A corporate mule v. FAA workers

I'm often asked, "Do Republicans serve any real purpose in Congress?" Yes, they do. They proudly serve as the plodding pack mules of Corporate America, dutifully hauling any load that a corporation piles on their backs, no matter how odious.

I’m often asked, “Do Republicans serve any real purpose in Congress?” Yes, they do. They proudly serve as the plodding pack mules of Corporate America, dutifully hauling any load that a corporation piles on their backs, no matter how odious.

Take Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, whose back is permanently swayed from 34 years of carrying corporate legislation. Most recently, he’s been toting a stinky load for Delta and other airlines that want Congress to rig their employees’ unionization elections by decreeing that those who choose not to vote be counted as having voted against unionization.

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To get what his corporate drivers wanted, the mulish Hatch went to extremes this summer. He held the Federal Aviation Administration’s budget hostage for nearly two weeks, forcing this essential public safety agency to lay off 4,000 employees and halt an array of airport improvement projects across the country, idling tens of thousands of construction workers. Braying and kicking, the Senator from Delta was perfectly willing for this destructive shutdown to continue through August, even as he and other lawmakers went on vacation. But less obstinate Republicans intervened with a patchwork deal that lets the FAA operate until mid-September. After that – who knows?

But what about airline safety, you ask? Hatch showed that he didn’t care, but, luckily for us, key agency workers did. Dozens of FAA safety inspectors volunteered to stay on duty during Hatch’s shutdown – even though they were not being paid and were even having to use their personal credit cards to cover their on-the-job travel expenses. If only senators had such a sense of responsibility.

Remember – these public spirited employees are some of the same government workers who’re denigrated as slugs and leeches by the Orrin Hatches of our country.

“Senate Leaves F.A.A. in Limbo,” The New York Times, August 3, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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