I've been hearing rumblings since the election that Democrats in congress were getting wobbly on the Employee Free Choice Act and that the administration was inclined to push it down the agenda. Presumably this is because the wingnuts are planning to stage a mass case of the maidenly vapors the minute they bring it. It's one of those bizarre issues that animates the cretins, like tort reform, purely because of the slogan. I don't think they have any idea what it means. In fact, I'm not sure they even know "they want to take away the secret ballot" has something to do with unions. But regardless, they've ben conditioned to completely lose their minds when the issue comes up, and I suspect that the Dems are getting gun shy.
I also have to wonder if the party poohbahs aren't looking for some people who have not made any promises to help them table this one. Maybe that's why this happened, from Todd Beeton at MYDD:
When asked, Sen. Michael Bennet either "doesn't know" if he supports The Employee Free Choice Act or "hasn't decided" yet. Truly amazing. Bennet, who, you'll recall, was appointed to the Senate by Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO) to replace Sen. Salazar, hasn't had to be accountable to the people of Colorado so I guess doesn't see any reason to ruffle any feathers by actually taking a stand on one of the most important pieces of legislation he's likely to vote on in the coming year.Go here to take action.
The Republicans are well aware that stopping unionization is an imperative. They are the party which represents the owners of America above all others. (So are Democrats, mind you, just to a lesser degree because their coalition is much broader, which may also be why they are suddenly having a hard time putting together enough votes for this legislation now that it could actually be signed.) They are readying a full court freak-out --- if you think Rush's caterwauling about socialism and Stalin is bad now, just wait.
The thing is, this really shouldn't be difficult or controversial. This is, as Darcy says, about the basic rights of workers to organize. EFCA is a bill that passed the House in 2005 and 2007 on a bi-partisan basis. While it came up short of a filibuster-proof super majority in the Senate in 2007, cloture garnered the votes of every single Democrat in the Senate (including Landrieu, Lincoln, Pryor and, yes, Salazar) plus both Independents and even Arlen Specter. Add to that the fact that during his run for the US Senate last year, freshman Colorado Sen. Mark Udall had been a co-sponsor of EFCA in the House, promised to support it as a Senator, and won by 11% despite the fact that EFCA foes ran ads targeting Udall as someone who would "take the secret ballot away."
Yet even knowing all of this, Bennet can't quite bring himself to take a stand on EFCA and now even Udall is wavering.
The Republicans are always going to stage a hissy fit on this, no matter what, so there's no point in trying to find "the right time." They have signaled that they have no intention of cooperating on any legislation that doesn't only benefit rich people it's useless trying to bargain either. In for a penny and all that rot. Might as well do it while the doing is possible.
You can sign a petition here, asking the Colorado delegation to stop being foolish and support the legislation. .