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Rachel Maddow: Union Busting Is The GOP’s Weapon of Self Destruction

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Thursday, March, 24th, 2011, 3:57 pm

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On her MSNBC program Rachel Maddow used recent polling data to illustrate the fact that the state level Republican war against American workers is destroying support for the GOP. Maddow said, “The trouble with trying to do really unpopular things in politics is that they have a tendency to make the doer of those things really unpopular.”

Here is the video from MSNBC:

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Rachel Maddow opened with a very simple political truth, “The trouble with trying to do really unpopular things in politics is that they have a tendency to make the doer of those things really unpopular. You‘d think politicians would understand this since their careers are made or broken on the popular vote.”

After describing the situation in Tennessee where the Republican legislature is ignoring thousands of protesters and pushing through a union busting bill, Maddow said, “Look at the polling on this. The Republicans great 2011 overreach against people who work for a living is not working out well politically for the Republicans.

She discussed how John Kasich in Ohio has pushed through a union busting bill and seen his popularity fall like a rock, “Here‘s the response from the people of Ohio. From a Quinnipiac Poll released today, quote, “Ohio voters disapprove 46 percent to 30 percent of the way Governor Kasich is handling his job.” In other words, Governor Kasich‘s approval rating is 30 percent right now — 30 percent of Ohioans approve of the job he is doing as governor.”

Maddow continued, “On union-stripping, specifically, more than half said they oppose his bill to limit collective bargaining rights, 55 percent say he should balance the budget some other way from the one he is proposing, 53 percent call his budget flat-out unfair to people like them. And in Ohio, as in the rest of the country, 53 percent is what‘s known as a majority.”

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania took office, claimed that the state was broke, and then promptly gave away $833 million in tax breaks to businesses. Even the Republicans in the Keystone State have rebelled against this as 41% of them have assessed the new governor’s performance as poor.

Rick Snyder in Michigan in the midst of trying to pull off the biggest state Republican authoritarian power grab of all, and Maddow said of Snyder, “Michigan Governor Rick Snyder comes into office, also says the state‘s broke, Michigan is broke. So, we‘ve got no choice but to spend $1.8 billion on a big business tax giveaway. He also wants to raise taxes on seniors and working class people. The results of those unpopular proposals for Governor Snyder‘s popularity, rock carefully balanced on hill, meet gravity. A survey yesterday from Public Policy Polling finds Governor Snyder has got an approval rating of 33 percent, also known as a third. A previous poll found that more people object to raising taxes on Michigan seniors and the poor and giving that money to business than like the idea.”

On the bright side, as Maddow pointed out, at least these Republicans governors aren’t Wisconsin’s Scott Walker. Wisconsin voters now say that if they had a do over, Walker would not be governor, and in a way Wisconsinites will get their chance at fixing their mistake when Gov. Walker will almost certainly face a recall election early next year.

Rachel Maddow concluded by pointing out an obvious lesson that these new Republican governors have never learned, “What these new Republican governors are learning the hard way is that doing unpopular things really does make you unpopular—taking money and resources away from working class and middle class voters and giving to corporations to folks at the skinny part of the economic pyramid—it‘s not working for you guys. I‘m just saying.”

Since 2006, the once formidable Republican Party has transformed itself into an overreaching group of bumbling ideologues who more times than not simply can’t get out of its own way. The GOP has collectively cultivated an expertise in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 2010 election was handed to the Republicans on a silver platter. The economy was terrible. The Democratic base was apathetic at best and showed no interest in the election. Democrats had no message, and all the Republicans had to do was sit back and say we think the economy sucks too, and that was more than enough for them to win.

Once they were given a boatload of governorships and control of the House of Representatives all they had to do was not screw it up. They could have sat around and waited for the economy to turn. Knowing full well that once the economy recovers most voters would give them at least partial credit, but the Snyders, Walkers, Kasichs and Corbetts appear to be masters of ignoring the obvious.

Instead of sitting back and trying to build on their majority the Republicans at both the state and federal level have acted with madcap desperation as if they are trying to fulfill a political bucket list before voters wake up and realize what they have done.

What did Republicans do when they were gifted more political power then they had seen in almost a decade? They set out to break the backs of their rivals through an attack on collective bargaining the likes of which have not been seen in this country in 30 years.

Not surprisingly most Americans quickly saw through the bumbling attempts at secrecy of their clueless leaders.Their political scheme to defund the Democratic Party was quickly exposed as a massive upward redistribution of wealth and an attack on the rights of middle class and working people.

What the GOP thought was a weapon of mass Democratic destruction has turned into a weapon of mass Republican self-destruction. Their attack on working class people has not destroyed the left, but empowered it. Instead of wiping out our collective memories of George W. Bush, and assuring voters that they can be trusted to govern, Republicans have proven that they don’t share the priorities of the American people. In short within a few months, Republicans have punched their ticket and put themselves back on the fast track to minority political status in 2012, all because they didn’t have the patience and common sense not to overreach.

Just as Bush did with 9/11, these governors tried to use a budget crunch as a political blank check to pursue an unrelated ideological agenda. The problem is that the target in 2011 wasn’t a faraway nation like Iraq. It was the poor, the disabled, the elderly, the middle class, and the working people of our great land, and even more damning is the fact that Republicans seem surprised that this revival of the failed strategy of a failed unpopular president has resulted in an epic bash lash against them.

Rachel Maddow was right. When a politician does unpopular things, they will be unpopular, and when a politician or their party throws itself full throttle down the road to self-destruction, they will almost certainly find themselves destroyed.

Rachel Maddow: Union Busting Is The GOP’s Weapon of Self Destruction was written by Guest Contributor for PoliticusUSA.
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