Monday, October 17, 2011

Unsurprisingly, PD endorses Issue 2

Yes on Issue 2 was the headline on the Plain Dealer's Sunday editorial supporting retention of the law embracing Senate Bill 5. And why should any of us be surprised? Here, after all, was the paper that also urged its readers to vote for John Kasich when he ran for governor - the same John Kasich who is out vigorously campaigning for....the issue restricting the power of public unions. When it comes to politics, the paper has seldom cast aside its predictability in defending its puffy noble causes.

In its Kasich endorsement in 2010, it found a number of reasons to caution the electorate about the volatile ex-Wall Streeter ever setting foot in the governor's office. But in the end, it insisted that he would still be a better choice than the incumbent,Ted Strickland, who happened to be a Democrat.

And so the PD couched its support of the GOP- hustled antiunion issue with endless advice about what to do with the flaws in the law - "imperfect though it may be" - if the repeal referendum is denied on Election Day. What the heck, it told us, those flaws can be corrected later. And good luck on that one. Even the PD conceded it won't be easy, noting:
"Yet whatever voters decide, a middle road that enables needed change without trampling on the dignity of public servants will be hard to find once this bitter political fight ends."
It could be fairly argued, of course, that if the law is that questionable in a number of respects, the same search for a middle road could be applied if the law is repealed and those same Republican lawmakers start all over again from scratch to find the beloved middle road that wouldn't trample on dignity. That, too, won't happen with the wrecking crew operating in Columbus these days under the guise of reformers.

The supporters of Senate 5 fumbled from the outset by slamming it at the public unions without concern for the likely backlash. Else they would not have included police and firefighters in the law's grasp. We are not dealing here with a highly intelligent and far-sighted group of lawmakers, folks. The only remaining question is why the corporate media keeps bailing them out of their disfunctional behavior.

The PD also wanders off to the governor's phony attempts to reach a compromise with the law's opponents before it reached the ballot (one of the true non-stories in the issue's history, induced by Kasich's deep concern that the repeal would succeed and not by any notion of valid compromise). It is now asking him to rise above the battle after election day. "When this campaign ends", the paper said, " Kasich has a chance to be healer. He must not pass it up."

Fat chance, that is, from this governor.


Anonymous said...

The PD notes that it is a flawed law in need of some changes yet endorses it. The Republicans will not have any incentive to return to the bargaining table if the ballot referendum passes. Faulty logic by the PD in their endorsement.

David Hess said...

If anything, the governor and his right-wing allies in the Statehouse will be gloating and emboldened if SB 5 is retained. The notion that conservative legislators, who now control the General Assembly, would change one comma in the disputed law is absurd. Their objective is to destroy the public unions as a factor in the state's political structure. With that destruction, they foresee the weakening, too, of the Ohio Democratic Party and thus a clearer path to continued control of public policy and any regulatory exercise over polluters, state-chartered banks and insurance companies and any other consumer protection bulwark against greedy or unscrupulous operators. As for the Plain Dealer, were I a teacher, fireman, policeman or professed Democrat, I would cancel my subscription. That might send a message that the publisher and his "editorial board" would understand.

JLM said...

The PD also endorsed Bush in 2000, then, out of sheer embarrassment and cowardice, endorsed no one in 2004. The PD is bought and paid for.