Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.
Raise your hand if you hate special interest money controlling government and politics. Yes, yes, I see that hand. Yep, see that one too. OK, gotcha, check, right... Rich Robinson, you can put your hands down, we know you only hate SOME special interest money and certainly not the undisclosed special interest money that pays your bills. Moving on... there in the back of the room, I see you. Alright, got you too. Up in the balcony, got you all.
Yep, that's just about everybody. If George Carlin were still alive and worked up a new routine about the seven dirtiest words in politics, "special interests" would be the ultimate punchline.
Read on... Every good conservative knows that a "special interest" is little more than a group of people who share an opinion on an issue voluntarily coming together to pool their voices and their resources in the pursuit of public policy. There isn't anything dirty or wrong with that... in fact, the right is sort of enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of America. If it was good enough for James Madison its good enough for me, you know?
The same can rarely be said about the Michigan left. They spit out the words "special interest" with the same sort of venom used when referring to Jerry Falwell as "a terrorist," wishing him "good riddance" upon news of his death or suggesting that John McCain wasn't much of a patriot for having "sat around" during Vietnam.
Of course, catching the regressisphere in a fundamental inconsistency is sort of like finding a frustrated Michigan resident in an unemployment line these days. It isn't tough to do. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't call out the problems when we see them. Like in the case of one particular special interest... organized labor. Scour the world wide web, boys and girls, and you won't find a criticism of this special interest on a single lefty blog. Not even this morning as news emerges indicating a massive political spending operation being undertaken without the explicit approval of their members.
We learn today that the AFL-CIO is already dropping mail pieces supporting Barack Obama. The AP reports they have a $200 million war chest and they're going to use it to influence the Presidential race.
A $200 million special interest. A $200 million SPECIAL, special interest. The AFL-CIO is extra special. In all caps. They aren't an organization of likeminded citizens who come together voluntarily to pool their voices and their resources to affect public policy. Oh, sure, they pool their resources... it's the word "voluntary" that's the rub.
Here in Michigan and in many other states across the nation workers are given no choice over union membership. You WILL become a member and you WILL pay dues that WILL be spent on Democrats. You might be a Republican, a Libertarian, a member of the Green Party or the freaking Tax Payers Party, but your cash is backing the Democrats.
Better yet, Big Labor bosses and Democrats across the country are fighting tooth and nail to prevent the protection of secret ballots in member voting, even further eroding freedom of association and opening members up to intimidation and threats. Meanwhile, auto companies looking to build new plants look to states like Tennessee (VW, anyone?) where the government has established legal protections for their workers, making union membership a choice.
They don't just stay away from Michigan and her special interest controlled, Dem led government regulators, they actively move away (VW, anyone?), too.
Put on your imagination caps for a second and daydream with me. Pretend a company like Alticor, here in Grand Rapids, formed a "workers organization" and mandated that as a condition of employment each of their thousands of Michigan employees had to shell out dues. Imagine that the company collected millions of dollars over the last few years and they were going to inject that cash backing Republicans, no matter the political affiliation of the company's dues paying employees.
Think there'd be much of an outcry? Think the left would tar and feather the company? Think there wouldn't be criminal prosecution? But they don't just stand idly by, they actually defend and enable groups like the AFL-CIO to steal cash out of workers' pockets to use for purely partisan purposes. It's enough to make a guy want to utter all seven of Carlin's dirty words.