When I make predictions here, I have a fairly simple formula. I say what I think will happen, then spell out what made me think so. I’m sometimes right, sometimes wrong (I tend to not keep track of them). Sometimes I hope I’m wrong and regret when I’m right.
Yesterday, I think I hit one out of the park.
While discussing the rise of powerful Republican governors facing critical threats to their state, I noted that two of them were directly addressing crises that, rightfully, ought to be the responsibility of the federal government — but the feds were falling down on the job. (And in Arizona, fighting for their right to not only do nothing, but keep anyone else from doing it too.) Then I went out on a limb, and said that I was worried that the Obama administration would try to find a way to challenge the third governor — New Jersey’s Chris Christie, who’s battling the public sector unions to keep his state from going bankrupt.
I’d been batting around that piece for about a week or so, and finally committed it to screen. And just in time — because today there’s news that the Senate is considering a bill that would give the Federal Labor Relations Authority the power to decide if the states were being generous enough to their public sector unions — and intervene if they decided they weren’t.
My reasoning was simple, and based on several known facts:
- Obama sees powerful, successful Republican governors as threats and potential rivals in 2012.
- Obama’s election was, in large part, bought and paid for by unions.
- The unions are the ones most infuriated with Governor Christie.
- Obama has shown a great willingness to throw a lot of people under the bus, but not the unions — more, probably, out of fear of their power than any kind of principle.
- There are quite a few states in serious financial trouble, with a good chunk of the blame for that on extremely-generous public union benefits, and a lot of people on the left are in denial about that — to the point where they will fight tooth and nail to keep every single bit of ill-gotten gain they’ve won at the public trough.
- The notion that the states should have the right to deal with their employees without federal oversight falls under the rubric of “state’s rights,” and that is an obscene term to many on the left — to the point where they have a knee-jerk response to fight it whenever it comes up.
With all that in mind, a federal move to get involved with the arrangements between the states and their unions was almost inevitable.
What I didn’t see was the precise mechanism that this would happen, or how quickly.
And man, I wish I’d been wrong.
Private message to Bruce Henry: get your head out of the sand, man! For one, you could smother. For another, there might be oil in there.