25 August, 2008

The Candidates and "Card Check"

This is the twenty-third post in an ongoing series regarding the major Presidential candidates and their views on civil liberties.
This post is about Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) and Senator Barack Obama's (D-IL) plans regarding so-called "card check".
Many people have expressed the opinion that "card check" is the sleeper issue of the 2008 campaign. I think that the people expressing that are Republicans hoping to score points against Democrats.
They're partially right. It's a sleeper issue, but mostly because talking about it tends to put people to sleep. Don't get me wrong. This is an important issue, and it's one of the few "labor issues" where Republicans can claim superiority to Democrats, but I just don't see it generating much excitement.
But I digress.
Card check is disguised under the Employee Free Choice Act. (why do politicians name bills the exact opposite of what they do?) This bill enables employees to form unions without a secret ballot. This is a bill that clearly shows that there is a difference between being "pro-labor" and "pro-union". This bill is definitely "pro-union", but is about as "anti-labor" as you can get, for it obviously strips rights from the individual in the labor force.
Barack Obama:
I support this bill because in order to restore a sense of shared prosperity and security, we need to help working Americans exercise their right to organize under a fair and free process and bargain for their fair share of the wealth our country creates.
Ok, I'll hold my tongue on the bit about it being a "fair and free process", but it's clear where Obama stands on this issue. He is a cosponsor of the bill.
John McCain:
I had difficulty finding real information on McCain on this one. It's apparent he's opposed, but finding a good reference was difficult. Most of the articles written about his position on it were written by union representatives, so their opinion was a bit colored. However, I finally settled on this from the AFL-CIO.
McCain said he is “strongly opposed” to this important bill to level the playing field for workers trying to form unions and voted against it in the Senate.
(Congressional Record, page S8389, 6/26/07; H.R. 800, Vote #227, 6/26/07)
Once again, I'll hold my tongue about this bill and "leveling the playing field".
Anyway, to the grades.
Obama: F
McCain: A+
Card Check: Advantage McCain
Results so far:
Obama McCain
First Amendment F D-
Second Amendment D- C-
Third Amendment B B
Fourth Amendment D+ D+
Fifth Amendment D+ B-
Sixth Amendment B B
Seventh Amendment C C
Eighth Amendment C B
Eleventh Amendment B+ B-
Thirteenth Amendment D+ B+
Fourteenth Amendment D+ C+
Fifteenth Amendment B B
Nineteenth Amendment B B
Twenty-First Amendment A- A-
Twenty-Third Amendment A- B
Twenty-Fourth Amendment B B
Twenty-Sixth Amendment B B
Taxes D B-
Abortion A+ D
National ID F F
Voter ID A+ F
Card Check F A+

UPDATE: Obama's First Amendment grade lowered to F as documented in this post.

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