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Specter Stabs Unions in the Back | The Nation

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Christopher Hayes

Christopher Hayes

Nation editor-at-large and host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.

Specter Stabs Unions in the Back

A Democratic politician once said of Arlen Specter that he's "always there when you don't need him." Well, the Employee Free Choice Act, was one place where we did need him. He was the lone Republican co-sponsor and the lone Republican who voted or cloture last time it came up. Today he recanted.

"The problems of a recession make this a particularly bad time to enact Employee's choice legislation," he said. "Employers understandably complain that adding a burden would result in further job losses. If efforts are unsuccessful to give labor sufficient bargaining power through amendments to the [National Labor Relations Act] then I would be willing to reconsider Employees choice legislation when the economy returns to normalcy. I am announcing my decision now because I have consulted with a very large number of interested parties on both sides and I have made up my mind."

The rationale is bullshit, of course. (The NLRA was passed in the depths of the Great Depression, let's recall) What really happened is that he got metaphorically waterboarded by the US Chamber of Commerce. So that's that.

I feel like every day the scales fall further from my eyes in terms of just how much the currently entrenched powers will fight to maintain their advantages. Also: can we please get rid of the filibuster?

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