What’s At Stake

Recent polls reveal a reversal of fortune for the Republican Party. They also show a change in the number one issue for the electorate. Asked what’s at stake in this year’s election, the average voter says a solution to the Iraq quagmire. Even more revealing is the fact that a majority of Americans now specifically fault President Bush and his party for bungling the post-war plan or, even worse, for not having a plan in the first place.

While this shift among the American public is only weeks old, a strong majority of union members have been turned off for years by this administration and its co-conspirators in Congress. And unlike the average voter and Iraq, union members fault this administration for its ability to actually set a clear goal, put together a plan and implement it.

But the plan that union members despise? Bush & Co.’s systematic program to drastically weaken unions and, consequently, the labor movement’s ability to advocate for working families. Their end goal has been to remove the last line of defense – unions – against a right-wing blitzkrieg on workers’ rights, benefits, safety and retirement security.

And don’t take my word for it. In January 2004, anti-everything conservative Grover Norquist boasted that “unions know that four more years of Bush will mean a huge number of union jobs lost to a new free-trade agreements and the outsourcing of the federal work force… If their team doesn’t win, they don’t eat.