Skip to main content

This morning's Meet the Press Roundtable included AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka, Mississipi Governer Haley Barbour, Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnel and rightwing talking points specialist Kim Strassel.  With Trumpka there it was a balanced panel, and in fact one of the few times I have seen more liberal, or at least moderate panelists than conservative panelists.

Trumpka got the first shot and did a terrific job setting up the argument:

MR. RICHARD TRUMKA:  Well, first of all, this isn't about the budget crisis. Let's look at how this--his arguments migrated.  First he said it was--the budget crisis was caused because workers were paid too much in Wisconsin.  We now have studies that show they're not overpaid, they're underpaid.  In fact, people with a degree in Wisconsin get 25 percent less than their private sector things.  Then he said it was about the pension.  Now we find out that his pension plan, unlike a lot in the country, is almost fully funded.  The assets match the liabilities.  And then the employees said, or the members out there said, his workers said, "We'll accept your cuts." And he said, "No.  We won't accept your accepting our cuts." And the most outrageous thing that he did, and he talked about this, was he's now saying to them, "You either have to accept a loss of your rights or I'm going to lay you off." Now, no person should have to face the right of their loss of their job or the loss of their rights.  I know Governor Barbour would never say to his employees, his people down there, "You either have to give up your rights or you have to give up your job."

After a follow up question to Trumpka, Gregory turned to Barbour, who made this astonishing argument.

GOV. BARBOUR:  That's the whole problem.  They've got to change the system. About half the states in the country don't allow or limited--limit collective bargaining.  The federal government doesn't have collective bargaining for wages, for health benefits.  I mean, this--people act like this is some right, you know, that these are collective bargaining rights.  There's no right to this under the Constitution.

And a few minutes later Kim Strassel seconded Barbours absurd argument.

MS. STRASSEL:  Well, as the governor says, he needs to have a pair of shoes on picketing around Washington, D.C., because federal workers are not allowed any of these collectively bargaining rights that he's talking about there.

Really Governer Barbour?  Federal employees do not have the right to collective bargaining?  And Ms Strassel, you agree?  

That will be news to the thousands of Union workers that I once represented and later negotiated with.  I'm sure the Officers and members of the National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union would be surprised to find out that they don't have collective bargaining.  Especially since that explicit right was given to them in the 1971 Postal Reorganization Act.  I'm pretty sure that I remember discussing grievances, advocating in arbitration cases and negotiating at the bargaining table as both a Union Business Agent and later a Management Labor Relations Specialist working for the USPS.

Since 2004 and my retirement from the USPS I have been in practice as a Labor Arbitrator.  I'm certain it would come as a surprise to the US Army Corps of Engineers, The U.S. Airforce, The U.S. Navy, the Veterans Administration, and the Department of Justice, that they don't have collective bargaining agreements with their civilian employees, since I have heard and decided arbitration cases for all these federal agencies.  

But the most gobsmacking aspect of Barbour and Stassel's assertions was not that it was completely false.  No, it was that not one of the other three panelists challenged them on the lie!  I know that time is limited, and that you desperately want to get your talking points in.  But come, one of the three liberal panelists couldn't take thirty seconds to call Barbour and Stassel on this lie?

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Malacandra, Mark Sumner, Louise, Tookish, norwood, Upper West, copymark, deben, Geenius at Wrok, saraswati, BigOkie, theboz, PeterHug, Lahdee, Eman, byteb, Heather in SFBay, donna in evanston, Wintermute, LEP, LeftHandedMan, bostonjay, hubcap, rasbobbo, Gustogirl, opinionated, missLotus, jn2375, Cassandra77, KMc, tmmike, farmerhunt, jalbert, Cedwyn, jdmorg, Redfire, Getreal1246, danthrax, Dr Colossus, 2laneIA, grannyhelen, dmsmith, cosette, niteskolar, flatford39, dwahzon, rlharry, Green Tea, JayBat, WV Democrat, Curt Matlock, bablhous, Sybil Liberty, donailin, oortdust, sawgrass727, drofx, humphrey, jabney, maybeeso in michigan, bloomer 101, marina, radarlady, Ckntfld, Unit Zero, caul, LarisaW, jarneys dad, chimene, PBen, BCO gal, willibro, JohnB47, kitchen sink think tank, basquebob, Kevskos, boofdah, eru, where4art, Kayakbiker, jmonch, most peculiar mama, markdd, lasky57, Savvy813, Shotput8, serrano, peacestpete, Ekaterin, mrchips46, zozie, fhcec, xaxnar, alrdouglas, LeftOverAmerica, Showman, gwilson, stef, myboo, vigilant meerkat, tung sol, BlueInARedState, hungrycoyote, felixelf, seefleur, jwhitmill, global citizen, gpoutney, Libby Shaw, MarciaJ720, Jjc2006, tommyfocus2003, sceptical observer, BB10, RantNRaven, Bill O Rights, Temmoku, blueintheface, markthshark, cpresley, pgm 01, Loudoun County Dem, oklacoma dem, Debs2, mamabigdog, ColoTim, gloriana, NovatoBon, DvCM, LillithMc, yowsta, noofsh, Matt Z, Jimdotz, Unbozo, newpioneer, bnasley, jhop7, carpunder, hopi13, rogereaton, GeorgeXVIII, TomP, MKinTN, JeffW, kingneil, NotGeorgeWill, ScottyUrb, Tchrldy, Involuntary Exile, elwior, OutCarolineStreet, treesrock, monkeybrainpolitics, pkohan, pamelabrown, hwmnbn, Neosho, Jeff Y, Seamus D, the new, petulans, nklein, dmhlt 66, sydneyluv, lissablack, malenda, statsone, squarewheel, invisiblewoman, KingCranky, MufsMom, DontTaseMeBro, Lura, litoralis, deMemedeMedia, ewmorr, Dopeman, Partisan Progressive, shopkeeper, DefendOurConstitution, jmknapp53, stevenwag, Knarfc, Renie57, awcomeon, David PA, eXtina, piers, Jasont3h, Crabby Abbey, XajaX, ATFILLINOIS, Arenosa, DerAmi, DiegoUK, rja, Georgia Liberal, roystah, elengul, Otteray Scribe, Floande, Reetz, CornSyrupAwareness, Valerie8435, ban nock, sabo33, thebluecrayon, wildlife advocate, poorbuster, Arkieboy, California06, deeproots, GrogInOhio, mydailydrunk, marleycat, grannysally, RadicalRoadRat, BarackStarObama, KVoimakas, worldlotus, IL JimP, poliwrangler, beforedawn, Miggles, disillusionedbabyboomer, Ezekial 23 20, ChiTownDenny, drawingporno, good intentions, too young to give up, No one gets out alive, YaNevaNo, jacey, OldDragon, Romo2Austin, StonyB, greenbastard, IndieGuy, surelyujest, AnnieR, Joieau, congenitalefty, Mike RinRI, pittie70, fritzi56

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site