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Ever willing to be the Republican party's mouthpiece, FOX News is now trumpeting right-wing talking points on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). On FOX News Sunday, Chris Wallace used the Democrats' secret ballot regarding Lieberman last week to frame the ongoing debate about EFCA. “Why is a secret ballot okay and desirable for Congress," Wallace asked Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), "but you want to take it away for workers?”
This is a bogus comparison for a number of reasons. For starters, it suggests the false notion that EFCA would deprive workers seeking to unionize from using a secret ballot. According to Rep. George Miller (D-CA), EFCA would not only preserve the current right to unionize through secret ballot, but it would also provide workers the option to form a union if a majority signs a petition. Secondly, this comparison is ludicrous because the Lieberman vote was pretty much kabuki, in that the outcome had already been predetermined. So Wallace's comparison wasn't like comparing apples to apples, or even apples to oranges -- it was more like comparing apples to a steaming pile of shit.
As Think Progress notes, Wallace was merely echoing the same spurious reasoning that we've seen from conservatives in recent weeks. And that set the stage for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to do some blatant fearmongering on EFCA. Boehner called EFCA "an affront to the American people."
Don't let Boehner and FOX News fool you. My sense is big business and conservatives alike are desperate to fight EFCA because President-elect Obama is likely to pass it early on in his administration, hence the lame Lieberman comparison. The reality is that the majority of workers in our country routinely face deplorable union-busting tactics and intimidation. Workers can lose their jobs just for attempting to organize and are forced to attend anti-union meetings; they are compelled to tell their employers if they (or anyone else in their workplace) suport a union; and they face teams of high-powered attorneys and anti-union consultants brought in specifically to create obstacles to unionization efforts.
For more on EFCA, check out the recentMeet the Bloggers
with SEIU's Anna Burger.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.