He went on in a Plain Dealer article to defend his party's summary union-busting effort as a necessary tactic to protect the interests of everybody else. Let the speaker speak:
"Today, this House has taken an unprecedented step toward public policy that respects all Ohioans, especially our taxpayers and our hardworking middle class," the Speaker said in a prepared statement.
I find his explanation ludicrous and dishonest in itself. Is he suggesting that the 350,000 public union workers - teachers, firefighters, police et al - are not taxpayers? Nor hardworking? Nor the middle class that evolved from the unions in, say, Akron?
Batchelder's shuffling words are, of course, perfectly attuned to the Republican mantra that only in a union-less country can we comfortably expect workers to, eh, work harder and happily pay taxes. These ideas have permeated the GOP bible for so long that even veteran pols like Batchelder robotically continue to mouth its verses as holy writ. Indeed, the House version of the bill was even stronger than the Senate's. (Scientists who study fat whales say they reach their food sources through something called "echo location", which works for me as a description of the GOP scavengers in the Ohio legislature.)
Still, as it did the first time around , the Republican-controlled Senate passed the House version 17-16. And despite widespread objections to youthful Akron Sen. Frank LaRose's earlier flipflop on collective bargaining, he again voted with his flock for its one-vote victory. He's a rookie in the fickle ways of the electorate, and in a district steeped in labor tradition, he may find himself having to defend himself many times over. If the economy finally improves, he won't even have Summit County Republican boss Alex Arshinkoff at his side to defend him.