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The battle over the TSA (update)
Posted by: McQ on Friday, March 02, 2007

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vows this will not become law as long as a certain provision is included:
The Senate's leaders moved closer today toward a head-on collision over using the 9/11 bill to give collective bargaining rights to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners, a provision that already has sparked a White House veto threat. The bill is now on the floor.

Senate Republicans have followed the lead of their House counterparts, who are countering a House Democratic plan to call up another pro-union measure later today. Republicans have blasted Democrats, arguing that the bill is a giveaway to the labor interests that have given crucial political support to the new majority. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told his party's faithful at today's Conservative Political Action Conference that Republicans would stay united to sustain any presidential veto of the 9/11 bill.

"This bill will not become law as long as this dangerous provision is in it," McConnell said. He invoked the acrimonious Senate debate over giving collective bargaining rights to Department of Homeland Security employees in the 2002 bill that created the agency. That fight provided Republicans ammunition to return the Senate to GOP control that fall.
This is the second pay-off to unions the Democrats have put forward. Yesterday the House passed HR 800, the curiously misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" by a margin of 241-185. This act approves the use of the very public card check method of certifying a union instead of using a secret ballot.

As I mentioned here, that opens the entire process to intimidation - on both sides. A secret ballot was how it was formerly done and should have been preserved. I can't imagine how anyone can make the argument, with a straight face, that the card check system is less likely to encourage intimidation than a secret ballot, but that was argument made.

Bottom line: the Democrats voted to pay-back union leadership by screwing employees. In the TSA matter, Democrats are attempting to again pay back union leadership, this time by screwing over national security.

UPDATE: More on the card check fiasco from Kimberly Strassel:
The card check, in contrast, is a lesson in how the party's liberal base forces Democrats to back political losers. The legislation's only purpose is to give unions an unfair advantage in organizing, namely by eliminating the secret ballot in union elections and instead allowing thugs to openly bully workers into joining up. Americans understand and despise this, with polls showing 90% of the public thinks card check is a racket.

Democrats therefore left themselves wide open for their first public drubbing. The card check gave Republicans a rare opening to beat the daylights out of the new majority, successfully accusing it of trashing democratic elections and shutting down free speech. It unified the business community, which put aside its disagreements on health care and immigration to instead team up to make the vote as painful as possible for Ms. Pelosi's moderate wing. Even the liberal press jumped ship.
That first line is as telling as any written. And it's not just the "liberal base" that does that ... Republicans aren't immune to political losers either ... but it is indicative of how much of what goes on in Washington is simple, everyday political payback which has little if anything to do with the best interests of lawmaker's 'constituency' or the nation. It has to do with political power and how getting and keeping such power necessitates paying back those who help attain or keep it. It is, in the end, nothing but "special interest politics", something which most recently the Democrats swore they wanted to end in Congress.

Yet here they are, hip deep in rewarding their special interests just as Republicans did during their days in power. Obviously nothing new here, or even surprising in particular, but certainly it should warn those who are fairly new to this game that any party which claims it will end special interest politics if they are put into power is essentially lying through their teeth. This is simply the latest example of that seeming political truth.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

"Democrats therefore left themselves wide open for their first public drubbing." - I re-iterate a comment I posted on a story a day or two ago here: How have the Democrats gotten themselves into a position where they have to vote for so many things that hurt them, or in a position where they are so thoroughly unable to follow up on their promises?

(Everybody fails to follow through on their promises, but it’s not supposed to hurt to even try; it’s supposed to hurt your opposition that they stopped you.)
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
Great. So both parties are broken. What the #^@% should a "normal" voter do now?
Written By: D
URL: http://
Hopefully this will be an example of how divided government works. The dems propose something stupid and the republicans stop it. Had the dems had the house of the senate over the last six years much harm might have been stopped. The first supoenas have been issued.

If the republicans don’t take their party back from the the military adventuristic neo-cons and bible thumping social-cons the dems may have it all in two years. Thats when the trouble starts.

Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
If the republicans don’t take their party back from the the military adventuristic neo-cons and bible thumping social-cons the dems may have it all in two years. Thats when the trouble starts.
How did you get here from a post about political payoffs from the Congressional Democratic majority to their union backers?

I haven’t been over to Democratic Undergroundfor a while, but I can always count on CindyB to give me a sample of what I’ve been missing.
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
...the military adventuristic neo-cons and bible thumping social-cons
Wow - just wow. Cindyb, you amaze me. In a pathetic and sick kind of way, but still, it is amazement. Way to completely miss the point by the way.
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Come on guys, cindyb is being perfectly consistent here. If the Republicans do something stupid she bashes the Republicans. If the Democrats do something stupid, she keeps right on bashing the Republicans.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
If the Republicans do something stupid she bashes the Republicans. If the Democrats do something stupid, she keeps right on bashing the Republicans.
Still, this post ought to win some kind of award for "Most unlikely Post to have triggered a diatribe against Republicans."
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://

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