Here the Senate Republicans are, standing over the embers of their failed project that began in 1995, and they don’t even seem phased. Unions are their bull’s eye, and if a large chunk of the US manufacturing sector goes under to get at them—well who cares? You at least have to give them points for continuity. These are basically the same bunch that instigated a government shut down and blanketed the national agenda with an impeachment process to get at Clinton. Lord knows what they’ll do over the next four to eight years to undermine Obama.
Lo and behold, it turns out that cries over the union as the source of Detroit’s woes are way overblown. The so called $74 dollar hourly wage that conservatives are wailing about counts the payments to past retirees (Detroit simply has more of them than its rivals who entered the game later). In any case, reducing labor costs to the levels of its competitors would only amount to a small gain for US auto, according to Times columnist David Leonhardt.
In short, the basis for the current union bashing is purely ideological, just like everything else the GOP has done since the Republican revolution of ‘94. Case in point: There is an e-mail circulating among Senate Republicans saying that the vote against big auto would “take their first shot against organized labor.” The moral: You can take the Republican out of the revolution, but you can’t take the revolution of the Republican.