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Indiana Update and a Lesson for Republican Strategists

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Pathetically, I think the largest news outlet covering the Indiana right to work a person to death law is LGM.

Although the media is giving this story zero attention, Indiana labor is fighting like mad to stop Indiana Republicans from passing this law. Today, 10,000 people marched on the Indiana statehouse, rallying and vowing to make Republicans pay for eviscerating working-class rights.

The Indiana AFL-CIO website has more information about the broader issue and their campaign to protect Indiana workers.

This leads to another point. If I was a Republican strategist, there is a clear lesson in the lack of media coverage of the Indiana bill. Republicans should introduce their most loathsome bills in the states during presidential primary season every 4 years. Everyone will focus on the 14th debate between Republicans in South Carolina and media attention will be drawn away from even the most retrograde bills. That might not be true in the hottest early contest states like Iowa and New Hampshire, but in any of the last 40 states to vote, it’s a very good idea. So long as the clownshow continues, Democrats just aren’t going to pay attention to the terrible things Republicans are doing in the states.

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  • Hanspeter
    • The 8th article on a back page isn’t very convincing. I’m glad they are at least mentioning it though.

      But the other issue is also this–where is the progressive organizing around this issue? Where is building off of Wisconsin and Ohio to fight this in Indiana? Where’s the appeals we saw last year?

      • BKP

        But the other issue is also this–where is the progressive organizing around this issue? Where is building off of Wisconsin and Ohio to fight this in Indiana? Where’s the appeals we saw last year?

        Something to do with the make-ups of the public unions in Wisconsin and Ohio and the private unions at stake in Indiana?

      • Tim

        Are you really surprised that progressives
        are not rallying to the cause of Indiana unions?

      • Sockie the Sock Puppet

        The 8th article on a back page isn’t very convincing.

        Um, I got the dead-tree edition right in front of me: The article (with large pictures) takes up the top 3/4 of the first page of the National section. For my money, that’s a better play than if it were a tiny gray box on the bottom of the front page with a jump to A3 or something.

        Not everyone reads the Times on their iPad.

    • Hogan

      But also this on Sunday. Utah Phillips used to talk about his contributions to the Unitarian Hymnal, including such songs as “Which Side Am I On?” and “We Would Rather Not Be Moved.” Gary Chaison reminded me of that.

  • BKP

    Its interesting how the entire flavor of the typical liberal/conservative debate flips when it comes to Right-To-Work laws.

    All of a sudden its conservatives pushing pro-growth regulation and lamenting the “stuck” worker.

    • Malaclypse

      Conservatives side with capital. I’m shocked to see this.

      • BKP

        Everybody is on the side of capital. This is about employment levels.

        • I am not on the side of capital.

          • Ben

            Pretty sure Lemieux is against the Capitals, too.

            • bobbyp

              did you inadvertently replace the ‘k’ with some other letter?

              • Ben

                No idea what this means. I’m just a simple man tryin’ to make hockey puns.

                • Walt

                  There is no higher calling, my friend.

        • MPAVictoria

          Who is this “everyone” kemosabe?

          • BKP

            Everyone who makes these sort of decisions.

            • Murc

              Do you make a beeping noise when you move the goalposts like that?

            • Malaclypse

              Bourgeois political parties govern in the interests of the bourgeoisie. This is not actually surprising, and libertarianism will not be the cure.

              We’ll make a Marxist of you yet.

              • BKP

                We’ll make a Marxist of you yet.

                Don’t see that happening. I will say this, though: I haven’t completely got my head around the online reaction to SOPA/PIPA and its current success, but its changing the way I am looking at the relationship between individuals, property, and government.

                In short, I still want that government that can drown in the bathtub, but it seems like we may have a much bigger bathtub than I suspected.

                • Malaclypse

                  I still want that government that can drown in the bathtub

                  Brad, people far more stupid and venal than you have had the good sense to retire that metaphor.

                • BKP

                  What should I use?

                  A government the people can:

                  Beat with a hammer?
                  Smother with a pillow?
                  Lock in a garage with the car runnin?

                  My first pro-government shift in as far as I can remember was triggered by a radical protest movement. Violent, adversarial rhetoric is still indicative of my view of the relationship between the government and the people.

                  Baby steps.

                • Malaclypse

                  Well, some people would look at that picture, and realize that a government too weak to provide critical infrastructure is a Bad Thing, and that this is true in the real world even when Libertarian Theory says otherwise.

                • BKP

                  Well, some people would look at that picture, and realize that a government too weak to provide critical infrastructure is a Bad Thing, and that this is true in the real world even when Libertarian Theory says otherwise.

                  And some would look to the US project to destroy and rebuild the middle east that was concurrent with Hurricane Katrina, and decide that the “government was too weak” angle is laughable.

            • Joseph Slater

              Right-to-work isn’t “pro-growth,” it’s a conscious attempt to starve unions. But you are right, this is the one context in which conservatives don’t seem to recognize the argument they happily make about everything else: “if you aren’t happy with [fill in the blank that the employer unilaterally imposes] about your job,” you can quit.

              Before anyone says, “but aha, aren’t liberals flipped on that argument too?”, it’s worth noting that the term & condition of employment at issue in right to work laws — union contract clauses requiring all those benefitting from a union contract to pay their fair share of the costs of obtaining those benefits — is something that the workers’ chosen representative has negotiated, not a unilateral imposition by the employer.

              • DrDick

                Actually it is just another part of the ongoing effort by capital and management to drive down wages so that they can extract ever greater rents out of the system.

              • BKP

                Right-to-work isn’t “pro-growth,” it’s a conscious attempt to starve unions.

                Those aren’t mutually exclusive. The studies I have seen point to the effects you would expect. Greater investment and employment, lower wages.

                Before anyone says, “but aha, aren’t liberals flipped on that argument too?”, it’s worth noting that the term & condition of employment at issue in right to work laws — union contract clauses requiring all those benefitting from a union contract to pay their fair share of the costs of obtaining those benefits — is something that the workers’ chosen representative has negotiated, not a unilateral imposition by the employer.

                That’s kinda weak, and I still believe liberals are flipped, but they don’t prioritize this issue like conservatives do. Whereas conservatives prioritize choice and options as the method for labor to get fair treatment, liberals prefer representation and organization. So the hypocrisy falls on conservatives, even if both sides are flipped.

          • DrDick

            Certainly not me. I kind of look to the eradication of parasites.

    • Murc

      All of a sudden its conservatives pushing pro-growth regulation

      They are?

      Where?

      • DrDick

        Well, they are pro-growth of the wealth of the top 0.10%.

    • wengler

      Last time I checked, Mississippi is growing like a motherfucker.

      50th in education, 1st in pro-growth regulation!

  • bobbyp

    I’d wager there are a lot of progressives who don’t even know what right-to-work legislation is, or how truly awful its effects are. After all, you don’t see a lot of progressive push back in states that have adopted this atrocity(it’s been around since ’47)…even if you take into account their rural/southern/conservative nature.

  • commie atheist

    I keep hearing about how powerful unions are, and how the media is controlled by liberals. You’d think these natural allies would get their shit together. Could it be that Newt Gingrich isn’t being entirely truthful?

    • That may seem anomalous at first glance, but when you incorporate into your analysPURPLE SHIRTED THUGS!!! PURPLE!!! SHIRTED!!! THUGS!!!

      • I know that some people think of purple shirted thugs and think SEIU. These are the sadly misinformed.

        Smart people think of purple shirted thugs and think the University of Washington football team.

        • Malaclypse

          Parents of small children think of a purple shirted thug, and realize that Barney is the biggest thug of them all.

        • bobbyp

          Sometimes the term “man on dog” conjurs up pleasant things.

          Sincerely,
          A Washington State Cougar fan

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