Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
Anyway, Coulter’s latest column is about how the MSM is warning Republicans that they are losing the old “Reagan Democrats,” who decades ago were largely union members in the Midwest Rust Belt. She explains the obvious, rebutting what Huffington Post Senior Political Editor Howard Fineman said on MSNBC’s barely watched Hardball:
Fineman said that while Ronald Reagan appealed to union members, their “sons and daughters” were “having second thoughts.”
This could be true — but only if the sons and daughters of construction workers and miners, clinging to their guns and religion, grew up to be public school teachers, clinging to Earth Day and Kwanzaa.
I’m amazed that “smart-guy” pundits in Washington don’t get this.
The majority of union members today are not the auto workers, plumbers, and longshoremen of yesteryear, but public-sector employees. The callused and greasy hands of union voters in the Reagan era — and, by then, it was already in an accelerating decline — have been replaced by the government-employed bureaucratic pencil-pushers, at least when it comes to “organized labor” as a political force. That’s a good reason why public-union-defying Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin didn’t get his come-uppance in the state’s latest election for a state Supreme Court Justice.
Yet, as Coulter notes, that reliable regurgitator of Beltway conventional wisdom, E.J. Dionne, reiterated Fineman’s theory:
About a month later, The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne was pitching the Reagan-Democrats-Come-Home canard as his own fresh insight in his column and on “The Ed Show,” where he said that the Obama White House was no longer worried about losing the Midwest because “former Reagan Democrats” are saying, “This is not our politics.”
Yes, who can ever forget the way government workers idolized Ronald Reagan?
Heh. Coulter goes on to note that the U.S. Supreme Court was summoned to weigh in on a case in which a government (unionized) employee said of the assassination attempt on Reagan: “I hope they get him.” That person was no right wing militia guy the current government is intent on examining, I’m guessing. Coulter quips:
Where have you gone, rock-ribbed Republican government employees?
Again … funny. And biting. And incisive. Coulter continues:
With the nation in the fight of its life against incompetent government bureaucrats who can never be fired and think the world owes them $100,000 a year, free health care, and endless vacation, sick, personal and mental health days — all granted to them by Democratic politicians to buy their votes — liberals love to pretend the governor of Wisconsin is at war with West Virginia coal miners.
Again: We’re not talking about unions in industries where there is something called “management” on the other side of the bargaining table. We’re talking about government jobs used to buy Democratic votes with your hard-earned money.
Like I said, and interesting read. But some at The Heartland Institute have other views on the modern incarnation of American unions. But Heartland is peopled by a wide range of free-market advocates — libertarians and conservatives — so we’re bound to disagree on some issues.