employers’ meetings with threats of being fired and other strong-arm tactics.

    Oh, wait, that *would* have killed… your brain-dead monologue. The whole laughable propaganda machine of “ooh hoo hoo, we’re trying to PROTECT these workers from those SCARY SCARY unions” falls on its face for anyone who actually starts looking into the conditions under which these “free” elections are being held (Hint: Putin’s Russia).

    Speaking of hackery, this issue is a great test of that same quality.  Here’s how it works. A conservative or libertarian who is not a hack can be against this bill if they’re honest about their motivations for it and those motivations follow some sort of principle which is actually reflected in their statements (i.e. not dishonest). For example, if you’re pro-business, you hate unions, and you want unions to die, and you were up front about that, that would not be hackery. “You don’t, of course, have to say, “I want unions to die”, you can make the point more generally.
    But this whole bit about protecting employees’ secret ballots – that might fool confused senior citizens listening to your commercials, and perhaps the weak and pathetic among you tell that to each other so you can go to sleep at night, but that has f*cking nothing to do with your decisions.  You’d be thrilled to abolish the secret ballot in the context of eliminating the right to unionize completely in this country.  You don’t give a dam* about due process in the workplace. You’re a die-hard supporter of dictatorship in the workplace environment, like most neoclassicals. So this nauseating, dishonest bullsh*t about protecting a secret ballot makes me want to puke. You want to protect said ballot as an obstruction to unionization, not to protect a due process whose very existence would, in a different argument, offend you.

    So… there’s the test. You failed.

    • Glasnost, you own citation states the following:

      In order for a workplace to organize under current US labor law, the card check process begins when an employee requests blank cards from an existing union, and requests signatures on the cards from his colleagues.   Once 30% of the work force has signed the cards, the employer may decide to hold a secret ballot election on the question of unionization.  In practice, the results of the card check are not presented to the employer until 50 or 60% of employees have signed the cards to help ensure winning the election.  If the majority of votes favor the union, the National Labor Relations Board will certify it as the exclusive representative of the employees for the purpose of collective bargaining. 
      If enacted, EFCA would require the NLRB to certify the union as the bargaining representative without directing an election if a majority of the bargaining unit employees signed cards; however, employees may still request a secret ballot election if 30% of employees petition for one.

      So your own citation states that a union, in effect, is established without secret ballot.  Yeah, you will then say that a secret ballot could then be petitioned by 30% of the work force.  That’s like calling for a show of hand, declaring a winner, and then asking for a roll call vote thinking you are going to change the outcome.  And everyone here with a pulse knows once the union gets in, it will take lots of guns and lawyers a whole lot of years to get them out – Secret Ballot or no. 

      Nice try glas – you can go back to sleep now.

    • You could be Ott Scerb with that “analysis”, ‘nost. Thanks. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

  • Glasnot

    By the mere fact that you ( a diehard democrat) is defending Specter is more than enough of a reason for me to oppose him. 

    I will however donate to his democrat opponent if he has one since the dems probably wont run anyone against him to pay him back for his loyalty.

  • Never mind the freaking GEORGE McGOVERN came out against this bill Glazzy, yeah, you keep telling yourself it’s a good thing.  Cuddle up with your Obama TeddyBear dressed in his little AFLCIO union suit.

  • From the source so thoughtfully supplied by G.;

    “If enacted, EFCA would require the NLRB to certify the union as the bargaining representative without directing an election if a majority of the bargaining unit employees signed cards;[1] however, employees may still request a secret ballot election if 30% of employees petition for one.”

    In other words, any secret ballot election would be for the sole purpose of DECERTIFYING the union. Anyone want to put money on there being 30% of the employees standing up to union intimidation to request an election?