The right-wing screech-fest over the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint against Boeing is reaching circus-like proportions, with conservative commentators and Republican presidential candidates competing to see who can make the most outrageous and incendiary remarks about the case.
The always reliable anti-union demagogue from South Carolina, Republican Senator James DeMint, blasted the complaint against Boeing as “thuggery” and “ something you would expect in a Third World country, not in America.” Meanwhile, South Carolina Republican Governor and Tea Party darling Nikki Haley describes the complaint as nothing less than an attack on the American free-enterprise system, a sentiment echoed by Boeing CEO James McNerney in a Wall Street Journal editorial.
It was left to Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin to restore sanity to the controversy with a statement describing what he called the GOP’s mission of misinformation.
“This overly dramatic response and the disturbing misinformation they are peddling has needlessly complicated the legal process and distorted the public discussion of this case,” said Harkin. “Unions are one of the few voices left in our society speaking up for the little guy, and if we let powerful CEOs trample all over these rights without consequences, we might as well give up on having a middle class altogether.”
Sen. Harkin, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, also held a hearing this week where he grilled Boeing’s General Counsel about the unprecedented and virulent opposition among Republican lawmakers against the NLRB. A video of the hearing is available here: http://help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=bf9cac77-5056-9502-5d75-3499b6f85bd2