14 October 2010

Today's Random Quotes

This is from RIGHT STAR RISING: A NEW POLITICS, 1974-1980, by Laura Kalman.

Richard Viguerie and his "new right" first displayed their political clout, she tells us, in a surprising way, in 1975.

They "forced [President] Ford to renege on his pledge to support legislation that would have enlarged the right of unions to picket construction sites. The President had not known what hit him when nearly three-quarters of a million letters and postcards deluged the White House demanding a veto of the common situs picketing bill. At first, only the construction industry lobbied against the bill, but then Ford's staff noticed that a broad spectrum of opponents had mobilized. Antiunion businessmen had been brought aboard by the appeals of the National Right to Work Committee, a client of Viguerie's. Reagan opposed the bill, too, and the New York Times reported that Ford had developed the 'fear that if he lost any more of his conservatrive Republican support, he might not get his party's Presidential nominatioin.' Trapped, Ford caved at the end of 1975 and vetoed legislation that the AFL-CIO had sought for more than twenty years, that he had pledged to support, and that his own secretary of labor, Harvard economist John Dunlop, had drafted. Dunlop resigned in protest, and George Meaney called Ford a weakling who 'ran out' on his promises."

Question: why does she write about the New York Times?

Shouldn't it be The New York Times?

Anyway, here is another quotation from later in the same book. What happened once the Democrats took office? With no Republican around to veto anymore, surely common situs picketing became law, right?

"The Democratic Congress also narrowly defeated the common situs picketing legislation enlarging the right of unions to picket construction sites that candidate Carter had pledged to sign. (That President Carter did not press for it spoke volumes.) Eleven Democrats who had voted for the common situs legislation in 1975, when Ford vetoed it, now opposed it."

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.