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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Democrats; Union owned

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If one thing has become quite clear, it is that the Democrats have become the parties of public employee unions and are willing to go all-in defending all of their powers, perks, and privileges. Charles Krauthammer argues that it goes even deeper than that.

 

 

But Democratic fealty to unions does not stop there. Boeing has just completed a production facility in South Carolina for its new 787 Dreamliner. The National Labor Relations Board, stacked with Democrats — including one former union lawyer considered so partisan that he required a recess appointment after the Senate refused to confirm him — is trying to get the plant declared illegal. Why? Because by choosing right-to-work South Carolina, Boeing is accused of retaliating against its unionized Washington state workers for previous strikes.

In fact, Boeing has increased unionized employment by more than 2,000 at its Puget Sound plant. Moreover, the idea that a company in a unionized state can thus be prohibited from expanding into right-to-work states by a partisan regulatory body is quite insane. It violates the fundamental principle in a free-market economy that companies can move and build in response to market conditions, rather than administrative fiat. It jeopardizes the economic recovery, not only targeting America’s single largest exporter in its attempt to compete with Airbus for a huge global market, but also threatening any other company that might think of expanding in any way displeasing to unions and their NLRB patrons.

Obama has been utterly silent in the Boeing affair. Which is understood by all as tacit approval. He’s facing reelection next year. And Democrats need unions.

Of course, unions need Democrats — who deliver quite faithfully. In last year’s nationwide “shellacking” of Democrats, for example, Wisconsin gave Republicans control of both legislative chambers and elected a Republican governor who made clear his intention to rein in public-sector union power.

When the Republicans tried to do as promised, Democrats, lacking the votes, tried to block it by every extra-parliamentary maneuver short of arson. State Senate Democrats fled Wisconsin to prevent a quorum. Demonstrators filled the statehouse for days and nights on end. And when the bill finally passed nonetheless, Dane County’s Democratic district attorney went to court to have it thrown out on procedural grounds.

They found a pliant judge to invalidate the law. A famous victory, but short-lived. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the ruling, upbraiding the judge for having “usurped the legislative power which the Wisconsin Constitution grants exclusively to the legislature.” The law is reinstated.

Instructive cases all, demonstrating how those who lose popular support — Democrats at the polls, unions in their declining membership — can subvert and circumvent the popular will by judicial usurpation (Wisconsin) or administrative fiat (Boeing).

The Wisconsin maneuver ultimately failed, as likely will the assault on Boeing. In the interim, however, there is collateral damage — to U.S. exports, to the larger economy, to bankruptcy law, to free trade, to a constitutional system wherein the legislatures make the laws, rather than willful judges and partisan regulators.

But what are those when there are unions to appease and elections to win?

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