With so many scandals in Washington these days, Senate Democrats may be about to add more fuel to conservatives’ fire at the behest of AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka and his fellow union bosses.
On Thursday, it’s political payback time in the U.S. Senate as union bosses demand that Harry Reid and his fellow union dues-funded Democrats go to bat for Barack Obama’s deeply-flawed nominations at the National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor.
The question will be whether Reid and his union-backed cronies deploy the so-called “nuclear option” to overcome Republican filibusters, as union bosses are demanding, and further widen the political divide for years to come.
First up, according to the Wall Street Journal, is Thomas Perez–Barack Obama’s nomination to replace Hilda Solis after her January surprise resignation as Secretary of Labor.
Perez will be voted on by the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, where it is expected he will clear the committee before heading to the full Senate. Republican Sen. David Vitter (La) has previously threatened to filibuster Perez’s nomination.
Following Perez, the Senate HELP committee will be taking up the nominations of Obama’s constitutionally-challenged National Labor Relations Board.
With his ‘recess’ appointments at the NLRB heading to the Supreme Court later this year, in April, Obama cynically re-nominated two of the controversial appointments.
One of them, International Union of Operating Engineers’ General Counsel Richard Griffin is a defendant in a racketeering suit and, as of late, his union’s mob ties has further raised questions about his qualifications.
That union bosses have been demanding their Democrat comrades in the Senate to take action on these deeply-flawed nominations is not surprising.
However, what is surprising is that union bosses would demand that Democrats deploy the “nuclear option”–which would be a dramatic shift in the ability of the minority party (read Republican or Democrat) to filibuster–over such controversial and ill-suited nominations.
It is, without question, a move that will come back to haunt them when the political pendulum swings again. Yet, the nuclear option is what union bosses are demanding.
According to the Hill, in a meeting last Wednesday between Senate Democrats and 25 union bosses, the union bosses made it clear: they “demanded” the nuclear option.
Senate Democrats frustrated with the GOP’s blocking of a string of President Obama’s nominees are seriously weighing a controversial tactic known as the “nuclear option.”
The labor officials demanded that Democrats break the logjam by stripping Republicans of the ability to filibuster.
As surely as union bosses want a union-friendly NLRB and Department of Labor to be fully operational, short-sighted Democrats must also realize that political winds shift (see above-referenced scandals)–just as they did in 1980, when unions represented 25% of the workforce (and 1947 and 1959 before that).
Now, with unions representing only 11.3% of the workforce (6.6% in the private sector) and given that history very often repeats itself, should Senate Democrats push the nuclear option button over these pathetic nominations, the ramifications most likely to occur when the political winds do shift will spell doom for what is left of today’s unions.
By Democrats allowing union bosses to provoke the nuclear option now will likely earn them the same treatment a few short years from now. [Historically, it does seem to occur every 12 years anyway.]
So, go ahead, Harry, do the union bosses’ bidding by pushing the nuclear button. However, just remember, turn-about is fair play. [When it happens, as it surely will, some might even call it ‘Karma’ or ‘poetic justice.’]
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)
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