(Yoichi R. Okamoto/LBJ Library)
If you went to a site called “Protecting Our Workers” and the first thing you saw was a huge picture of Robert F. Kennedy, quoting him that “The enlargement of liberty for individual human beings must be the supreme goal and the abiding practice of any Western society,” what would you assume about that site? Unless you’ve seen the site, your answer was probably not “it’s an anti-union website put up by Republican House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa.”
Yes, Issa has put together a spectacularly disingenuous site completely aimed at attacking unions that leads off with Bobby Kennedy and uses the word “union” only once on its front page (in claiming a desire to work with union leaders), speaking instead in sweeping terms of freedom and liberty and decrying partisanship. But really it’s an attack on union political spending—part of the larger Republican campaign to bankrupt unions or at least to prevent them from spending money to elect candidates who will every so often cast votes that help working people … Democrats, in other words.
This is the Darrell Issa who last fall demonstrated his concern for workers by calling for massive teacher layoffs, who has a former Goldman Sachs VP working for him as a staffer getting in the way of regulators overseeing big banks like Goldman Sachs, who will only hold investigations if they fit the narrative and announced an intention to investigate President Obama because “it’ll be good theater.” This is someone who’s the richest member of Congress and has repeatedly used his position to seek earmarks that benefit himself financially. And he, like fellow super-rich guy Mitt Romney, wants to eliminate one of the few ways working people get a voice in politics. Of course he does.