Monday, December 10, 2012


Republicans are in the process of turning Michigan into a right-to-work state. The union movement has been going downhill for decades, and Ronald Reagan gave unions one of the bigger shoves when he took on the air traffic controllers in his first term -- but I suppose the fact that Republicans haven't tried to flip strong union states to right-to-work until recently, combined with the fact that Democrats have been all talk and no action with regard to strengthening labor, has led some union workers to be unsure which party best represented their interests.

And now it's clear what a mistake that was. Assaults on unions since 2010 have all come from the GOP. And yet according to the 2012 exit polls, 40% of voters who have a union member in the household voted for Mitt Romney. In House votes in 2010, 37% of voters from union households voted GOP. In the 2008 election, 39% of voters from union households voted for McCain.

These aren't trivial numbers. I assume union households include households with unionized retirees, because this year union-household voters were 18% of the electorate; they were 17% in 2010, and 21% in 2008.

So approximately 40% of union-household voters vote GOP every year, and they're about 18% of the electorate? That's about 7% of the electorate picking the Republicans despite the presence of a union worker in the household. If that's going on at the state level, how many GOP governors and state legislators are winning based on union-household support?

Well, this has to stop. Union-household support for the GOP should be zero. It's not individual Republicans who are literally trying to destroy what's left of the union movement in America -- it's essentially the entire party.

Maybe that wasn't clear until now, but it's got to be clear from now on. Members of union households, these people hate you. Never give them another vote.


Terry Ott said...

Why do you assume that (a) all members of unions are enthused about being a member rather than being a member because they're unwilling to leave and suffer whatever the consequences would be?; or, (b) have a prescribed perspective about what's best for the WHOLE country, be that represented by Democrat, GOP, or Independent political philosophies and positions?

Wealthy people shouldn't be Democrats? Executives in corporations?

We are not all consumed by what might seem to in our personal best interest, you know. If I were just concerned about my own family economics, I might be a Republican. As it is, I am pretty far left on social issues and that is why I can vote against what YOU and others might assume is "in my interest".

Take the devout Roman Catholic union member? He/she is expected to vote Democrat in light of the government requiring health care insurance provide contraception benefits?

Philo Vaihinger said...

The moral of the facts in your first two paragraphs is that being the lesser evil doesn't pull enough votes.

When Obama agrees to means testing or pushing up the age of eligibility for Medicare he will lose more of the elderly to the GOP.

Every time the Democrats let that margin by which they are LESS evil diminish they lose ground among their white and working class former base.

But they're OK with that, relying for the future on more people of color not to notice they are, in fact, working class.

And more young people not to notice that, in fact, they will get old.

Terry Ott, btw, above is of course quite right that people in very large numbers vote their religious or moral convictions, or their sympathies (the empathy vote), or their ideas of political justice rather than their personal economic interests, narrowly conceived as just more money or more in kind.

A good many, however, seem to vote against their own moral convictions - or those of their revered leaders - because they want to be free to choose to do what their clergy don't want them to do or to be free to do.

Lots of Christians, obviously not the most unqualified in their commitment, vote for freedom FROM their own religion.

I would in fact guess all that free exercise baloney from the bishops trying to deny contraceptive benefits to their employees angered more Catholics than it impressed favorably.

Typical Catholic clergy overreach, convinced they have God's own mandate to veto employee rights.

And I say that as a Jesuit trained atheist.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Oh, wasn't it during the summer of 2012 that we heard so much from Rachel M and others that killing the unions would be killing the Democratic Party's chief non-plute source of money and best source of ground troops?

The Dems drift to the right is a vicious circle.

Victor said...

Dear Terry Ott,
'Vote Democrat"ic"!'
Not Democrat - that's a "tell."

Victor said...

I don't suppose that roughly 40% of chickens, if polled, would support Col. Sanders.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Patriotic chickens. For the good of the country. Or for God, maybe.

Anonymous said...

This is why the failure of any major media outlets to point out continual republican lies is such a big deal. Just look at how much coverage uncritically parroted the idea that the michigan legislature had to pass the anti-union bills because of the pro-labor ballot initiative that failed.

Unknown said...

Yes, and the unions killed Hostess, too. Ask anybody.

Terry Ott said...

A "tell"of what? That I'm not politically pure? I remain a proud "unlabeled" mongrel. Hope that doesn't offend your sensibilities too much. I was raised to think for myself, to respect most points of view, and to be comfortable in the gray area; for that I remain sincerely grateful.

I despise these things: Republican Party, Democratic Party, the fundamentalist religio-lunatic movement, skinheads, neo-cons, tax cheats, and public employee unions. I would do nothing to knowingly promote or assist any of them.

In my world (of one, probably) if one votes straight party line, or is naturally inclined to favor Democratic Party candidates in most cases, THEY vote "Democratic"; i.e., voting or leaning based on party affiliation. I don't.

When I for a Democrat(s) which is what I mean by "vote Democrat", it is not because of affiliation but rather because they seem the better choice for the circumstances we face.

Same would be true of GOP, Green, Libertarian candidates.