Unions spent an estimated $200 million electing President Barack Obama and re-electing Democratic majorities in Congress in 2008. Union officials ought to be ecstatic with Obama’s performance since then because he has delivered everything he promised the unions, and more.
Obama’s largesse is all the more amazing when it is remembered that unions represent fewer than 7 percent of all private-sector workers. Fortunately for the country, Democrats in Congress don’t always share Obama’s loyalty to the union label.
Consider Thursday’s cloture vote in the Senate on Obama’s nomination of 39-year-old UC Berkeley School of Law professor Goodwin Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Liu is among the most radical leftists ever nominated for a federal court, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hoped to cut off Republican opposition to the nomination by calling the cloture vote. But Reid failed when the motion for cloture received only 52 votes of the 60 needed. Had the motion for cloture carried, Liu’s nomination would have been cleared for a final floor vote, although it was far from certain that he would have been confirmed.
What is certain is that Obama nominated a man whose views bring to mind the fiery socialist diatribes delivered by United Auto Workers hero Walter Reuther in 1937 when he returned from a couple of years of working in a proletarian communal factory in Gorky, an industrial city in Stalin’s Soviet Union.
Speaking in 2006 against President George W. Bush’s nomination of John Roberts for chief justice, Liu dismissed “free enterprise,” “private ownership of property,” and “limited government” as nothing more than “code words for an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections.”
And, speaking of ideological agendas, Liu has made clear that he sees in Obama’s election “the opportunity to actually get our ideas and the progressive vision of the Constitution and of law and policy into practice.”
Nominating Liu is of a piece with Obama’s recess appointments of Craig Becker and Lafe Solomon to the National Labor Relations Board.
Becker is a former labor lawyer for the Service Employees International Union who has refused to recuse himself from multiple cases before the board in which he formerly represented the labor parties to the disputes.
Solomon has led NLRB’s unprecedented attack on Boeing for building an airplane factory in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, instead of Washington, a forced-union state — the first step in a campaign to intimidate corporate executives from doing business in any of the nation’s 22 right-to-work states.