Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hoyer doubletalk on EFCA

Steny Hoyer engaged in some stupefying doubletalk about Card Check on Fox News Sunday.

Clip 1:
Chris Wallace: Are you prepared to take away the secret ballot?

Hoyer: Again, let me stress, Chris, nobody's going to take away the secret ballot. The employees currently have and will have the opportunity to opt for a secret ballot. They don't have to sign the card. They can say, "look, we'll have an election -- we may vote." But they have that choice and will continue to have that choice.
Ah yes, the opportunity to not sign the card! Because organizers won't be, shall we say "persistent" getting those last few signatures they need.

Clip 2:
Hoyer: ... And again, I want to stress, nobody is precluding having a secret ballot. What we are saying is that an alternative route will be available, and if employees choose to sign -- over 50% of the employees sign a card saying "we want to be represented by the union," that that will be effective.
So, they wouldn't be precluding a secret ballot, unless of course they do.

And by "not taking away the secret ballot", they mean "making it very unlikely that any secret elections will actually take place" and "forcing certain people to join a union without having the opportunity to vote on the matter".

Sounds like a "free choice" to me!

I'm still working on Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, but this part jumped out at me with respect to EFCA and the apparently tenuous relationship between "good" or "desirable" outcomes and democratic institutions:
Bismark's motive was to forestall demands for more democracy by giving the people the sort of thing they might ask for at the polls. His top-down socialism was a Machiavellian masterstroke because it made the middle class dependent upon the state. The middle class took away from this the lesson that enlightened government was not the product of democracy, but an alternative to it. Such logic proved disastrous little more than a generation later. But it was precisely this logic that appealed to the progressives. As Wilson put it, the essence of Progressivism was that the individual "marry his interests to the state." [LF, pg 96 - bold added]

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