During the course of the Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney has made a number of attempts to establish that one of his conservative values is that he hates unions. Unlike all the issues on which Romney makes news by changing his position, he's been consistent in his opposition to unions, and every now and then he sallies forth to remind us that he does have this one authentic claim to conservatism.
A Wednesday press release expands on the anti-union focus of Tuesday's op-ed on the rescue of the auto industry, just in case we missed the anti-union message what with all the scoffing at Romney's ideas about how GM and Chrysler should have just gone bankrupt.
The release attempts to draw a nefarious connection between the fact that unions supported Obama's election in 2008 and a remarkably overblown account of how union-friendly Obama's administration has been. For instance:
In February 2009 – The Same Month He Signed The Stimulus Bill – President Obama Issued An Order That Federal Agencies Should “Consider Requiring” Union-Friendly Project-Labor Agreements.Telling people you "encourage" that they "consider requiring" a type of agreement that does not mandate union labor, instead setting the same standards for all workers at a given worksite? Wow. That is a heavy hand Obama brought down in favor of unions, restoring something that had been policy under Bill Clinton.
Romney doesn't just over-inflate Obama's union-friendly actions in the scariest-sounding terms his press shop could come up with, though. The release also details Romney's support for basically the entire anti-union wish list, from amending the National Labor Relations Act to give businesses more power and make it harder for workers to join unions to promoting so-called "right to work" laws to prohibiting unions from using the dues their members have chosen to have deducted from their paychecks on political work.
Basically, Romney's message is "You might not trust that I'm truly conservative on issues from abortion to health care, but by jiminy, I do not flip flop in my hatred for workers and their unions." And you know what? I believe him on this one.
And P.S.: Obama's 54-38 lead over Romney in a PPP poll of Michigan, with 52 percent supporting the auto bailout, suggests that union members—and more generally, people in a state heavily dependent on the industry Obama saved—aren't much more fond of Romney than he is of them.