-By Warner Todd Huston
Bloomberg has another unions-are-mad-at-Obama story this week and, while there is no doubt that unions are a bit miffed at the big “O,” we should all be cautioned about where Big Labor will put its support in 2012. Miffed or not, and quite contrary to what Bloomberg wants you to believe, Big Labor will support Obama to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
Still, it is interesting to see the unions whine about Obama. This president has been the biggest booster to Big Labor than any other president in history. The business punishing regulations alone that Obama has saddled upon this struggling economy makes his efforts more destructive and favorable to unions than any two past presidents combined. Obama is using his regulatory powers to force contractors to pay unions off to get federal work even if those businesses aren’t members of any union, he’s sallied forth from his castle to inform businesses about where they will be allowed to build businesses, his crony capitalist efforts have put big businesses all across the country under his thumb, and he’s eased as many regulations that keep unions in line as he can… and he plans to do even more.
Yet, despite all this bending over backwards for Big Labor, the unions are upset with The One. Why they are mad is instructive.
You see, the reason these anti-business, socialist-minded union thugs are mad at Obama is because he could not give them the one thing they really, really wanted. They wanted card check so bad they could taste it. They wanted that Employee Free Choice Act so that they could eliminate the secret ballot in union elections — so that they would be free to intimidate workers at will — and they wanted the government to have the power to mediate union contracts by eliminating the power of business owners and perspective union members alike from having any influence.
On that last point, unions don’t mind handing over all power to arbitrate earlier to the government because they assumed they’d control the government with their millions of dollars in campaign donations to compliant Democrats in Obama’s administration.
But Obama has failed to get card check passed like he promised. So, since they didn’t get their one thing, Big Labor is mad at Democrats. Now they claim they will withhold their donations from Democrats running for federal offices in 2012.
Big threat, sure. But don’t believe them. It’s all sound and fury signifying nothing. Big Labor will support Obama and the Democrat slate regardless of how miffed they are today.
It is fun, though, to see them poking each other in the eye even if it won’t ultimately mean much.