June 12, 2012

FDR would have a hard time fitting in with today's Democratic Party.

That post title is just putting 2 things together.

1. In yesterday's NYT: "But tough talk about the state of the [Republican] party on Monday by former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida — who went so far as to say that Ronald Reagan and his father would have a 'hard time' fitting in during this Tea Party era — exhibited a growing distance between the [Bush] family, which until not very long ago embodied mainstream Republicanism, and the no-compromise conservative activists now driving the party."

2. A big meme in the Wisconsin recall election: 
Roosevelt's reign certainly was the bright dawn of modern unionism. The legal and administrative paths that led to 35% of the nation's workforce eventually unionizing by a mid-1950s peak were laid by Roosevelt.

But only for the private sector. Roosevelt openly opposed bargaining rights for government unions.

"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, "I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place" in the public sector. "A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government."

And if you're the kind of guy who capitalizes "government," woe betide such obstructionists.

Roosevelt wasn't alone. It was orthodoxy among Democrats through the '50s that unions didn't belong in government work. Things began changing when, in 1959, Wisconsin's then-Gov. Gaylord Nelson signed collective bargaining into law for state workers. Other states followed, and gradually, municipal workers and teachers were unionized, too....
(Isn't it interesting that Wisconsin led the way into the unionization of government workers and now it's leading the way out?)

49 comments:

chickelit said...

(Isn't it interesting that Wisconsin led the way into the unionization of government workers and now it's leading the way out?)

Yes, it is. Maybe they'll take up the 17th Amendment next.

AprilApple said...

Is Jeb kidding or is he trying to impress Meghan McCain? If tea party (that's regular normal tax paying citizens vilified by their own government) and other conservatives could bring Reagan back to life and run him against the powerful Obama/Pelosi/Krugman/Soros/ Hollywood machine - WE WOULD.

As to FDR-- On public sector unions, he was right on.

Lem said...

Like Affirmative Action Unions have outlived their purpose.

By keeping them on life support, democrats are promoting a kind of torture.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Makes sense. Once you buy the unionist line that government acts like a rapacious mine owner towards its own employees, you're perilously close to entertaining the possibility that it acts like a rapacious mine owner towards everyone else as well. Makes it tough to remain a liberal.

ed said...

There are a lot of people that I would look to for information on Reagan. The Bush family? Not a f--king chance.

Seriously what credibility does Jeb Bush have to talk about what Reagan would or would not do?

cubanbob said...

Jeb obviously decided he is out of contention for public office for good. Nice guy, good governor, voted twice for him, but now he is dead to me.By Jeb, don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

bagoh20 said...

We are defined by the challenges and surpluses of our time. These men would be quite different if they were alive today. I suspect Reagan would evolve into The Tea Party Cowboy and FDR into Bill Clinton. Both would be improvements.

MadisonMan said...

Wisconsin is the leader. All other states just follow.

chickelit said...

Their disdain for the Tea Party has always been established Republican party's Achilles' heel. This is an interesting turn for Jeb Bush--though ambiguous. I wonder if there's a roving eye behind it.

We have yet to hear much from Romney on immigration.

kcom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kcom said...

"As to FDR-- On public sector unions, he was right on."

He was right but, at least in the quote above, surprisingly unprincipled. Or lacking a coherent principle.

"A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government."

Yes, and a strike of private employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of the company. What's the difference?

The real problem, as we now know (and perhaps FDR didn't), is that there is an inherent conflict of interest in public employee unions "negotiating" with politicians they put in office. The taxpayer gets screwed because, although he ostensibly has someone representing him at the bargaining table, that representative is beholden more strongly to the private interest group he is negotiating with than he is to the taxpayers. So predictable results ensue.

There is no such inherent conflict in bargaining with private unions. They really are two opposing camps, each with their own prerogatives to protect, and therefore it's an honest give and take negotiation.

Revenant said...

Isn't it interesting that Wisconsin led the way into the unionization of government workers and now it's leading the way out?

I'm just glad that, for once, a dumb political idea wasn't pioneered by California.

Hagar said...

It is debatable whether FDR "fit in" or created a party to fit him.

In any case, FDR and Reagan both faced the world of their times, not ours.

Also, for both there were factions in the opposing party they could work with (as well as to control the factions in their own party).

Though there probably still are a number of FDR or Reagan Democrats around the country, they do not appear to have any influence on the national party policies any more, so how can, or should, the Republican candidates work with them?

Jay said...

New Dem memo out on how the best orator since Lincoln can't move the needle on the economy.

Even Obama's oft-made claim that he saved the auto industry angered some. "The auto industry spot, surprisingly, produces a lot of resentment," Greenberg and Carville write. "Women in particular did not see how it related to them, and even some men working outside manufacturing thought it left them out." As one woman in Ohio said: "Good job for the autoworkers, but where does that leave my grandchildren?"

garage mahal said...

Wisconsin is the leader. All other states just follow.

We're not leading anyone, we're following other red states in a race to the bottom. None of these ideas are new, the bills introduced in Wisconsin are identical to ALEC bills introduced in other states. In hindsight selling the state off was pretty easy, and came relatively cheap.

Q said...

the [Bush] family, which until not very long ago embodied mainstream Republicanism


The Bush family represents big-business (and often big-government) Rockefeller Republicanism. That's certainly one element in the GOP, but it's not the one represented by Reagan.

Q said...

This is an interesting turn for Jeb Bush--though ambiguous. I wonder if there's a roving eye behind it.


We have yet to hear much from Romney on immigration.


Jeb Bush was complaining just a couple of days ago about how the primary process had "forced" Romney to the right on immigration.

Seeing Red said...

--we're following other red states in a race to the bottom--


So GM would rather live with deep blue CA or blue IL's debt?


Don't you care for the children?

n.n said...

Today's progressive is tomorrow's conservative. The original liberals (aka classical liberals) are considered conservative and original progressives are considered out-of-touch.

As for unions to represent public workers, they exist to disenfranchise American citizens. They compete with the majority to influence and control the government, but specifically the bureaucracy, which survives from one administration to the next. They operate through a bypass of our representative (i.e. democratic) process.

It's not surprising that Wisconsin would be both first to enter and exit from this experiment. The social process operates as a queue since those exposed to benefits and consequences will be most likely to respond following direct exposure.

furious_a said...

JFK, with his "pay-any-price-bear-any-burden" anti-communism and, worse yet, tax-cutting wouldn't fit into today's (or even yesterday's) Democratic party.

holdfast said...

Once could conclude that FDR was a big government liberal who believed in big government as a mission, as a way to improve lives in America, and who wanted it it work and succeed. I don't actually agree with that, but it's a lot better than the modern leaders of the Democrat party who believe in big government as just another coffer-stuffing special interest.

FDR also understood that for government "stimulus" to have any useful effect on the Depression, it needed to hire a LOT of people at modest wages, not a few people with Cadillac benefits packages. Modern, liberal big government rules (Davis-Bacon, prevailing wage, minority set asides, the EPA, etc.) guaranteed that Obama's stimulus, no matter how big, could never be another New Deal. Obama likes to talk about the Hoover Dam - but when was the last time a dam was approved in the lower 48?

Paul said...

The democrat party today is closer to the National Socialist Party (AKA Nazi) than to the Dems of the 1950s.

Joe said...

I disagree with Jeb Bush about Reagan who had the original fiscal and smaller government tea party philosophy.

To the extent that the tea party is being taken over by social conservatives who are contemptuous of the libertarian ideals of the original concept, then yes, this is a departure for Reagan.

Q said...

To the extent that the tea party is being taken over by social conservatives who are contemptuous of the libertarian ideals of the original concept, then yes, this is a departure for Reagan


Reagan was a social conservative. There's no contradiction between that and a belief in small government. In fact the two must go together.

AprilApple said...

Two of FDR's words give it all away: Militant. Tactics.

Unions were once needed to counter unbalanced greed at the top. Now the pendulum is far out on the other end. Modern work regulations and cooperative competitive business sensibilities make unions nothing but an irresponsible drag on what would otherwise be a shining business. Unions often spell certain death for a company.

Remove coercion and most people have no use for a union. It is imperative we keep union votes PRIVATE. If a business and the work force both want a union, then fine. This is why democrats hide their true intentions to uneducated voters behind Orwellian language. The Orwellian "Employee Free Choice Act" is nothing but. It's not free choice, it is the opposite of free choice. The removal of our basic right to a private vote and a private ballot is not "free choice".

Bill Harshaw said...

FDR would seem like a real socialist today: consider his support for public power and public housing, neither of which are high on the list of priorities for any Democrat.

David said...

FDR would not have a chance. All those prayers and talking about how God is on America's side. And making deals with all those racist southern whites. Did you ever hear one word for him favoring a woman's right to kill a fetus or gays in the military? Did his cabinet even remotely look like America? And he was part of the 1%--a rick privileged guy from New York.

Tim said...

"We're not leading anyone, we're following other red states in a race to the bottom. None of these ideas are new, the bills introduced in Wisconsin are identical to ALEC bills introduced in other states. In hindsight selling the state off was pretty easy, and came relatively cheap."

Ha ha ha ha.

You're a dummy, but a funny one.

Regarding "a race to the bottom," you've obviously confused Wisconsin with California.

I've no doubt Wisconsin's fisc will be in much better condition than California's at the end of this fiscal year, at the end of the fiscal year five years from now, at the end of the fiscal year ten years from now.

California leads the parade in the race to the bottom.

And when bankruptcy and the federal receivership comes, you'll have the pleasure of your tax dollars (or, more likely, those of future taxpayers) going to bailout the biggest Democrat state.

But not the pleasure to have learned from California's mistake.

Some people are too dumb for that.

Michael K said...

"
Jeb obviously decided he is out of contention for public office for good."

He is now.

edutcher said...

Any Democrat before 1972 - unless his name was Kennedy - wouldn't belong in today's Democrat Party.

Or any one for the last 40 years.

garage mahal said...

California leads the parade in the race to the bottom.

There will exactly nobody that wants to move from California to Wisconsin to enjoy all the new reforms. None.

Scott M said...

There will exactly nobody that wants to move from California to Wisconsin to enjoy all the new reforms. None.

Aside from being an incomplete sentence, there is absolutely no way in hell you can back that up with anything resembling truth. So why say it, incomplete or not?

edutcher said...

garage, right now anyplace looks better than CA, and since the money saved is going to mean lower taxes, yeah, even the Cheese State will look good.

leslyn said...

Surely you jest. A public sector union does not equal the right to strike.

Joe said...

Reagan was a social conservative. There's no contradiction between that and a belief in small government. In fact the two must go together.

In theory. In practice, many, if not most, of today's social conservatives aren't much more than anti-abortion liberals. Their disagreement with Democrats is over what they want to make everyone else do.

(Incidentally, I don't agree that Reagan was a social conservative. He as a social conservative opportunist/pragmatist, but in actual practice not much of one.

How's this for a Reagan quote from 1975 in Reason magazine: "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism."

Scott M said...

There will exactly nobody that wants to move from California to Wisconsin to enjoy all the new reforms. None.

Texas would much further along to your supposed red basement, wouldn't you say, GM? What word would you use to describe the number of companies that have already relocated from CA to TX?

I would use "lots" although "legion" might be better.

garage mahal said...

garage, right now anyplace looks better than CA, and since the money saved is going to mean lower taxes, yeah, even the Cheese State will look good.

I hear a lot of whining about California, much of it from people that live in California. I never hear any of them saying they want to move in Wisconsin.

Scott M said...

I never hear any of them saying they want to move in Wisconsin.

I don't know anyone that voted for Nixon.

traditionalguy said...

FDR and Bush are self appointed aristocracy from New England.

We will call them when we need them to deal with European/Roman Empire issues and create "A New World Order" to benefit our masters in Europe.

And moving to Texas or moving to Florida to be Governors changes nothing.

Jay said...

"We're not leading anyone, we're following other red states in a race to the bottom

Right bozo, right.

Long regarded as one of the poorest cities in the U.S., with a 32.3% poverty rate and nearly 20% unemployment in 2010, Detroit has the second-highest violent crime rate in the country. Homicide increased by 11% in 2011, while robbery and aggravated assault are fourth and second highest in the country, respectively. Nonviolent crime is also an issue, with burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson rates in the top 10 rankings in the country.

I guess Detroit is a "red state" now.

dreams said...

I don't understand why Jeb Bush would say that about Reagan given that the GOP just choose Romney as their candidate.

Tim said...

"There will exactly nobody that wants to move from California to Wisconsin to enjoy all the new reforms. None."

Listen, we all know there is ample, repeated evidence of your inability to comprehend simple sentences, but must you persist in being so dense, so consistently?

What is most likely to happen, since you brought up migration, is that Wisconsin's youth (unlike Detroit's youth) will remain in place because of positive reforms today leading to better opportunities in the future, as compared to the very dim future most Californians will "enjoy."

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

And JFK was the dunce whose executive order permitted Federal employees to unionize. Yet even he would not fit in with today's far-left Democrat party - they'd be comparing his acts and attitudes with Hitler, much as they did to Scott Walker and GWB.

RonF said...

"In hindsight selling the state off was pretty easy, and came relatively cheap."

It was easy. But it wasn't cheap. When the politicians sold the State of Illinois off to the public worker unions it cost the taxpayers billions and will cost billions more.

What fantasy is this that considers that putting limitations on public worker unions benefits the rich and powerful? The rich and powerful have plenty of places to stash their money. And they aren't in management in this situation. The limitations benefit the ordinary taxpayer. Here in Illinois our income tax went from 3% to 5.5% of income, and EVERY PENNY WENT TO BENEFIT UNIONIZED PUBLIC WORKERS. Every penny.

Meanwhile, my property taxes have gone up 300% while I've lived in my home. Taxes are now 40% of my monthly payment. I don't own my home. The State does, and unlike the bank I'll be paying them for the rest of my life for the privilege of living in the house that I will have spent 30 years paying a mortgage on.

What Wisconsin has done is figure out that when you're standing in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.

Paddy O said...

Reagan had a hart time fitting into the Republican party of his own day... he didn't care, he just did his own thing and reshaped the party and the nation.

Bryan C said...

"Yes, and a strike of private employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of the company. What's the difference?"

If employees of a private company strike, the customers who rely upon that company can find other alternatives.

Customers of a government that decides to go on strike are not free to find another government. And there's no means of withholding payment when services are not actually provided.

Paddy O said...

"There will exactly nobody that wants to move from California to Wisconsin to enjoy all the new reforms. None."

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

You're partially right, though:

"There will exactly nobody that wants to move from California to Wisconsin" is generally always true.

I dare say that in its entire history as a state a Californian has never uttered the phrase, "I want to move to Wisconsin."

Synova said...

"Customers of a government that decides to go on strike are not free to find another government."

This.

And the most amazing thing is that someone has to actually provide this answer to someone who is presumably a functional adult.

"Meanwhile, my property taxes have gone up 300% while I've lived in my home. Taxes are now 40% of my monthly payment. I don't own my home. The State does, and unlike the bank I'll be paying them for the rest of my life for the privilege of living in the house that I will have spent 30 years paying a mortgage on."

It's rent.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

And nobody wanted to more here from CA before the reforms. This despite the fact we had the most powerful public employee unions in the country.

Maybe we would be better off focusing on trying to keep the thousands of retirees that are forced to leave the state every year due to the high tax rates in Wisconsin.